Head To Mini Tibet, Only Five Hours From Bangalore
Located just five hours out of Bangalore, Bylakuppe is the biggest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet. Monasteries, monks in maroon robes and prayer flags, there’s almost everything here you’ll find in Tibet.
Things To Do In Bylakuppe:
Visit the Namdroling Monastery
Also known as the golden temple or as the Tibetans call it – Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling, is specially famous for its three copper and gold plated statues of Buddha (one 60 Ft. high and the other two 58 Ft. high). You can find prayer beads, prayer wheels and many monks as the temple also doubles up as a lodging facility with over 200 rooms for the monks who are studying here. Bylakuppe also has many Buddhist universities for advanced Buddhist practices.
Shop At Tibetan Shopping Centre
The Tibetan Shopping centre is located right outside the temple, making it a commercial spot for tourists to shop and take back souvenirs. The shops lined one after the other, sell everything from prayer flags, clothes and knick-knacks.
You can stay in Bylakuppe at pocket-friendly prices. There are no good star hotels in the vicinity, so your best bet would be the monastery guesthouses like the Sera Jey Monastery or Sakya Monastery Guest House that are clean and well equipped with bedding, bathrooms and furniture. The monks live a simple life that requires them to wake up early; hence their day ends early too. You won’t see much activity post 6 pm here and it is very peaceful.
What To Eat?
There’s no surprise that the food is basic with a variety of Thukpas, Momos and stir-fry rice and noodles. You can find some places that offer non-vegetarian fare, but there are a handful that are completely vegetarian. Potala Kitchen, Olive Garden and Green Land are good bets. Heads up, all the places make only vegetarian food on Wednesdays. As the monks are early risers, they are also early sleepers. Their mealtime is around 6 pm and it’s very hard to find any eateries or rather any shops open at that time. Tibetans are known to make some good beer, but unfortunately, alcohol is restricted here.
Bylakuppe is 40 km or an hour’s drive from Coorg
Bylakuppe is 245 km or a five-hour drive from Bangalore
Bylakuppe is 88 km or a two-hour drive from Mysore.