OUR VISIT TO NAMDROLING MONASTERY IN BYLAKUPPE

We reached Namdroling Monastery in the afternoon and got awe-struck the moment we saw this opulent monastery. Not many people know about this Tibetan town called Bylakuppe which is located at a distance of 34 kms from Madikeri and around 90 kilometers from Mysore. The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery in Bylakuppe is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. Once I reached there, I felt like I was in Tibet. Right from the entrance of the monastery, everything there was breath taking.

The main prayer hall in the monastery has three statues of lord Buddha who are called the Padmasambhava, the Buddha & the Amitayus. Of the three statues, the idol of Lord Buddha is 60 ft tall while the other two idols of Guru padmasambhava and Buddha Amitayus are 58 feet tall. Buddha Amitayus is considered the Buddha of Long Life. Guru Padmasambhava was the founder of Nyingmapa Buddhism and thus considered by many of the followers to be the Second Buddha. The walls of this beautiful Golden Temple are adorned with colorful paintings depicting the Gods and Demons from Tibetan Buddhist Mythology.

Be it the big bell inside the premises or the golden deers statue on the roof top or the work on the pagoda of the monastery or the serene atmosphere, the peace and tranquility prevailing at that place, everything mesmerized me to the core.This Monastery, located amidst the sandal groves near Kushal Nagar is must visit for everyone.

When we reached there, daily prayer and chanting session was going on. And I must say it was a pure delight to see so many monks assembled at one place in the temple and reciting prayers and chanting with rhythmic drum beats. We were feeling awesome with the good vibrations coming from the low pitch chants and the musical instruments. Chanting of the hymns by the young monks was very pleasant to our ears and made us felt so relaxed. After sitting there and listening hymns for sometime, we came out. That was out and out an absorbing experience for us.

There is also a shopping center inside the monastery which sells Tibetan goods like shawls, decorative pieces, handicrafts, candles, souvenirs etc. We bought lots of incense sticks from there. Apart from shopping center, the monastery has a library, lodging place for the young monks who are studying there. All the monks were wearing crimson and saffron robes and were very friendly and warm.The kid monks were very cute and were chuckling all the time when we interacted with them.

Outside the monastery, there are many restaurants which serves vegetarian Tibetan cuisine such as thukpas which is Tibetan flat noodle soup served in various flavours, dim-sums, shabhalay as well as Chinese food. Overall, my whole experience of discovering a piece of Tibet in Coorg was indeed awesome and memorable one.

Xo, Neha

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