Thursday, November 13, 2008

Postcards from Bylakuppe...

There is a riot of colors which I can feel, when the vehicle accelerates on a dust-covered road, its noise annunciating modernity's further invasion of a calm form of society. Which is this new place?

Whenever anyone talks about Tibetans in India, the places that pop up in our minds are Darjeeling and Dharamasala. But there is one such settlement down south where there is a fully grown community in the town of Bylakuppe, near Mysore, 250 km from Bangalore. Apparently, after Tibet was invaded in the year 1959, the State of Karnataka offered land to any Tibetan who wanted to settle in this land. Quite a huge number of people accepted this offer and today this small patch of land is home to a magnanimous temple and a Buddhist monastery.

The entrée

This is named as the Namdroling Monastery, often called the Golden Temple of South India. The title 'Golden Temple' is befitting because the structures are bathed with a layer of glittering gold, and this make the edifices more conspicuous from a far off distance.

The abode

There is a series of structures and each of these looks more or less the same. As I entered the monastery, the air was absorbed with chants and loud voices of Lamas reading something. I feel they were rote learning some slogans from scriptures which seemed to have been written ages back. They were dressed in ochre and red robes.

Monks in the Monastery

The monotone of drum beatings and pipes intermittently filled the environment because it was the prayer time and all the disciples were busy with their respective activities.


Once I entered the main entrance hall of the monastery, I was awe-struck by the grandness and richness of three larger than life gold plated gigantic statues sitting on a platform.

Made to Perfection

Richly painted murals dolled up the walls and even the ceilings. Dragons twirled up the walls. Colors, colors and colors and nothing but colors are what define the interiors of the main temple of the monastery.


Since most my friends were in a hurry to drive back, I had to listen to them even though I wished to spend some more time at this place. All I had with me was half an hour so I was not able to capture some interesting compositions of the monks. I cannot take pics in a hurried situation. For me what works the best is, go to the place, trip around and see things and then, when the elements are in their most natural form, make my own frames and click pics bindaas.

Seems we got a bit derailed here, let's get on track again. One more striking feature is the myriad hues of flags that one can see fluttering in all corners of this structure. Is it the embodiment of hope? A hope for an independent state after having made an epic journey so far.


Or is it that the road ahead seems a bit dark and direction less.

More details about this place are here.

Also don't miss shutterbug, Anita Bora's post soaked with some brilliant pics here.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 7:59 AM, Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

This is a very nice, informative post. I was not aware that such a place existed near Mysore. The pictures, as usual, are brilliant, Tanay.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

my cousin had visited the 'golden temple' some time ago, and they bought home pictures. They were not nearly as brillinat as yours is! Makes me want to visit the place right now. Stunning, they are.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger remainconnected said...

thanks raji and lakshmi. will try for some better frames next time.


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