The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery (Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling) is a prominent learning center of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma lineage) worldwide. It is located at Bylakuppe, a place in the Mysore district of Karnataka.
Locals call it the Golden Temple. The forty-foot tall golden Buddha statue is the main attraction of this sacred place, and flowers, candles, and incense sticks beautify the altar. You will gain an otherworldly experience.
Its sangha community comprises over five thousand lamas, including 6000 monks and nuns. The Monastery houses Yeshe Wodsal Sherab Raldri Ling (Junior high school), a religious college(shedra), and a hospital. Around 16000 refugees reside in the second largest Tibetan settlement at Bail Koppa or Bylakuppe.
The hospital takes care of the poor, and school imparts education. This spiritual center is one of the largest teaching centers in Mysore. Tiny Tibetan colony provides an escape from the maddening crowds at metropolis and cities.
Devotees and tourists come in drove for meditative and sacred purposes. Officials administer an annual one-month Namdroling monastery retreat session. This is the ideal time to visit the monastery. Your Coorg packages must include this Tibetan monastery to make the most of your Karnataka trip.
The monastery witnesses the celebration of the Tibetan New Year in February/March. Buddha attained enlightenment on 15 June, so June is a sacred month for the monks' practice as Saga Dawa Dhuechen per Tibetan calendar. Dhuechen is the 10th and 15th days of the month, and Saga Dawa is the fourth Tibetan lunar month.
Lama dance or Losar Cham is the main highlight at this time. Monks sit in rows and move around the place. Monks store food in plastic crates and sell it to the public.
Monks walk and bring a drink or snack to sustain sitting there. Eatables include watermelon slices, chips, water, and cold beverages. Act of restraint and act of consumption is the quintessence of this festival.
Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche, the 11th throne holder of the Palyul lineage, founded the monastery on July 31, 1963, after his exit from Tibet in 1959. It is regarded as the second seat of the Palyul Monastery.
Indian government granted asylum to Tibetan refugees at Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar after Chinese aggression on Tibet. The temple was renovated in 1972, and Buddhists come here for divine learning and enlightenment.
Bamboo was used to construct the initial structure in the jungle for Tibetan exiles where elephants used to go on a rampage.
His Holiness faced financial hardships to fund the construction. Tibetan people from the fourth camp contributed to His Holiness on their own accord. Rinpoche engaged in menial tasks and pujas at any time in the villages in the searing heat.
Apart from spirituality, the architecture of the monastery is worth appreciating. Verdant greenery flanks the entrance of the monastery. A giant portrait of Pema Norbu Rinpoche greets you as soon as you get inside.
The main shrine is home to gold plated structures of Amityas, Padmanasambhava, and Sukhayami. Buddha and Buddha Amityas statues are 60 and 58 feet tall, respectively, in the prayer zone. Blue and golden tinge exhibit the art of Tibetan craftsmen.
You will witness ornate bells and desks past the main structure, and Tibetan paintings enhance the spiritual vibes and grace of this monastery with characters from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. Beautiful murals, ornate outer walls, and elegant temple towers are other highlights.
Arlikumari, Bylakuppe, Karnataka 571104
Best time to visit
The weather remains salubrious between June to March with moderate temperatures up to 20/22 °C, so these are the best months to visit Namdroling Monastery. Tibetan New Year and the birthday of the Dalai Lama are other occasions to visit. Monsoon and winters experience extreme weather.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
Appreciate the architecture
The exquisite architecture of Namdroling Monastery dates back to 1963. Namdroling Monastery statues exhibit a blue-gold tinge. Tibetan style of paintings decorates the walls of the monastery.
Be part of prayers
Take part in the prayer session at 01:00 pm every day if you are a staunch follower of Tibetan Buddhism.
Try Tibetan Food
The monastery's ground floor is dotted with several food stalls that serve Tibetan style eggs, fried noodles, and tea. If you are observing fast, you can have coconut or grapes at the entrance. Shanti hotel at Paljor Dhargey Ling Guest House offers Indian meals.
You can buy traditional Tibetan items as keepsakes from shopping centers around the monastery.