Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dhondenling Tibetan Settlement

After three hour drive from on State Highway 948 sans toll plazas via Sathiamangalam forest range, Bannari & the spectacular Dimbum ghat we took a diversion through highway 180 past Germalam to reach Dhondenling. The Dimbum ghat was challenging climb with 27 sharp hair pin bends coming one after the other in quick succession. Heavy vehicles (trucks & trailers) hurtling downhill made the hill climb even more onerous but I was pleased that my driving instincts and reflexes stood me well and I could successfully overcome this rigorous challenge.
The 30 Km drive from Dhimbum to Dhondenling took us through thick bamboo forests and eucalyptus plantations interspersed intermittently with areca nut,banana & maize.
Established in 1974 on 3000 acres of land at Oderpalaya in Kollegal Taluk the settlement now has 22 villages or refugee camps each housing around 22-25 families. Agriculture is the mainstay of the settlement and they cultivate maize,rice,ragi etc To augment their income in winter they resort to knitting and selling of sweaters. Dhondenling has its own school,a hospital and a Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute.The people appear healthy and happy and we saw several young couples moving around in scooters.The most endearing and attractive feature of this settlement are the richly painted monasteries.People appear simple,friendly & leading peaceful lives.`

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