Bylakuppe is a Tibetan settlement, established in the 1960’s as a result of the political situation in Tibet and China.
Wandering among the prayer flags and visiting the monasteries are popular activities in this Tibetan centered settlement. Rent a bicycle and carefully explore the hills or the town.
Various Indian and Tibetan foods are available around the town. Alternatively, to save cash and eat alongside monks, head to the Namdroling Monastery Restaurant. Those looking for souvenirs will find small stalls near the monasteries selling souvenirs and handicrafts.
It is possible to stay cheaply in the monastery run rooms and guesthouses.
Those looking for something different should head to the Sera Mey and Sera Jay monasteries, or forget the monasteries altogether and try talking to the locals who inhabit the town.
Though Dharamsala is more famous internationally, Bylakuppe is the largest settlement for Tibetans in India. It is also probably one of the best places in South India to try Tibetan food.
Take all of the normal precautions to ensure your safety. Also remember to dress respectfully, particularly when visiting the monasteries but also around the town. Shoes should be removed before entering the temples.
Bylakuppe can be reached by a combination of train and bus from Mysore. Get the bus to Kushal Nagar, and from there take a taxi or auto rickshaw. The price of rickshaws doubles in the evenings. Buses to Kushal Nagar are also available from Mangalore.