I was quite excited to go to the tibetan settlement at Bylakuppe in Coorg since I found out about it sometime back. I visited it about 10 days back. The Golden Temple is a tourist attraction and a very extravagant tibetan temple!
My adventure however started as an uncle dropped me at the gates of the settlement! He said its just 3/4 kms from here. So I figured let me walk it up that way I can see the place as well! Walking is after all my favorite mode of transport!
So off I go on my short 4 km walk 😉
From the start it reminds me of Sikkim (the only other tibetan influence place I have seen!) with so many multi-colored tibetan buddhist flags flying around everywhere! There are small temple shrines in many homes!
As a lot of tibetan folks and their monks keep passing by to and fro I had a good time looking at everything! I saw schools, art classes, posters about free Tibet, environmental instructions for people staying there, hospitals and shops! I even spotted a wind mill!
After a while I don’t know whether I had a smile on my face because especially the old people whoever saw me would break into a smile. Initially I was confused but then went with the flow and started smiling back at them! Heheh.. good fun!
So much so that I was walking and walking over 8 kms.. wondering when the previously mentioned ‘4 kms’ will be up! It seems the settlement is segmented into 1, 2, 3… so I walked through all of these…. Finally I came to the last stretch of land, as the golden temple is in the 4th settlement. Here there is a sweet looking elderly and disabled peoples home.
An old man just sitting under the tree calls out to me and just waves ‘Hello’ ! So much fun! 😀
I kept wondering whether buddhists allowed female monks because I saw only male ones and only monasteries for men.. but then I came across Nyingma Nunnery, so figured they do have nunneries for female monks but I think they are a lot fewer!
Finally after walking an hour and half, I think at least 12 kms I reached the place! Just opposite the Golden Temple of Namdroling Monastery there is a very good restaurant called Malaya. Its pure veg, makes delicious north Indian food! It is part of a guest house called Paljor Dhargey Ling. More info available at palyul.org – seemed like a good one and that too right opposite golden temple!
The Golden Temple itself is pretty ornate and extravagant. Also would be a good place to sit in silence and meditate if not for the influx of tourists. There is no one to manage the visitors hence the temple can be very noisy. We can also stroll around in the green lawns around the temple. Over all a pleasant place. I would like to stay there for a few days and experience the place properly!
Great fun! 🙂