Are you seeking peace, tranquility and spiritual guidance? Like most people, do you also want to travel to Dharamsala to find it? Known to a few, Bylakuppe, situated 90 km from Mysore, is home to the largest Tibetan population outside of Dharamsala in India.
Bylakuppe is home for 2 refugee settlements which were set up in 1961 and 1969. Bylakuppe is just a 4 hour drive from Bangalore.
With the proximity to Bangalore, Mysore and even Chennai, Bylakuppe is a destination to those looking at a relaxed getaway. The place houses 2 Tibetan monasteries called Namdroling and Sera. They also have a gorgeous Golden temple, which is home to huge golden Buddha statues.
A walking distance from the state highway will take you to the beautiful camp of the refugee Tibetans. Gradually as you move closer to the camp, you feel like you’re being transported to another country. Tibetan prayer flags in an array of colors will guide you as they dance to the tunes of the wind.
The feeling of being at peace at a hill station, like Dharamsala, is definitely present; except there are no hills! The monasteries are in the horizon and can easily be made out with their unique shapes.
The famous monasteries are: Namdroling, which is located in camp 4 of the settlement and the Sera monasteries located in camp 1. To see the Namdroling monastery, you would need at least a large chunk of your day.
The Tibetan Buddhists believe that the prayer wheel when spun will get rid of your bad karma and enhance your good karma; this is thanks to the mantras, symbols and prayers inscribed on it.
The smaller monasteries like the Sera are less crowded, and you can have a peaceful conversation with monks who will be happy to guide you to lead a better way of life.
Whilst your time here in Bylakuppe, you can also visit the Tibetan Golden Temple.
The monastery complex has temples, a library, as well as rooms that house all the monks who are studying here. For tourists, there is Sakya Guest house, which is located on Camp Road (one of the town’s two tiny commercial areas), and has rooms that overlook the fields. There are places to eat as well in these commercial areas, in case you don’t want the basic meals that are served in the monastery’s attached guesthouse. The basic meals provided will be vegetarian, of course. And the monks themselves make this basic and simple meal.
If your palate would like something else, you can always try the steaming bowls of thukpa or indulge in some delicious momos.
So if you are feeling down, stressed or tensed, let’s Zoom to get a little taste of Tibet in Karnataka.