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Wednesday, December 08 2021

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Mundagod: Window to World of Buddhism in K’taka 

Mundagod is a serene panchayat town in Uttara Kannada (UK) District of Karnataka, which is a window to the world of Buddhism and beam of Buddhist culture. Lying enroute to Hubballi from Sirsi, the Buddhist village is 132 kilometres away from Karwar, UK’s District Headquarters.

Being a Buddhist Centre and known as ‘Mini Tibet’, the Tibetan colony here houses many Buddhist stupas. The town showcases true Tibetan lifestyle, culture and tradition apart from helping the visitors introduce to Buddhism religion and way of life. Tourists throng to the place and enamoured to see Tibetans here involving themselves in occupation such as sweater knitting and sale. What is interesting is the people here are as modern as they are traditional. The Tibetans’ peaceful demeanour and happy disposition are a great draw among the visitors here.

The Mundgod Tibetan refugees here claim that they are from every group of the society as per their status ranging from aristocrats, laymen, Lamas, scholars, monks, government officials, merchants, soldiers, to peasants among others. Coming from all the three provinces of Tibet, the locals inform that while 955 families are from U-Tsang province as it is close to Indian border, 43 families are from Khamba province with only 17 families being from Amdo province. Describing their harrowing tales of their journey into India, they express that they were lucky to finally reach India safe facing hardships without coming across the Chinese army de. Many Tibetans first settled in temporary camps, and later tents, bamboo huts and buildings provided the Central Relief Committee at the beginning of their settlement in India. The Tibetans’ here are very happy to have formed their base in this small town.

Mundagod though famous for its Tibetan settlement, the other noteworthy places of interest near here is a 12th Century Shri Boppeswara temple built by Chalukya king Bijjaladeva in Bedsgav Village. This temple has beautifully carved pillars, and it’s designs are encapsulating. It is also famous for many hero stones known as ‘Veeragallus’ in local language. The most famous stone being of warrior Kuppugauga, who died fighting a battle. Also, while once visit to Mundagod, the tourists can explore Bachanakin Dam situated nine kilometres away from Mundagod, and Attiveri Bird Sanctuary which is about seven kilometres away.

Mundagod town has Maje-Pur Village to the North, Malagankoppa Village to the South, Kyasanakeri Village to the West, and Kundergi as well as Nesargi Village in the East. Mundagod is rich in greenery with paddy fields all over and lush green forest to the Northeast of the town. Though through the year, Mundagod enjoys moderate climate except for rainy seasons, for all practical reasons the best time to visit the town would be between October and March.

Image courtesy Sarangib by Pixabay

Manjunath Doddamani Gajendragad

 

Raksha Deshpande

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