For as long as I can remember, I have been profoundly enthralled by the beliefs and teachings of Buddhism, and after all the ‘wanting to’ ,’have to’s’, ‘I wish I could go to’s’, to a Buddhist monastery, We finally made it to a famous one of such kind on our visit to India this 15. April. ’13, the Golden Temple in Coorg, Karnataka. Also called, Namdroling temple or even otherwise popularly known to be the Tibet Camp, situated 13 km from Kushalnagar, is the second of the worlds largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet.
After a 6 hour drive from Bangalore to Coorg, expecting more heat , Porcupine Castle was just the kind of ambiance we dint imagine. A resort that beautiful stands up the hills, colder, breezier. Having booked a room up the valley, we settled for a tree house (just for the fun of it),and along with the tree house came a sleepless night (loose window panels banging at night, I hallucinated the reason to be snakes ) . Although it was an experience for me, I would any day , suggest the guests to opt for the cottages the resort offers, which are quite splendid with a gorgeous view. Nature at its best, thoroughly enjoyed by the balcony of the cottages followed by barbecue camp(included in package of resort), as the night came to an end.
The next day was equally looked forward to because of my first time visit to a Buddhist monastery. Entering the Golden temple gives you the feeling of Tibet, the country itself, because of the monasteries Tibetan architecture . Apparently, the Tibetans settled here after they were driven away from their motherland, when it was occupied by the Chinese. Having imagined myself sitting with the monks, starting a conversation with them about their daily chores, sipping a cup of butter tea (had by the monks atleast 40 cups pers day, also known as po cha made from tea leaves, yak butter and salt- high caloric energy suited for high altitudes ), listening to the calming Buddhist prayer, feeling a whiff of serenity and tranquility. Unsuccessfully, none of this happened. The monastery had a crowd of tourists from across the globe, that is probably the reason I missed out on noticing any of the monks either. The one thing i still had hopes on were the Buddhist prayers which are known to be absolutely soothing to the mind, but after all the effort of spotting a monk and trying to understand their side of Hindi, we learnt that the prayers were off for few days. My first impression of a monastery would not have been as good, if it was for any other temple. I could say , the intricately sculptured idles of Buddha were quite peculiar among st elsewhere.
If you are a fan of Elephants, Dubare elephant camp, where in you could take a boat or cross through the stones to go to the other side of a river where the elephants are being bathed and fed. This camp provides accommodation too.
The Namdroling monastery, has been one of the tourist attraction in Coorg, a must-see and a definite stay to listen to the holy rhythms chanted by the monks and its temple bells , the monastery open Timings are 7:am to 7:pm and entry is free of cost. Also, don’t forget to grab a coorgy- based Buddhist souvenir from the stalls around the corner, a spinning prayer wheel is what caught my eyes, and it still does every morning I wake up. 🙂