Boudhanath, Kathmandu

4 May 2010 - 2:10pm Comments Off

Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It is the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. The stupa is located in the town of Boudha, on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu.

The ancient stupa dominates the skyline and is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyapa sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. From above, the stupa looks like a giant mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara – Om Mani Padme Hum – is carved on the prayer wheels beside the images of Avalokiteshvara around the base of the stupa.

Boudhanath Stupa

The Great Stupa of Boudhanath is the focal point of the district, and the influx of large populations of Tibetan refugees from China has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan monasteries around Boudhanath. The culture, though, remains very much Himalayan with a strong presence of Tibetans and Sherpas, and this can be evidenced by the number of restaurants selling momos and thukpa and other Tibetan favorites.

The circumambulation path around Boudhanath Stupa is always busy

Surrounding Boudhanath Stupa are streets and narrow alleys lined with colorful homes, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, handicraft stores and street vendors. Hundreds of pilgrims and local Tibetans circumambulate the stupa on the outer path, spinning prayer wheels as they silently chant their mantras. It is also along this circumambulation path that Kechara Lounge, our international visitor centre, is located, literally feet away from the ancient stupa itself.

Kechara Lounge, our international visitor centre

In 1979, Boudhanath became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and today, it remains an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalis, as well as a popular tourist site.

For more information about tours to Boudhanath, please contact discovery@kechara.com or call +603 7803 3546.

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