Take the name of Tibetees in India and you recall Dharamshalla in Himachal Pradesh as the capital of the Tibetan government in exile. A relatively lesser known Tibetan town is Bylakuppe in Karnataka which was estabilished as a Tibetan refugee settlement area by Lugsum Samdupling in 1961 and Dickyi Larsoe in 1969.
Some interesting things to know:
- It is said when the Dalai Lama took refuge in India from Tibet because of the Chinese invasion, he asked the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for assistance in the rehabilitation of thousands of Tibetan refugees. Nehru referred the Dalai Lama to S. Nijalingappa, then chief minister of Karnataka, who allotted around 3000 acres in Bylakuppe and the first ever Tibetan exile settlement, Lugsung Samdupling came into existence in 1961.
- It is the largest Tibetan settlement in India.
- The main tourist attraction here is the magnificent Buddhist Golden Temple. Golden Temple complex houses 40 feet high gilded images of Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche), Buddha Sakyamuni and Amitayus.
- Namdroling Monastery is the largest teaching center of Nyingmapa (a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism) in the world and houses over 5000 monks and nuns.
- The most remarkable thing about these temples is the use of strikingly rich colors.
- It is an altogether different experience to be present in the temple when the prayers are offered with monks chanting.
- How to reach: It is located at a distance of 41 km from Madikeri, 11 km from Kushalnagar & 61 km from Mysore.