En-route to the beautiful valley of Coorg, in Karnataka, we halted at a small hill settlement called Bylakuppe. Peeking at the horizon, we saw the silhouette of a typical Tibetan monastery–Namdroling Monastery. The monastery established by Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in 1963 is popularly known as the Golden temple–the name being derived from the golden paintings adorned above the monastery.
As we entered the monastery, we realised how vast it was from within. The grandeur of the temple was enhanced by the massive statues of the Buddha.
The central statue of the Buddha is 60 feet in height, while the statues of Padmasambhava and Amitayus are of 58 feet each. They are sculpted out of copper, and plated with gold. The statues contain scriptures, relics, small claystupas and small statues – symbolising the amalgamation of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind.
As we sat in meditation internalizing the spirituality of the grand hall, it transported us to a mystic place, cleansing our thoughts and filling us with loving kindness.
The marble floor was mostly covered with colourful carpets, while the side walls were decorated with Tibetan paintings–mainly of Gods and demons–and wall paintings– showcasing life of Buddha, and various Tibetan traditions.
Established by Lugsum Samdupling (in 1961) and Dickyi Larsoe (in 1969), the settlement is considered to be the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. More than 7,000 monks and students are said to reside at the Tibetan monastery itself. Besides the Namdroling Monastery, there is a large educational institution Sera Monastery–which is known to be one of the largest teaching centres of Tibetan Buddhism in the world–and a smaller Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, within the settlement. Bylakuppe is also home to many Buddhist universities for advanced Buddhist practices.
Area:10 km2 Population:70,000 (including Tibetans) (2011) Location:In Mysore district, Karnataka, India Climate:Tropical wet and dry Best time to visit: Throughout the year Significance: Considered to be the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet Languages spoken: English, Kannada
How to Reach:
Airways: The nearest airport is Bengaluru airport, which is around 222 kilometres away from Bylakuppe. This airport is well-connected with major metro cities in India and international destinations.
Railways: The nearest railway station is Mysore, which is 82 kilometres away from the hill settlement. It is well-connected with major Indian cities. From the Mysore railway station, you can reach the town by hiring local taxi.
Roadways: Golden temple is situated just 6 kilometers from the town of Kushalnagar and 35 kilometers from the Madikeri. From Kushalnagar, one may follow the Mysore-Madikeri road, until one crosses the river Kaveri. After crossing the bridge, you may see a board of the Monastery after driving for another 200 meters.
About the author:
A spiritual seeker, a mother and a writer, Japreet Kaur loves to travel to different places of mystic interests.