Do not miss a visit to the famed Golden Temple Monastery at Bylakuppe if you happen to visit Coorg! Bylakuppe is home to the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. This small town is in fact a part of Mysore district of Karnataka state, but it shares its border with Coorg.
Following the Chinese invasion in the year 1969, thousands of Tibetans fled Tibet and took refugee in India. Bylakuppe was the first refuge camp for Tibetans in exile that was set up in South India. This small town is spic and span and well organized. It is dotted with Tibetan eateries, small houses and shops. Bylakuppe is peaceful and quiet by all means.
The Golden Temple Monastery – Interesting Tidbits
The Namdroling Monastery also known as The Golden Temple
About the monastery
Of the other monasteries present here, The Golden Temple Monastery or The Namdroling Monastery is the most well known one. It is home to more than 5000 monks and nuns. It is dedicated to the teachings of Buddha and the Palyul Lineage belonging to the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling or Namdroling in short is the actual name of the monastery. Initially, it was a small bamboo temple built by the throne-holder Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in 1963, with an area of 80 square feet approximately. Now it houses a religious college as well as a hospital. Dalai Lama in association with the Indian Government organized refugee camps for Tibetans in exile, in India. This is one such settlement.
This monastery is almost an hours drive from Madikeri, the main town of Coorg. You can hire taxis, autorickshaws or catch a bus from Madikeri to reach here.
Inside The Golden Temple at Bylakuppe, Coorg
Inside the monastery
Once inside the main temple, you feel humbled by the presence of three colossal and magnificient statues of Gautama Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitāyus. Each of these gold plated statues is approximately 8 feet tall.
The walls are covered with beautiful hand painted Tibetan Buddhist illustrations.
Bylakuppe 07” by Sahyadri H S – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
This is the place where the monks study, meditate or read religious scriptures.
The monastery has a peaceful, serene atmosphere. You can buy trinkets, feng shui articles and Buddhist souvenirs from a shop located at the main gate of the monastery. You get an interesting glimpse of Tibet, its people and culture when you visit this monastery at Bylakuppe.