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Majnu-ka-tilla, a small Tibet in Delhi

Just as Aruna Nagar was developing, the 1959 Tibetan uprising took place in March, most residents of Majnu-ka-tilla left Tibet in 1959-60, when the Dalai Lama too went into exile to Dharamshala.

Soon, a small Tibetan refugee camp up across the road, on the Yamuna riverbed. The land was allotted by the Government of India to the refugees in 1960. After the Sino-Indian War in 1962, many of the refugees who had previously settled temporarily near the Indo-Chinese border shifted here.

Today, it is home to second generation of Tibet refugees and is also known as Samyeling, through colloquially as "Little-Tibet" or "Mini-Tibet".

The legal status of Majnu-ka-tilla has previously come into dispute.   In 1995, residents were "given a formal assurance from the Center" that they would be allowed to remain at the site until the international dispute over Tibet was settled.

In June 2006, the colony was served a court-issued notice indicating that it would be demolished in connection with the Delhi government's road expansion and Yamuna River beautification plan.

At least two buildings were demolished in connection with this order. As of 2012, however, a court order had avoided eviction, regularizing the status of the colony. In March 2013, Government of Delhi included New Aruna Nagar (Tibetan refugee camp) in its list of 895 "to-be-regularized colonies".

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