While visiting the Maha Shivaratri festival in the town of Gokarna, i met three Tibetian monks who invited me to their monastery called Drepung. I have never heard about this place, and had many travel plans so i did not knew if i can make it their. Two weeks later i found that i can spend 5 days there, so i contact my monk friends to see if it still possible, they were very happy and said of course we are waiting let us know when you arrive.
I don`t remember how many hours of travel it took me to get there, train and a few buses, but in India it doesn`t matter anyway, especially when traveling on land, you have to be patience on the road, and expect delays or changes of route.
I reached the nearest town called Mundgod, rented a room in a hotel and send a message to my friends, I am here!
Very shortly they came to meet me we greeted each other and went together to have lunch. When they found out i already rented a room in a hotel they were very upset and said you can stay in the monastery there is a guest house.
I took the offer it was much better to stay in the monastery, that was what i was there for and on top of that the price for a room was 150 rupees (2.3$ U.S) I got a very nice room in a very quite area.
I spent very nice days in the monastery, the monks were very friendly and welcoming, They invited me to watch their ceremonies and debates, i was almost free to take pictures anywhere, learned some about the Tibetan culture and Buddhism, and the Momos (Tibetian dumplings) were so delicious. I could easily stay another month there.
Young buddhist monk is playing soccer in Tibetian monastery in India #monk #soccer #football #monastery #tibet #tibetan #india #buddhism #buddhist #buddha #play #game #fun #ball #people #human #humans #travelphotographer #letsgosomewhere #ontheroad #travelmemories #passionpassport #photooftheday #most_amazing_planet
On the forth day i went with some of my friends to the town, i needed to send a package and arrange my next trip to Kolkata, so we shared an auto rickshaw.
My friends went to another city to say good bye to a monk friend that had to go back to his family in Behutan, so i returned by myself.
On the way back a police man stopped the rickshaw and ask for my papers, i showed my passport, but he got angry and said no yo papers where are yo papers. He wanted to see some kind of permit i did not have.
He asked me to follow him and soon i was surrounded by 5 police man. They held my passport and made very angry faces saying how big of a crime i just committed, but one of them took me aside and told me everything will be fine. He didn`t say how but i know at one point it will come, something like it will be fine if you pay the fine.
Apparently the monastery is located in an area designated as a Protected Area by the Indian government, and therefore foreigners are required to have a special permit to enter and stay overnight at the Monastery. I didn`t have it and was invited by members of the monastery, a top of that i was there walking everywhere for 4 days, nobody said anything.
I knew exactly what they want, but i would not offer, cause then i might be in double trouble. So i let them play there game. They took me to the station. set me a side and every few minutes someone came and told me how much of big crime i have just committed and many stories about the punishment expecting me.
Time passed for around two hours they held me. It didn`t help i told them that i was personally invited by monks from the monastery. It didn`t matter to the police and my friends were out of town anyways.
Eventually the captain invited me to his office, he said he would let me go if i pay a fine, finally we got to what they really wanted.
Eventually after some negotiation we agreed for 1800 (30$) rupee which was what i had in my wallet minus 100 rupee they let me keep for a rickshaw to take me back to town. Needless to say they didn`t give me a receipt. They asked me not to speak about it with anyone, so that is what i am doing.
There was one flow in that deal i had to leave the monastery area at that moment, the reason for that was another police force from the capital of India patrolling the monastery and this could mean another trouble. I could not take my bag from the room. So i had to leave and stay in town until dark and return after dark to pick up my things.
So i did. I left immediately and sneaked in after dark to pick up my bags from the room.
Its a shame things happened like that, i was invited to stay there by members of the monastery and had another day to spend there. Law works differently in other countries. When traveling you have to be ready for problems like this to come and maybe easier looking at it as a road tax.