Press Esc to close
Sunday 24 September 2017
News updated at 9:19 PM IST

Miscellany

D B N Murthy, May 21, 2013, DHNS : 20:13 IST
A home away from home

A few Tibetan settlements, for displaced refugees from Tibet, dot the country, Karnataka being one such state.

As you enter the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar, you might be mistaken to believe that you have entered Tibet or any Buddhist country. These settlements, or camps as these are labelled, whose population is about 10,000, are home to Tibetan refugees and their descendents, since in 1961.

Possibly, most of them have never seen their homeland as the second and third generation Tibetans were born in exile. Brown robed monks with shaven heads can be seen everywhere.

There are a few families who have settled down in these camps. Most of the monks and nuns render service to their monasteries, learn and spend time in mediation and prayer. They stay in housing complexes near the monasteries.

The Golden Temple is the cynosure of all eyes. The tall brass Buddha statue is ‘Padmasambhava’ on the altar.

Next to it is another idol of Amitayus and two idols of Buddhist gurus. The altar is tastefully decorated with flowers, candles and incense.

Walls have exquisite paintings of gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. There is peace and quiet inside. A beautiful landscape garden is outside the monastery. People come and pray, though no one is allowed to worship the idols by oneself.

Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement is known as ‘Lugsum Samdupling’. A number of monasteries dot the landscape. Sera Je Monastery is a large educational institution where Tibetan Buddhist culture is taught. Sakya Monastery, established in 1972, has 250 resident monks studying sutra and tantra, part of Tibetan Buddhist culture. Tashilunpo Monastery is a smaller one built in the Gelukpa tradition.

A few Tibetan families are engaged in agriculture, raising maize crops. A fishing pond facilitates fishing. A civil court set up in the tradition of Tibetan judiciary settles disputes without recourse to any outside courts.

The settlement has enough resources from various agencies including overseas donors and supporters. A good relationship exists between the Tibetans and the villagers of Bylakuppe and Koppa. Tibetans in the camps travel to Kushalnagar and Madikeri on business.

A stream of tourists visits the settlements to admire the monasteries and at the same time get a glimpse into the life of the Tibetans who have found a ‘home away from home’.

Factfile

How to go: From Madikeri or Kushalnagar by road. Bylakuppe is 250 km from Bangalore and 50 km from MysoreWhen to go: Any time of the year.

Where to stay: Hotels and lodges in Mysore, Kushalnagar, and Madikeri.

Local transport: Auto-rickshaws cost about Rs 200, negotiable, for the trip from the Bylakuppe bus stop to the Golden Temple and back through the settlement.

A group of four visitors might find it convenient to engage a taxi for the trip from Madikeri, Kushalnagar or Mysore.

Shopping: Tibetan jewellery, handicrafts, incense, and souvenirs.

Festivals: Tibetan New Year: February / March, Buddha Jayanti: June, Dalai Lama’s birthday: July 6, Tibetan Losar: September to May.

Note: Watch for the masked dancers who twirl in their colourful costumes to the sounds of gongs and massive ceremonial trumpets during festivals.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
An artist decorate the idol Goddess Durga with a saree made of pure gold at a...

An artist decorate the idol Goddess Durga with a saree made of pure gold at a...

Artist perform ballet Swan Lake is the most beloved, classic and quintessential ballet...

Artist perform ballet Swan Lake is the most beloved, classic and quintessential ballet...

Children dressed as Lord Hanuman take part in a procession during Langur Mela at the...

Children dressed as Lord Hanuman take part in a procession during Langur Mela at the...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor walks the ramp as showstopper at the...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor walks the ramp as showstopper at the...

Bollywood actress Richa Chadda and Kalki Koechlin during the shooting of a song for their...

Bollywood actress Richa Chadda and Kalki Koechlin during the shooting of a song for their...

Women dance on the occasion of Lalita Panchami during Navratri celebrations at a pandal, in...

Women dance on the occasion of Lalita Panchami during Navratri celebrations at a pandal, in...

A pandal, themed on the Jagannath Temple of Odisha, in Ranchi on Sunday ahead of the...

A pandal, themed on the Jagannath Temple of Odisha, in Ranchi on Sunday ahead of the...

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman and the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat...

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman and the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat...

Tollywood actor Mahesh Babu with actress Rakul Preet Singh and director A.R. Murugadoss during a...

Tollywood actor Mahesh Babu with actress Rakul Preet Singh and director A.R. Murugadoss during a...

Armed forces during a multi agency exercise 'Pralay Sahayam' conducted at...

Armed forces during a multi agency exercise 'Pralay Sahayam' conducted at...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.