Barkha Madan is an Indian actress and model, who left Bollywood to become a Buddhist monk in 2012. She is one of the non-Himalayan Indian Tibetan Buddhist nuns in FPMT, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.
Barkha Madan was born on Monday, 17 August 1970 (age 52 years; as of 2022) in Punjab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature (Honours). During her studies, she participated in theatre & drama. When she was studying in college, she got interested in modelling and signed up for beauty pageants.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Figure Measurements (approx.): 34-32-34
Barkha Madan belongs to a Punjabi family.
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about her parents and siblings.
Barkha Madan follows Buddhism, and she is a devoted follower of the Dalai Lama.
In 2000, Barkha visited Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) and met the Dalai Lama. She was influenced by his public teachings, and after 12 years, she got ordained in Kathmandu (Nepal) and changed her name to Ven. Gyalten Samten at the age of 38. Malayala Manorama According to Barkha, she started feeling a strong connection toward Buddhism after she visited Ramtek Ashram in Sikkim with her parents; at that time she was 10 years old. In an interview, Barkha talked about it and said,
I didn’t feel like coming back from there that day. The first connection with the ashram started from there.”
Along with the winners Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai, she made it all the way to the finals of the Miss India competition in 1994. She also became the runner-up at Miss Tourism International (1994) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
She made her Bollywood debut with ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) as Jane.
She also acted in an Indo-Dutch film ‘Driving Miss Palmen’ in 2000.
In 1999, she played the lead role in the movie ‘Tera Mera Pyar,’ starring Dara Singh.
In 2003, her most remarkable work is considered in Ram Gopal Varma’s horror film ‘Bhoot’ in which she played the role of a ghost.
With Golden Gate Creations, her own production and distribution company, she produced and acted in the Hindi film ‘Soch Lo’ in 2010.
In 2014, she played the lead role in the Hindi film ‘Surkhaab,’ which went on to become her last film before she became a monk; she was also one of the producers of the film. During an interview, while talking about the film ‘Surkhaab’ (2014), she said,
Barkha has made appearances in the TV shows like ‘1857 Kranti’ as Lakshmibai and ‘Ghar Ek Sapnaa’ as Devika.
Barkha’s film ‘Surkhaab’ won 9 International awards including the Platinum Remi Award at the 46th Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival for the best feature film (2013), the Festival Award at Madrid International Film Festival for best producer of a feature film (2013), and Golden World Award at World Film Awards (Jakarta) for best editor in 2016.
- The first time Barkha asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, if she could become a nun, Rinpoche laughed and said,
“Why? You fought with your boyfriend? Joining the monastic order isn’t about escapism. You need to embrace Buddhist philosophy and reflect on why you want to walk the path of Divination.”
- In 2012, Barkha asked her mother if she should get ordained, and her mother replied,
“What are you waiting for? go for it!!”
- Barkha owns only two sets of robes, a few woollens, a cell phone, and a laptop. ScoopWhoop
- Barkha likes to spend time with underprivileged kids and doing social work.
- While dancing in Mumbai, Barkha’s leg once twisted. Her instructor, who was a Reiki practitioner, offered to help her, and she was back on her feet within 15-20 mins. Later, she started practising it.
- She enjoys painting and doing yoga.
- In an interview, Barkha was asked if becoming a monk was difficult or easy. difficult or easy to which she jokingly replied,
- She has attended several award shows and led a glamorous life. During an interview, while talking about her desire to become a Buddhist nun, she said,
- Barkha Madan wants to start a nunnery in India for aspiring nuns. The Times of India