Bylakupee Tibetan Settlements
The biggest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet is near Bylakupee village. There are about 20 villages around here.
Between the 3rd and 4th camps is the large Nyingma monastery, Namdrolling Monastery, which contains the Golden Temple. In the Golden Temple there are 3 statues of Buddha, one 60 Ft. high and the other two 58 Ft. high. These are gold plated copper statues that have been consectrated by having scriptures and small stupas placed inside. This monastery is popular with lay people who attend rituals (pujas), and visitors are very welcome to stroll around the monastery grounds and may freely turn the prayer wheels and circumambulate the stupas. According to Tibetan belief, turning prayer wheels disseminates the prayers to the five directions. 'Wind Hourses' (Lungta), which are flags enscribed with prayers, have the same function.
The Golden Temple and the Temples at Sera are quite different, so if you are around don't miss them both.
How to get Here See how to get to Sera at the next section, and from Kushal Nagar take a rickshaw to the Golden Temple.
One of the 3 biggest monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet is Sera Jhe (also: Sera Jey) monastery. In Sera you will find a village of almost 5,000 monks in Sera Jhe and Sera Mey monasteries.
The village has 3 guesthouses (A simple double room is 125 Rs. and has an attached bathroom with hot water), which the profits from go into the hospitals and school in Sera. The profits from the shops and the internet cafés also help sponsor the monastery.
There are a few temples in the village, don't miss the 'New Sera Mey Temple'. visitors are not allowed to get inside the temples during poojas.
Smoking and alcohol drinking is not allowed in the village, except inside your room in the guesthouses.
It's useful to buy the booklet "Welcome to Sera" (15 Rs.) in the shop opposite Siddhartha guesthouse or at the Tibet Network internet café.
How to get to Sera Take a bus to Kushal Nagar from Mangalore (about 5 hours, deluxe bus is advised on this road) or Mysore (about 2.5 hours). From Kushal Nagar take a rickshaw to Sera (6 km. 30 Rs., at the evening it's 50 Rs.).