BYLAKUPPE – The Ladakh of Karnataka
India , with its colorful combination of cultures and people offers something unique and interesting to a curious shutterbug. It’s not surprising that my visit to BYLAKUPPE in the South Indian state of Karnataka has left with me a number of pleasant souvenirs to cherish with.
For those who cannot go all the way to LADAKH you can enjoy an authentic slice of Tibetan environment and Buddhist philosophy. This serene place houses many interesting places like the Buddhist monasteries and markets. The important maonasteries are the Namdroling monatery, Ser Jey monastery and Sakya monastery.
Inside these monasteries one is drawn towards the huge statues,note worthy are Buddha Sakhyamuni, Buddha Amitayus and Guru Padmasambhava along with a number of other statues set against the backdrop of beautiful colorful hanging sheets of cloth, with religious scriptures and figures of the saints. The walls are adorned with intrinsic mural paintings from the mythology.
We can hear the sounds of beating drums, rhythmic chanting of sacred religious hymns or sometimes the sounds of birds chirping in the early mornings. The monks and the students of Buddhist philosophy here practice regularly all the religious chores under the guidance of their spiritual gurus.
This entire region is a harmonious blend of spirituality and contemporary which go hand in hand. Colourful flags are seen swaying with wind which are often tied to the trees on either side of the paths.
Camp 1 area is another place of bustling activity but of a different nature. Here the narrow bye-lanes are lined with petty shops where we can find a variety of things right from clothes, ornaments and other items of fashion. Another interesting feature to be noted are the chain of petty restaurants which offer you a variety of dishes ranging from Tibetan food, momos, Chinese food along with our own pav-bhaji which is a feat to our taste buds and is light on our pockets too.
Elderly Tibetan people usually gather here at evenings and discuss a whole lot of issues. I could not understand their language but could guess from their smiles and facial expressions that they were leading a much more contended life than most of us so called urban modern generation.
Life here comes to a close at around 8 pm. This place offers an inquisitive shutterbug to try out many a things whether it is capturing the Buddhist monks draped in their scarlet colored clothes or people in general. One can also find good landscape views and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Even after you leave the place, the smiling faces of the people, the serene and pious environment here will always remain fresh in your mind and bring a smile on your face.
How to go:
I started my journey from Bangalore to Mysore by train, took state government bus from Mysore to Kushalanagara which is the nearest town to Bylakuppe. We get a number of auto-rickshaws from here to reach the Namdroling monastery. Accomodation is available near this monatery which hygienic and affordable . So for those who wish to unwind or try to experience a bit of Tibetan life style this is a perfect get-away.
A para-medic by profession and a photographer by passion. My interest in travelling and exploring the unknown INDIA has initiated a deep liking towards photography which I feel is the best medium to capture and preserve the rich culture and heritage of our country to future generations.
Under the amazing guidance of Saurabh Sir and his constant encouragement coupled with all the support of my SIA friends I am constantly trying to improve my skills in photography.
– Golla Siva Saradhi.