Bylakuppe is just before kushal nagar, 2 hours drive from Mysore. This place is known for Tibetan settlement and its Buddhist monasteries. Buddhism is mapped to monks in yellow, dark red in the backdrop of a hilly place. This could be due to Tibet or pictures of Himalayas. Bylakuppe did not fail that imagined picture. It is located just before kodagu district and has the same pleasant climate. Monsoon adds more effect and takes us to a different geography.
It was a drizzling day and we visited the Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery) in the morning. This being the prominent tourist place, there were signs all round and gives guidance to walk through the monastery. There was prayer ongoing inside the monastery. Monks of different ages with scripts and small music instrument, chanting and playing music. It sounded different for the tuned ears.
Temple has Buddha in the middle, Padmasambhava and Amitayus on both sides. Padmasambhava is said to be one the earliest gurus of Buddhism in Tibet. Amitayus is the version of Buddha of long life. Paintings in the walls had stories depicted about Buddha’s life, early gurus and mythical characters. Color of paintings were vibrant. There were children monks running around and in the prayer hall. There seemed to be an order and a silence. Wondered, how buddha’s philosophy of not following a deity or ask of experience for oneself has translated to a religion, an order, incarnation and deity worship.
With in the compound, there is Tara devi temple and replica of Tibet Palyul Monastery. There are shops outside that has souvenirs and selective books about Buddhism. After couple of hours inside the golden temple, we tried visiting few other monasteries with in the settlement. Visited Sakya monastery and glimpse of other monasteries, university in there.
Food place a major role in any trip and if its a different cuisine, then it becomes even more interesting. Bylakuppe has authentic Tibetan restaurants and the one we visited (The Tibetan Kitchen) served good food. Their menu has authentic Tibetan section and their Veg Thupka was most delicious.
Rain, clouds, red, yellow and thupka stays in the memory….