Golden Temple at Bylakuppe – a beautiful Tibetan Settlement in Mysore
It was my first visit to the Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe. I was so surprised to see so many monks together at a particular place. So far I was thinking the one and the only duty of a Buddhist monk is to indulge in prayer but I changed my mind after my visit to the Monastery. They are just like any other human beings even though they are fully covered with yellow and red robe. I saw them using Laptops, chatting with their friends, playing football and basket ball with their fellow monks, having Idly, Chutney, Bajji, etc. from a woman who brought it to sell there.
Namdroling Monastery is popularly known as Golden Temple to the tourists. Golden Temple is located in a small village called Bylakuppe on the Mysore-Madikeri (Marcera) highway. Bylakuppe is just 6 Kms away from the twin town Kushalnagara and you have to travel about 7 Kms to reach the Golden Temple from the Mysore-Madikeri highway. Once you reach there, you can see many beautiful buildings and temple inside the Namdroling Monastery. The monastery was established by throne-holder Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in 1963, following his 1959 exit from Tibet. The monastery’s full name is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling, called “Namdroling” for short.
Bylakuppe attracts lot of tourists including local as well as foreign every year and the main attraction is the Golden Temple or the Padmasambhava Buddhist Vihara. It is inaugurated on September 24, 1999. Once you step inside, everything changes around you. You can see three beautiful Buddha statues looking down from the altar. The statues include Lord Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) and Buddha Amitayus. The statue of Lord Buddha is placed in the middle, which has a height of 60 ft and the other two statues are having a height of 58 ft each. These statues are made up of copper and plated with gold.
The interior walls of the Golden Temple is adorned with wall paintings. The arrangements of paintings are done in three levels on either side of the statues. The murals on the first level mainly shows the various deities of the Lama, Yidam and Dakini (Three roots), the paintings on the second level shows the eleven-throne holders of the Palyul tradition and the scholars and masters of the Nyingma tradition, and the paintings on the third level show the life story of Lord Buddha and the twelve great teachers of Dzogchen. The statue of Buddha is decorated with flowers, candles, and incense.
Golden Temple requires complete quietness and peacefulness but it is spoiled by the badly behaved domestic tourists and their disrespectful children. The monastery building complex is very well maintained with beautifully manicured gardens. They even scream inside the temple.
Their style of prayer is worth watching and the feelings are beyond words could explain. They offer biscuits and fizzy drinks like Fanta as the Prasad to the monks.
The monks are very co-operative and they are ready to answer any of your questions related to Buddism, Monastery, etc.. They are ready to give us a company until we finish our tour of the Monastery. Not only youth, young kids are also there wrapped in red and yellow costume.
Photo of Dalai Lama placed on the altar of the Golden temple.
There is a very big shopping complex outside the Monastery complex where they sell Tibetan jewellery, handicrafts, incense and souvenirs, dresses, etc..
The very entrance from Mysore-Madikeri highway to Bylakuppe road change everything as if you are in one of the Eastern states. This Tibetan settlement is a home to thousands of Tibetans who are living in exile in India.
For me, It is a must visit place if you come to Mysore. Don’t miss to experience this wonderful Tibetan temple settled in South India.