It was only recently that I came to know that there existed a Buddhist settlement right here in the southern part of India. Call me whatever you want to but the truth is, Buddhist monasteries and cold misty hills had always been synonymous for me. I don’t really have a reason for my this assumption though. It might be because most of the Buddhist monks that I have come across were those walking up and down narrow mountain roads in their maroon robes in one of the Himalayan towns or because I have always seen the golden intricacies of the monastery roofs only throw the thin layer of mist that are exclusive to the Himalayas. So this little discovery of mine was a little surprising to me.
I had always loved whatever I have come across that has a Buddhist feel to it. Be it the beautifully colored chortens, the monk in his different shades of maroon (different gurus & their disciples wear slightly different shade and pattern of maroon robes) with prayer beads in his hands or the colorful prayer flags that flutter non-stop in the winds, taking the prayers to the heavens up above.
All the buddhist places I have been to till date had been proper towns or cities, never had I been to any ‘settlement’ or for that matter, seen one. I did not know what to expect once I reach my destination. So when I finally reached there one Friday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to find out an entire town which looked very prosperous and happy from every aspect. It was far from what I had imagined to be a small huddle of temporary houses around a couple of monasteries.
Within hundred meters of taking the left from the highway and towards Bylakuppe I started to come across familiar sights I have come across in other buddhist-dominated places. Small and big chortens on both sides of the narrow winding roads. A Tibetan market a little ahead. A small health-centre little ahead. Colourful prayer-flags fluttering at the top of every shop. Everything was just like numerous other Buddhist-dominated towns I have been to.
My plan was to stay in a home-stay but I found the Shera Jey Yiga Choeling Guest House, one of the three guest-houses here, more appealing. Located far away from anything else and in between nowhere, it was just the type of place I was looking for to spend my time here. I liked the place so much, I ended up staying here more than I initially had planned to. I spent more than half of my two and a half days’ stay there lazing around in the beautiful lawn of the Guest-House, reading under the shade of the numerous trees and listening to sweet sounds of the many birds from all sides.
I will share more about the place soon, once I am finished with working on the photos. For now, leaving you with these photos 🙂 .
Have you been to this monastery? Or any other monastery and have liked the experience? Tell me, I would love to hear.