Located at a distance of 90 km from Mysore towards it west, the Buddhist Golden temple at Bylakuppe is a place worth visiting. Bylakuppe, along with Dharamsala, is the residing place for thousands of Tibetans, who have been living in exile since many decades. This is the centre of Tibetan Buddhism in South India.
The Golden Temple also called Namdroling Monastery stands beautifully amidst the scenic landscapes, emanating peacefulness and calmness. The monastery is popularly known as Golden temple owing to the golden paintings crafted on the monastery. This monastery or golden temple was established in the year of 1963, by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after his exit from Tibet in 1959 as the second seat of the Palyul Monastery which is one of the six great Tibet Nyingma Mother monasteries.
The full name of the Namdroling Monastery is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling. Initially spread over an area of 80 sq. feet, this temple was constructed of the bamboo from the forest which was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetan exiles.
Golden Temple emanates peacefulness amid the noisy streets and crowd of tourists. The temple houses three captivating golden statues, namely of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Amitayus. Each statue is about the height of 40 feet. Every part of the temple depicts beautiful designs. It is said to be the largest teaching centre Nyingmapa which is a prime a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Its walls have been decorated with intricate paintings. These colourful paintings illustrate stories of God and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The altar of the temple is filled with flowers, candles and incense sticks. You can even spot small birds flying freely around the temple complex. What makes Golden temple even more mesmerising is the captivating landscapes around it.
Once you are inside the temple, try to keep silence as it is one of the requisites to remain in holy complex. Usually devotees seek blessings by lighting the incense sticks after which they sit on carpet to imbibe the piousness and spirituality radiating at this place.
If interested then you can capture the incomparable beauty of this temple also as photography is allowed even inside the temple. For shopping lovers also there is something to interest them. There are shopping centres near the temple, offering an extensive range of Tibetan items such as statues, carpets, traditional costumes and exquisite jewelleries, etc.
Best time to visit Bylakuppe Buddhist Golden Temple and Timings
The best time to visit the temple is during the festive season. Various masked dances in their colourful attires can be seen performing their traditional dances at the main courtyard during festival. During this time, the main courtyard turns into an open stage for masked dancers and performers to present lively performances amid enthralling traditional music. The Tibetan New year (Losar) which usually occurs in the month of February or March is a best time to plan your visit.
Reaching Golden temple Monastery, Bylakuppe
Bylakuppe Golden temple Monastery timings are from 7 AM to 8 PM.
The golden temple is located at a distance of 6 km from Kushalnagar; Kushalnagar in Kodagu, is the nearest town to this place. It is about 35 k from Madikeri.
If you are travelling from Kushalnagar, then you are required to follow the Mysore-Madikeri road till you cross Kaveri River Bridge. After the bridge you are required to drive for about 200 meters, after which you will spot a board to the monastery.
To reach Bylakuppe, you can either hire a taxi from Mysore, which is only 90 km away or opt for buses. It is about 250 km from Bangalore.
Sightseeing in Bylakuppe
Along with Golden Temple/Monastery, there are many other sightseeing places in Bylakuppe, making it an ideal place to visit from Mysore and even a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore.
Modelled after the Sera University of Tibet, Sera Je Monastery plays a key role in keeping the culture of Buddhist alive with more than 5000 students studying here.
Around it, you will find various stores selling traditional Tibetan jewellery and other artefacts. Another place drawing visitors notice is the Sakya Monastery, which is a double-storey structure, with maroon color painted over it.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe is one of the prominent monasteries in the country. Being the original seat of Panchen Lama, it is considered as one among the four great monasteries of Central Tibet. It has more than 250 resident lamas who learn sutra and tantra here.
Second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet, Bylakuppe houses many monks and students. First being Dharamsala in India. Now turned into a Bylakuppe consists of two Tibetan refugee settlements, namely Lugsum Samdupling” which was established in 1961 and “Dickyi Larsoe” which was set up in 1969.