Tibetan Settlements - Karnataka

#1 Nov 2nd, 2004, 14:51
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  • kiwi_razz is offline
#1
Just spent the weekend in Sera. What a fantastic place it is.

Are we supposed to be keeping this place secret or something? Whilst there were quite a few indian tourists at the golden temple for example, I only saw about 4 other western tourists, and they seemed to be all german-speaking.

The LP sort of glosses over the area, and the transport info is a little sketchy, but yes there is a local bus every half hour between Mysore and Madikeri which goes via Bylakuppe and Kushalnagar.

Anyway, had a great long weekend myself. The golden temple is lovely, and I spent a good couple of hours watching some of the students playing cricket and football (in their monks robes). The surroundings are lovely and green, the temperature is cool and it makes a great change from dirty polluted Bangalore (I guess the whole of Coorg is like this).
#2 Nov 4th, 2004, 18:55
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  • GeorgieL is offline
#2

Thumbs up Thanks for that

Your note couldn't have come at a better time! I am definitely going up to the settlements around New Year and am hoping that it will be as quiet (and mellow) as you imply. Where did you stay in Mercara and the settlements? Any accom recommendations (for female travelling alone)?

The Rough Guide to South India has a little bit more info on the area. It also says the road up from Mysore is a great drive.

The RG says that Sera is the seat of the Panchem Lama. Do you learn anything about this, as I understand that he is being hidden away somewhere in China with little idea of who he is?

Sorry about all the questions.....
#3 Nov 4th, 2004, 20:36
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#3
Bailkuppe is a nice place to visit. Sera University for Advanced Buddhist Studies is a few km from the Golden temple (catch an autorikshaw from the temple).
Dalai Lama is expected here by this month end or early next month. So it will be crowded a bit at that time. I think he will be inagurating the new temple.

Check this for a photo http://www.indiamike.com/india/photography-f58/where-was-this-photo-taken-t1821/p21128/. I'll post more photos of it soon.
#4 Nov 4th, 2004, 21:05
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#4
I heard that you're actually supposed to have a special permit to visit there, although no-one i've met has ever been asked to show one (I certainly wasn't) - so maybe that's why there aren't so many visitors there....
Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma
#5 Nov 4th, 2004, 21:44
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  • vistet is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by wandering_kat I heard that you're actually supposed to have a special permit to visit there...

APPLICATION FORM FOR PROTECTED AREA PERMIT

In theory this applies to all Tibetan settlements , although practically no one has heard of it in the north.Last time I was invited (couldnt go ) to a Tibetan family in the south without this being mentioned.

There was a post while ago from someone having problem getting this permit so it seems it`s not entirely a fiction.

There are two Sera monasteries : one in Lhasa and the re-established Sera in the south , along the principle that the monastery is not the buildings but the body of knowledge.

There is an interesting article from Sera in Wired Magazine .

A warm short description with many layers from Tibetan monasteries in the south can alse be found in Donald S Lopez essay Foreigner at the Lamas Feet
#6 Nov 5th, 2004, 12:37
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#6
Here is what I found on the net.

Representative
Dhondenling Tibetan Settlement
P.O. Tibetan Settlement
Kollegal Taluk
Chamrajnagar Distt.
Karnataka State-571457
India


Settlement Location

Dhondenling Tibetan settlement is located at Odeyarpalaya, Kollegal Taluk in Karanataka State, Chamrajnagar district near Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. The settlement is at a height of 3345 ft. above sea level. And experience a moderate climatic condition. The average temperature of the place is about 20 Degree Celsius and average annual rainfall of 140-170 Cms per year.

More on www.tibet.net
If Life is a journey....travel on...and on..on..on.....
#7 Nov 5th, 2004, 12:56
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#7
GeorgieL,

I didn't stay in Mercera (Madikeri), just in Sera itself, at a guesthouse attached to one of the hospitals there. That way the mere 125Rs /night you pay is helping benefit the community since its gives free consulations to all.

The road up from Mysore is very refreshing on the eyes especially after living in Bangalore for 5 months. It takes about 2 hours from Mysore to Bylakuppe on the local bus. You can get off at either Bylakuppe or Kushal Nagar for Sera, and you need to catch a riskshaw for the 8km to Sera. I paid 50Rs (tourist price) from Bylakuppe to Sera on the way there, but on the way back paid 10Rs in a shared riskshaw.

