Did you know there is a Golden Temple in Karnataka, near Coorg? And no it’s not affiliated in any way to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. In fact, it’s not a Sikh place of worship.
So was I when I first heard of it. The Golden temple is the name bequeathed to the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe near Coorg in Karnataka. It’s a Tibetan place of learning and worship.
On our holiday to Coorg, we set out to explore nearby places and this monastery made the perfect sense to be on our list. Our destination was Kushalnagar which is actually where this monastery is located.
The monastery took us by surprise as this appeared to be far more ostentatious than any monastery I had ever visited before. It’s got a very prominent golden wheel like construction on the main shrine of the building which I think is the reason it’s been given the name of Golden temple. It’s quite an unusual formation and I thought the stepped like structures resembled a Pagoda in form.
The main hall is flanked by a set of huge double doors, red in colour with some intricately worked brass fittings, lending it quite a royal touch.
The inside was no less; a profusion of color greeted my eyes and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the multi-hued wall murals that covered most of the walls. The deities in these murals were either in wrathful war-like stances or in sexual positions – I was dying to ask someone to explain their relevance to me but seeing that it was a religious place, I was apprehensive of causing offense.
The main dais had a set of 5 golden figurines – large to small, representing Buddha in various forms/names. These were just very elegant and fine in composition and pose, not to mention really high.
Incense was wafting from every corner of the hall where rows of monks sat in disciplined silence. We were in luck as we got to watch the ceremony being performed. First, some sort of bugle horns were sounds- these were huge and I imagine required a lot of lung power.
Each of the monks had a set of books wrapped in a colored cloth which they sat down to chant from. The combined tone of chanting of hundreds of monks was soothing to the ear and we were soon lost in the ambiance of the place.
I fell in love with the doors and windows of this monastery- each looked like an artwork on it own.
This settlement in Bylakuppe is considered one of the best places of learning and is visited by scores of visitors every year. There are small guesthouses and hotels nearby to stay in and lots of small joints selling some delicious momos, thupka and fresh noodle dishes- which we savoured with great delight!
Have you ever partaken in a religious chanting ceremony in a Buddhist monastery? What’s your experience been like?
An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
Read about my visit to the Lama Yuru Monastery in Leh here
This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo