We left around 4 AM by car from Bengaluru and reached Bylekuppe at around 9 AM. Located to the west of Mysore at a distance of 90 km, is the Buddhist Golden temple at Bylakuppe, the largest seat of Tibetan Buddhism in South India.
Bylakuppe, along with Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, is home to thousands of exiled Tibetans since many decades.
In Bylakuppe is situated the Golden Temple, aka Namdroling Monastery, established in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after his exit from Tibet in 1959. It is the second seat of the Palyul Monastery which is one of the six great Tibet Nyingma Mother monasteries.
The forest land for the temple was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetan exiles. Initially it was an 80 sq. feet bamboo construction and was called by its full name The Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling monastery.
The temple has now grown into a sprawling complex. It is now the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. It houses training facilities for many monks and student-monks and is said to be the largest teaching centre of ‘Nyingmapa’ which is a prime lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
It also houses three captivating golden statues, namely of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Amitayus. Each statue is about 40 feet high.
The walls have been decorated with intricate paintings illustrating stories of Gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The aroma of flowers, incense sticks and candles permeate the entire temple. The captivating and serene landscapes around it make the Golden temple mesmerizing.
The temple resonates with the soft chanting of the hymns by the Buddhist monks and the timed beating of the drum.
Entry into the main hall is restricted during the prayer hours when the monks and the students assemble to chant the hymns in a beautiful chorus. Photography inside the temple is permitted. The complex is a photographer’s delight with lovely paintings and beautiful architecture. Shopping centres near the temple, offer an extensive range of Tibetan items such as statues, carpets, traditional costumes and exquisite jewelleries.
The Bylakuppe Golden temple Monastery is open to public are from 7 AM to 8 PM and is located at a distance of 6 km from Kushalnagar, in Kodagu/ Coorg which is the nearest town.
To reach Bylakuppe, you can either hire a taxi from Mysore, which is only 90 km away or opt for buses. It is about 250 km from Bangalore.
Along with Golden Temple/Monastery, there are many other sightseeing places in and around Bylakuppe, making it an ideal place to visit from Mysore and even a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore.
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