I'm thinking of going back for one weekend later in November on either 20/21 or 27/28 but won't be catching the local bus from Bangalore to Mysore next time. Its about 4.5 hours with the roadworks going on. Better to catch a train for 3 hours.
#8 Nov 5th, 2004, 15:03
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#8
from http://www.seraimihouse.org/live_atsera.htm

Protected Area Permit

Seeing as Sera Monastery is part of the Bylakuppe Tibetan refugee settlement area, it is classified as a restricted area, and you are therefore required to have a Protected Area Permit in order to live here. You will not be able to register as a foreigner living at Sera without this permit. It is obtained by making an application to the relevant office in New Delhi and is usually easy to obtain. This application can be made prior to your coming to India, and usually takes 3 or 4 months to be processed. There is no fee for obtaining this permit. Ideally, one should apply for this 4 months ahead, indicating your address in India as that of Sera IMI House, and it should be waiting for you on your arrival.

The Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Delhi is able to make this application on your behalf for a small fee, and they can be contacted at:

The Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Under Secretary (Rehabilitation Officer)
Phone: 91-11-6218548
Fax: 91-11-6461914
Email: bdl@vsnl.com

The Restricted Area Permit is granted for one year and must be renewed annually.

Note: You should apply for permission to enter all four of the Tibetan settlements in Karnataka state, namely, Bylakuppe, Hunsur, Kollegal, Mungod, as this will be useful if you ever wish to attend His Holiness' teachings which occur from time to time at monasteries in these settlements. This can be done on the one application form, and you should specify this requirement when contacting His Holiness' office above.

***

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be teaching in Sera Bylakuppe on Dec 11,12 and from 14 to 18.

On December 20, His Holiness will confer both the Preparatory and Actual Yamantaka Initiation at Zongkha Chodhe Monastery in Hunsur Tibetan Settlement.

From December 22 to 26, there will be commentary on Yamantaka at Gyudmed Monastery (Lower Tantric College) also located in Hunsur Tibetan Settlement.

***

and from http://www.tibet.com/teachings.html

In order to be allowed to visit and stay at the monasteries of Sera, Zongkha Chodhe and Gyudme Tantric Monastery, you need a Protected Area Permit issued by the Government of India. We suggest you contact the following office for further information about how to go about applying for a protected area permit.

Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 10-A Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi 110024 Tel: 01126474798 Fax: 011-26461914 Email: bdl@vsnl.com

You should bring a copy of your application with you to show to the local authorities if your permit did not come in time.
#9 Nov 5th, 2004, 19:29
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#9
Sera University for Advanced Buddhist Studies

The students of the university looking at the exam results!

The new temple near the golden temple (Xtreeeemly colourful)

Guest house inside the Golden temple complex
Attached Images
university.JPG Students.jpg temple (Small).jpg guest.JPG 
#10 Nov 17th, 2004, 14:08
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#10
I believe that the information provided by Kailash35 above is only applicable if you wish to live and study at the monastery, as opposed to being a tourist who wishes to visit for a few days and stay at one of the guesthouses.
#11 Nov 18th, 2004, 13:07
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#11
K R,

I also had interrogation points about the information I posted above.
So I write yesterday to the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Here is the reply :

Dear .....,

Yes you need to apply for permit to visit the Tibetan Settlements, whether the purpose of visit is to meet your friends, study, tourist and to attend the teachings. The permit takes around 2-3 months to process at the Indian Home Ministry.

I am attaching herewith an application form for the permit with its requirements. Please sent your application by post to this office at your earliest convenience. Below is the address:

Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
10-B Ring Road
Lajpat Nagar-IV
New Delhi-110 024

Tel: 26474798/26218548
Attached Images
form-permit.jpg 
#12 Nov 18th, 2004, 14:38
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#12
ok, fair enough.

But personally, I had no problems visiting Sera without the permit.
#13 Dec 2nd, 2004, 18:00
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#13
D'oh, missed the Dalai Lama in Bangalore today.

He is teaching at Sera monastery in Bylakuppe, but on December 11, which is 1 day after I fly out of Bangalore.

http://www.tibet.com/teachings.html

Oh well, I have seen him before in Melbourne. And I'll be going to Sera this weekend. Maybe he will be loitering around.
#14 Apr 26th, 2005, 19:08
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#14
a permit.. ?!
we we're there for 2 weeks staying in Sera Guesthouse,, spent most of time outisde, driving from camp to camp on our own bike,, visiting temples (the new big one is too beautiful!!) talking to students watching the cricket and volleyball matches (got some nice movies of this, might upload them some day), etc......

nobody ever asked us for a permit.


don't read too much crap info about it, just remember Bylakuppe, that's where you have to get down with the bus, then ask a rikshaw to drop you at Sera camp.

THAT'S IT!
my old photo gallery
#15 Apr 26th, 2005, 19:52
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#15
Thought you were going to Hampi and you landed up in coorg instead? bailakupe is very nice place. Beautiful monastry. Did you have mo-mos there? The flea market is good too. Never heard about the permit. But in actuality, i don't think it is effective. The time i went, i saw planty of foreign tourists there.
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