A Piece of Tibetan Buddhism in Southern India: Namdroling Monastery


“Its better to travel well than to arrive”- Buddha

Do you believe Buddha ever said that? Well even if he didn’t I would still like to believe and follow this.

Often travelling to a particular touristy place, you feel like ticking off the major attractions the place is known for. While in coorg, I was doing exactly that. Travelling for a short period I didn’t want to miss out on anything, and I guess due to the summer heat (not a suggested time to visit) I wasn’t exceptionally thrilled with the places I visited.

But then our guide/driver took us to this Tibetan Monastery, which to be honest was definitely a surprise to me (I didn’t check trip adviser before travelling to Coorg). Little Tibet in South India, that’s what our driver told us it was.

Well, it was that and much more.

The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhist. Famously known as the Golden Temple, this place is actually quite a crowd puller as a tourist attraction near Coorg.

“Namdroling was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet. With only 300 rupees in his hand and with just a handful of monks, he laid the foundation stone of the three-storied main temple that then covered an area of 80 square feet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated the spot and bequeathed the name “Namdroling Monastery.” Today the monastery is home to nearly 5000 monks and nuns, renowned as a center for the pure upholding of the teachings of the Buddha.” Source

Its a beautiful place which can be a lot more peaceful, if only the tourists are a little mindful about the serenity of the place and not treat it as just another tourist checklist. I spent most of my time marveling at the murals and vibrant Tibetan paintings, which provides more than just decoration. These are the storytellers, who speak to you only if you want them to.

The prayer hall earns the place its name ‘The Golden Temple’ from the golden statues of Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava and Buddha Amitayus.The hall can accommodate more than a thousand monks at a time.

Obviously this was my favorite place, not just for the statues but because the time of the day I visited the monastry, it was very close to the prayer time, and inspite of the loud and chatty crowd the place had, the area close to the prayer hall, suddenly swarmed by the monks, going in for prayer turned the place very different from what it was a minute ago. The little monks, just starting to get acquainted with these rituals and practices, holding themselves up and following their elders were the cutest (we actually found a cutie just playing nearby, not worried about getting late, while 2 other little one’s just running to the hall as if their life depended on it πŸ™‚ ).

Then began the chanting, and thats about it. I came to Coorg, not knowing and expecting this, but it felt this was exactly what I came for.



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