Bylakuppe is a small village near Kushalnagar (about 50 km from Madikeri) in the state of Karnataka. This village is known because of its Tibetan settlement. Approximately 70,000 Tibetans live in this area. The area was provided by Karnataka State Government to establish the settlement when the Tibetans relocated in the 1960s. There are several Buddhist Monasteries and Buddhist study centres in this area. The Namdroling Monastery is the largest of all the monasteries and the Buddhist study centre. This monastery is also called as “Golden Temple”.
Zangdog Palri Temple, Namdroling Monastery
The premises of Namdroling Monastery where guests/visitors are allowed is very well maintained. A request to all the visitors of this place: Please remember that this is not a tourist place, but a place of worship. Please remain quiet and respect the place of worship.
Entrance to the monastery
As you enter inside the premises of the monastery, you will see a lot of shops that sell locally made handicrafts. You can find wide variety of handicrafts in these shops and most of them are in the Tibetan style. If you walk further across, you will be welcomed by a huge multi-floored building.
The premises of the monastery has many temples within it. Some of them are very huge, while some of them are very small. The smaller temples are used as Buddhist study centres and you can see several students learning Buddhism here.
The main temple is also called the Golden Temple, due to the golden colors of the statues within it. The massive statues are present in a large hall, where devotees come, sit and pray in silence. To imagine how massive the statues are, please take a look at the photo below. Can you spot a man with orange shirt? 🙂
The inside of the temple is filled with some amazing art work. The walls of the temple have some beautiful paintings, and the pillars are filled with colorful art work. You will be awestruck to watch the beauty of the work within the temple.
Inside the temple
Painting inside the temple
After you have visited the temple, you can stroll around the premises to take a glimpse of the well-maintained monastery. There are various buildings all across the premises. If you are interested, you can also talk to many Tibetan monks and get to know their culture and lifestyle.
Another temple inside the monastery
Do you know how to lift yourself off the floor? When interacting with one of the student monks here, I came to know that if you train yourself and concentrate hard, your body can becomes so light, that you actually start floating in the air, few inches off the ground! (Don’t ask for a demo from them, as this requires few days of concentration to attain that level)
How to plan a visit?
Bylakuppe is located at a distance of 225 km from Bangalore/Bengaluru. From Bangalore, you can use the public transportation (KSRTC) to reach Kushalnagar (the nearest town to Bylakuppe). It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Kushalnagar, depending on the type of bus you choose to travel. Alternatively, if you have a bike/car, you can ride/drive the distance as well.
Where to stay?
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