Namdroling Monastery – Golden Temple
Located amidst the sandal groves in Mysore district at a distance of 40kms from Madikeri, Namdroling monastery is a second largest Tibetan settlement in world outside Tibet after Dharmashala. Namdroling monastery, was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet. With only 300 rupees in his hand and with just a handful of monks, he laid the foundation stone of the three-storied main temple that then covered an area of 80 square feet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated the spot and bequeathed the name “Namdroling Monastery.”
Life at Bylakuppe is centred around the Golden Temple. The place attracts thousands of tourists every day who are captivated by the temple with its Buddha statues. Now, the Golden Temple spreads glory as well as divinity all around. A visitor at the temple is initially greeted by the sight of a courtyard of a three-storey ‘L’-shaped building which houses the Buddhist monks. The path to the temple is lined with various shrines. The Golden Temple lies beyond the prayer hall on the left. It is also called ‘Padma Sambhava Buddhist Vihara’.
Tibet is geographically a part of China, but the western countries considered it to be a separate entity. The communist government in China had never appreciated this policy. Meanwhile, the Tibetan people declared the Dalai Lama as their ruler. An enraged China decided to annex Tibet. Buddha had taught his followers to tackle enemies with love and prayers. The Dalai Lama’s followers, ardent Buddhists, could never have resisted a Chinese attack; they scattered. A defenseless Dalai Lama, facing imminent arrest, sought refuge in India. He requested the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to allow him to stay at a place. Soon, Bylakuppe, 33 km from Madikeri in Kodagu, was selected for the purpose. After sometime, the Lama left Bylakuppe, but several other monks who had accompanied him from Tibet continued there. Padma Norbu Rinpoche, the 11th in the line of Tibetan monks, reached Bylakuppe in 1961. He had just Rs 300 and around ten monks with him. The first structure that came up on the barren hills was a tent. It measured barely 80 sq. ft. in area and the prayers started from there. However, by 1969, the Golden Temple came up.
The Rinpoche, a teacher of Nyingma philosophy, left the world – attained ‘parinirvana’ – in 2009. However, by that time, the town of Bylakuppe had turned into a thriving Tibetan ‘nation’ of 10,000 citizens. There are now four monasteries – Sera, Tashi Lhunpo, Sakya and Namdroling – at the place. Facilities like school, telephone exchange, post office, banks and hotels also have come up.
- Bylakuppe village
- 40kms east of Madikeri in Mysore district