Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tibet in Karnataka

Tibet in Karnataka-- 2500kms away? Yes, that is how you feel when you visit the Tibetan Monastery in Coorg! Ghumakkad was there sometime back. Picture story for you.

Credit goes to both—the Tibetan settlers as well as the erstwhile rulers of Mysore State—for the ‘Golden Temple’ Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, Coorg. Once inside the Tibetan village, you can’t differentiate whether you are in Tibet or Karnataka—2500 kms apart. See the map below.

The name ‘Golden Temple’ comes from the golden dome visible from far as you traverse the hilly approach road. The Monastery is a must on Coorg travel circuit-- for its beauty, architecture, remote location and self-discipline! See the picture and the signboard ‘Please keep silence’.

The nunnery is located one km away from the monastery. But the art work and architecture are the same.

The monastery gets thousands of visitors every day and more on the weekends. There is no entrance fee. Parking, a shopping area and paid rest rooms are 200 meters away. See the collage of pictures.

The multi-tier pagoda is truly majestic. See both pictures below.

‘Padmasambhava Buddhist Vihara’- the main prayer hall is open to visitors. It has intricate art work—in the interiors as well as exteriors.

The gong inside the monastery is also painted artistically.

The monks act as guides for tourists—see Neeta Bhatnagar asking questions to one of the monk-guides.

The paintings on the wall depict the life story of Gautam Buddha गौतम बुद्ध .
The next painting of a devil—what with skull cap and skull necklace—reminded us of the ‘Tandav’ तांडव dance by Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology.

Whereas this one portrays a more somber and composed mood.

Next two pictures show dance-and-romance sequence. Those who have been to The Sun Temple in Khajuraho, do you see a thematic similarity?

The next picture captures the signature line at the bottom of a wall painting. Wonder if it is the name of the painter or some other meaning? Any reader willing to educate us is welcome.

Art work on exterior walls/beams is equally impressive. Next three pictures show the exterior art work.

‘Beauties in Sixties’—both Neetas and Jaya seem thrilled with the exterior art work.

Even the structural beams are painted so elaborately.

The adjoining prayer hall has seven statues of Lord Buddha. The floor is so clean and shining that you can see the reflection of the statues!

The monastery is a blend of modernity and ancient traditions. See the dish antennae on roof top!

The monks maintain a perfect figure. See this tall and lanky monk walking in the monastery.

Before the visitors exit the monastery, in the outer compound there is a scale model of the township as it was conceived. See the detail.

As we bade good bye to the Golden Temple monastery, it left an imprint on our minds.

If you wish to visit Bylakuppe monastery, just drive down south from Bangalore via Mysore. It is a 5-hour drive considering the number of speed breakers between Bangalore and Mysore! Once in Bylakuppe, the monastery will not disappoint you.

Ghumakkad's earlier stories on Coorg can be browsed at:

Thanks for browsing! Your feedback/experiences are welcome, as always.

                Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 14th June 2015