A Mini Tibetan Town of South India in Karnataka, Bylakuppe!

By Archita Srivastava

Bylakuppe, a scenic little town in Karnataka. The green fields, the small homes, makes it a great getaway in South India. One of the most interesting things about this town is that it’s a Tibetan settlement. Bylakuppe is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India after Dharmsala. It may not have the snow-covered hills of Dharmsala, but it has the same degree of serenity and charm. With beautiful monasteries, flying prayer flags, and the serene smiles of the monks, Bylakuppe is a beautiful getaway near Mysore. 

The Sera Monastery and the Namdroling Monastery, also known as the Golden Temple, are the main attractions of this location. The Namdroling monastery is going to leave you dumb-founded with its elegance and serenity. Buddhists assume that turning the prayer wheels clockwise is literally equal to saying a prayer. 

There are so many wheels yet to spin that a person who does not exercise enough may be left with a sore side. The uneducated bad, the soul-searching tourist, the monk in the maroon robe, and the incidental itinerant, all have an equal share of the Karmic brownie points to be reclaimed later for spinning the wheels. One can spend hours meditating at the Namdroling monastery and even have a soul-stirring experience. 

The Sera Monastery, an unparalleled beauty offering serenity, offers the weary visitors and locals a much-needed respite and calm. Serpom Monastic University is a non-profit college for students who have a deeper interest in Buddhism. This college offers free tuition, meals, and lodging for a number of monks. 

Dubare Elephant Camp is an elephant camp built on the banks of the River Kaveri. Even though elephants are the main attraction, you can also spot various kinds of birds, deer, peacocks, etc. A tour of the camp is available, but this spot is also good for trekking. 

Abbi Falls, situated 44 km from Bylakuppe, is a major tourist attraction. With a fall that’s 21.3 meters high and finally reaches the Kaveri River, this waterfall is the beauty of the scenery. Camping is the bustling part of the city. While not a single yak or shepherd is in sight, it looks obviously Tibetan. Monks in small cafes drink tea, eat momos, and dig into delicious thupka bowls while Buddhist chants and Tibetan pop music float in the background. If what you want is all a calm, peaceful time with the right blend of spirituality, nature, and some picturesque scenery, get on the bus and start your journey to Bylakuppe!

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