A former Buddhist monk is now a viral sensation after breaking down barriers by becoming Tibet's first ever transgender model, as shown in footage filmed in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Tenzin Mariko, whose birth name is Tenzin Ugen, was assigned 'male' at birth. She grew up with her six brothers in India, her parents having left the Chinese province of Tibet in the 1990s.

Despite discovering a female side to her by the age of nine, Tenzin spent years in monastic training but the garb never felt quite right.

But in 2014, Tenzin would blaze a trail by pairing her robes with a wig and make-up - and going viral in the process.

It was a eureka moment for Tenzin who then committed to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

The decision led to her eventual exile from the monastic community as well as a hail of abuse. But that did not stop her from entering the Miss Tibet pageant in 2015.

Five years on, Tenzin now revels in her new way of life - gaining 20,000 social media followers including many Tibetans, becoming a pro dancer and trying her hand at make-up artistry.

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