A scent of Tibet: Bylakuppe
The Sera Je Monastery
The ochre and burgundy seem to be the omnipotent hues here. The shimmering gold of the structures are conspicuous from miles away. The drone of the distant drums and pipes relentlessly fill the air. If only a few snow capped mountains would show up in the horizon…
Every time I visit the Tibetan settlement near Mysore, 250 km from Bangalore, I never cease to be amused and thrilled at the same time. Although I find it quite difficult to digest the fact that this is, in fact, a piece of Tibet, I am really glad that I can get a whiff of the mystical land right in my backyard without having to make an epic journey.
A student chants at the Namdroling
The people are the same, I am told. And it shows. They always smile at the tourist, never have restrictions even for the ignorant and instil their monasteries with warmth and camaraderie that is palpable by everyone who spends a few moments inside them. It is difficult not to admire them.
Monk at the Namdroling Monastery
Students walk past the Sera Je
The colours only get brighter and merrier on the monasteries and inside. The gold mixes seamlessly with the curls of turquoise and the crimson. The dragons seem to emerge out from the intricate wooden carvings. Flags of myriad hues flutter with the evening wind.
A young student at Kagyu
Stupas at Kagyu
The pupils take their place in front of the golden deities. Tea is served and the chants begin. The drums soon make their thunderous presence felt while the pipes sustain the din. I close my eyes and the snow capped mountains matter no more. I am in Tibet.
All photographs copyright 2006 Dr Vivek M. More photographs here