Dharamshala in Himachal, is the capital of Tibetan government in exile. It has been the destination for those who come seeking peace, spiritual guidance and tranquillity.
Bylakuppe a lesser known Tibetan town in India, situated 90 kms from Mysore and 230 kms from Bengaluru. It comprises of two Tibetan refugee settlements which were set up in the year 1961 and 1969, which has grown to the parallel lines of Dharamshala.
It is a place which is easily accessible by road. From Bengaluru head on the Bengaluru- Mysore highway and turn right at the Columbia Asia Hospital Signal after Srirangapatna, before Mysore. As you continue on the Hunsur Bypass you would find the archway welcoming you to Bylakuppe onto your left.
The drive from the archway on the bypass towards the settlement camp is beautiful. One can notice the gradual change in the scenery and the feel that you are almost entering Tibet, each and every moment until you get closer to the monastery take you on a mystical tour of a different land.
As you drive towards the monastery, one can notice the change in the style of the houses, the dressing of the people and also the signboards in the Tibetan script in addition to having English and Kannada words. One would feel an inner peace like you have into place which is so peaceful and the tranquillity of a hill station.
Monasteries And Monks
Namdroling is the most famous monastery at Bylakuppe in Karnataka, which houses the golden temple, which is located in Camp 4 of the settlement. The monastery plays host to the numerous tourists who make it a stopover on their way to Coorg or while on their return journey. At the entrance of the monastery, a shopping complex welcomes you with its fragrance, the prayer flags and beads.
From the entrance, as you enter into the monastery you are spellbound by the grandeur of the golden temple. With the aroma in your body, one would begin to turn the prayer wheels at the outer parameter of the temple complex before entering into the temple. There is a belief by the Buddhists that if the wheels are turned in a clockwise direction it considered equivalent to saying a complete prayer in recitation.
The temple house three beautiful gold plated statues of Lord Buddha, Lord Padmasambhava and Lord Amitayus. One can go close towards the tall statues within the temple and meditate and absorb the energy.
The leisure and a long visit to the Namdroling monastery would take almost half a day, in terms of places to see, Bylakuppe has more to offer. In Camp 1 there are two less known monasteries Sera Mey and Sera Jay.
With the Tibetan script and the multi-coloured prayer flags, which are found hanging on the doors of the houses are something interesting to look at apart from monasteries.
At the less crowded monasteries, one can sit on the steps and have a small chit chat with monks in broken Hindi, English and Kannada.
Places To Eat
The restaurants here are largely vegetarian. Most camps have small multi-cuisine cafes.
Places To Stay
To stay overnight, there are the monastery guest houses at pocket-friendly rates.