Golden Temple / Tibetan Monastery - Bylakuppe - History, Timings & Entry Fee


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Coorg): 34 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Place Location: Near Kushalnagar

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: Cauvery Nisargadhama is about 7 Kms from Golden Temple and can be visited together.

About Bylakuppe Golden Temple

At a distance of 5 km from Kushalnagar, 7 km from Cauvery Nisargadhama, 34 km from Madikeri, and 87 km from Mysore, the Golden Temple or Namdroling Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist Monastery situated in Bylakuppe, Karnataka. Bylakuppe is the second-largest Tibetan settlement in India after Dharamshala and is among the most popular places to visit in Coorg.

History of Golden Temple

Bylakuppe is a Tibetan refugee settlement area established by Lugsum Samdupling in 1961 and Dickyi Larson in 1969. It was an amalgamation of about twenty villages that came together to be called the town of Bylakuppe. The main tourist attraction here is the magnificent Namdroling Monastery. Popularly called as Golden Temple, the Namdroling Monastery was established by Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche in 1963. This is the largest teaching center of Nyingmapa, a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, in the world and is home to a sangha community of over 5000 monks and nuns.

The architecture of the Golden Temple

The Golden Temple complex is huge and it houses 40 feet high-gilded images of Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche), Buddha Sakyamuni, and Amitayus. The temple tower is highly ornate. The outer walls flanking the doorway are decorated with huge colorful murals. The doors, red in color, have huge gold knockers and a thick plaited rope with tassels hanging from it. The walls are adorned with colourful paintings depicting gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The monastery not only attracts a large number of young Tibetans seeking enlightenment and education but also draws a large number of tourists from all over India and abroad.

Attractions at Golden Temple

One can also visit the nearby Sera Monastery which is modeled after the original Sera University in Tibet. Sera Monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism and is the local seat of education. It is situated about 2 km from the main Namdroling Monastery. There are other equally beautiful smaller monasteries; the Sakya Monastery and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. Sakya Monastery is a double-storey structure on the way to the main monastery. Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is one of the four great monasteries of central Tibet and the original seat of the Panchen Lama. This was re-established in Bylakuppe in 1972.

There is also a Tibetan shopping center that stands just opposite the Golden Temple where you can buy souvenirs, antiques, jewellery, handicrafts, and apparel. There are also local eateries and Cafes around Namdroling Monastery that sells delicious Tibetan food like Momos, thukpa, and thendruk.

Best Time to Visit Golden Temple

Bylakuppe is a town that can be visited at any time throughout the year. However, the monastery is a delight to visit during festivals such as the Tibetan New Year (Losar), which is celebrated with much fervor in February / March for fifteen days. During that time, the monastery hosts traditional colorful lama dances and huge thangkas, a Tibetan silk painting with embroidery depicting Buddhist deities. Watching hundreds of Buddhist monks doing religious rituals and offering prayers loudly is an exciting sight.

Golden Temple Timings

Monday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Thursday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Saturday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM
Sunday: 9 AM - 6 PM, Prayer is at 1 PM

Golden Temple Entry Fee

Entry: Free

How to Reach

The temple is around 5 km from Kushal Nagar and has good bus service from Bengaluru and Mysuru. From Kushala Nagara, an auto or taxi can be hired to visit the temple.