by Vivek M
A trip to Bylakuppe during Losar, the tibetan new year turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Day One: Kushal and I had reached Kushalnagar (I know.. Kushal and Kushalnagar…) by bus the previous night at around 10 pm and had checked into the confines of quite a large and comfortable room. We decided to head on a recce at 6 am looking at most of the monasteries of Bylakuppe since it was the first time for Kushal and I was rather unsure of what was going to happen where. The morning was dull, depressing and inactive around the Namdroling. We made acquaintances with a couple of monks there, one of whom informed us of a cultural feat which was scheduled the next day at the big square of the monastery.
Sandeep (Deepsan) and Anita joined us at around 8 am, having driven down from Bangalore. We did the usual thing… Namdroling, the Nunnery (which was locked when we got there), Sera Je, Sera Mey, the Kugyudpa. But the reception at Camp 3 was a memorable one- we were invited by the leader to share some local beer (Chang), rice and some Tibetan savoury.
Day Two: At 9 am, the Namdroling was all set to host a prayer ceremony with the high Lama taking part. This was followed by a series of Tibetan dances accompanied by the loud clamour of the cymbals and the nasal tunes of the clarinets and the 10 ft pipes. Although the variety of the dances was limited, the experience was nevertheless elevating- we all could experience a slice of the cultural Tibet, a land of mystique where every true adventurer yearns to visit someday. The ceremonies finished at 12 noon, after which we all headed back home.
Vinayaka Lodge (Kushalnagar, where we stayed): Ph 08276- 274825, 94480 74225
Parjlor Dargeling GH, Namdroling: Ph: 08223 258686
Sera Je Guest House: 08223 258723
Namdroling/ Nyingmapa: www.namdroling.org/, palyul.org/