Namdroling Monastery also locally known as the “Golden temple”, situated over a small hill settlement called “Bylakuppe” is one of the largest teaching center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world near KushalNagar, Madikeri in Karnataka.
How to reach the Golden temple Monastery, Bylakuppe?
Golden temple as popularly called as, is situated just 6 Kms from the town of Kushalnagar and 35 Kms from the Madikeri.
Timings: 07:00-20:00 (All days)
No entry fee
From Kushalnagar, follow the Mysore-madikeri road for next 2-3 Kms until you cross the river Kaveri. After crossing the bridge, drive for next 200 meters until you see a board to the right for the Monastery.
Bylakuppe complex Entrance gate
Golden Temple, Bylakuppe, Kushal nagar:
Golden temple is the most famous attraction of the Bylakuppe settlement. Golden temple gets its name “Golden” because of the golden paintings above the monastery. The monastery or the Golden temple from a distance looks like a replica of a typical Tibetan monastery.
Inside the Golden Temple:
Golden temple does not look so vast from outside but once you enter inside the temple, it looks very grand in nature. The ceilings are situated very high because of the three statues of lord Buddha, 40 feet in height called Padmasambhava, Buddha & Amitayus.
40 feet high statue of lord Buddha inside the Golden temple
It is mandatory to maintain silence inside the temple. The normal tradition includes burning a incense stick inside the temple; sitting on the carpet and feeling spirituality. The floor are made up of the marble and mostly covered with the carpet. While the side walls are full of Tibetan paintings showing Gods and Demons.
Inside the Golden temple
Apart from the Normal paintings, there are also wall paintings. Different paintings carry different messages within them. As for example: some painting might be dedicated to the lifestyle of Buddha; some depict the fight between God & demons; some depict the cultural details & traditions intricately through paintings.
Painting depicting a Demon (in dark) & a God (Bright)
Besides art & paintings, one can also see the sacred things for traditional worshiping methodology like sacred texts, horns, trumpets, incense sticks, bells, prayer beads, Prayer wheels, prayer flags, drums etc. Please also make sure that you respect their religious authenticity and do not violet any religious tradition.
A religious bell outside the monastery
There are also monasteries to see around like Sakya Monastery, Sare ja Monastery etc. Most of these monasteries carry the same decorations of wall paintings and worshiping things like sacred texts, horns, a statue of lord Buddha etc.
One of the monasteries
Apart from the worshiping materials, it’s also worth taking a look at the doors and the architecture of the Monasteries. Apart from this, you can also perceive a sense of responsibility, dedication & discipline in every disciple over there. Doors are decorated with silk clothing and articulated paintings which are worth taking a look.
A decorated door covered with silk
It is also worth taking the visit of the whole campus and see how the monks and disciples live their together. How their religion an spirituality purify the air with floating prayer flags across the valley sending their messages on the winds; the ring of the bell enchanting the vibes of the surroundings; rotation of the prayer wheels carrying the hymns.
Prayer flags carrying the prayer across the valley
It is also worth lighting a prayer lamp for the peace outside the monastery and see the common life of the monks there.
Peace-prayer lamps at the Monastery
History of Bylakuppue:
The settlement of Bylakuppe first had the shape of a Bamboo cottage in 1960s over the small hills away from the civilization and town of Kushalnagar. This settlement came into existence in India after one of the throne holders of the Nyingma, oldest of the four Tibetan Buddhism school, was annexed by China and he was forced to leave Tibet with his disciples. In 1972, the Buddhist refugees were re-established here by the government here and in 1978, their first teaching school was established. The Teaching school in Tibetan is called “Shedra”.
Students (monks) Playing Football Behind their hostels
Since 1990s the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe has seen many developments like new monasteries, boarding & lodging places, universities for higher Buddhist practices & studies etc.
Bylakuppe university complex
This Buddhist Tibetan settlement community now houses more than 20000 Tibetan persons including over 4500 monks & 800 nuns. This settlement is self-sufficient in itself and has all the basic facilities of a municipal township like bank, post-office, telephone exchange, police station and transportation facilities. Apart from these facilities, Tibetan colonies are into agricultural practices now a days and are almost self-sufficient.
Other places to see: Dubare Elephant camp