Boudhanath Stupa was the best part of the trip in Kathmanu, a sense of calm and spirituality can be found at Boudhanath Stupa. it is one of the holiest sites in Kathmandu. I suggest an early morning arrival (7-8AM); at that time you will see Tibetan monks in burgundy robes, elders, children and locals alike participating in morning prayers. It is a beautiful area, There are a number of shops that are found around the stupa. You can buy here Nepal T-shirts, key chains, Buddhist prayer beads etc.you also can see monasteries and homes surrounding it. It is wonderful to watch people embrace their religion and go about this tradition. One thing to remember though, always walk with the crowd and always walk clockwise (its bad luck otherwise-and frowned upon). Join in the ceremonies, perhaps even get blessed by a monk- just enjoy the things that are going around you-because this does not happen at home.
Bodhnath stupa is one of the seven world heritage sites all over the Kathmandu valley.
This picture was taken from the terrace of a bar in front of the stupa. It is a very peaceful place in Kathmandu far away from the crowding and the smog of the city.
Thrangu Tashi Choling, located close to and facing the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, was founded by Thrangu Rinpoche is 1979 when construction began. The ancient stupa is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists, one of the most important holy places in Nepal and is also the largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet.
At the time of purchasing the land, there were only a few monasteries in Boudhanath and the area surrounding the Stupa was mostly rice fields. Rinpoche was just getting established in Nepal and had very little money. It was originally planned to be a library and then a shedra but then it became possible to build a small monastery. Later it became necessary to expand to accommodate the many monks who were arriving to join the monastery.
We visited the Boudhnath Temple on 9th September. It is one of very old Stupa Of Boudhnath or Lord Buddha. The Stupa of Boudhanath lies eight kilometers east of Kathmandu. This colossal and ancient Stupa, one of the biggest in the world, features all the eyes of Lord Buddha. It has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism. Lichchhavi king Kana Dev built it in the fifth century AD. It is built on an octagonal base, inset in the design of Mandala with prayer wheels. This is the one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal.
I had the opportunity of visiting the site of ancient capital of Lichchhavi Dynasty at Vaishali, Bihar as I was posted at Patna for many days. At one time Nepal was part of Aryabrata or India in modern Times.
We also met one Tibetan gentleman with his American wife at the Stupa. He is now settled in Laos, near Cambodia. His wife is from USA.
A visit to the huge Stupa at Bodnath was one of the highlights of my visit to Kathmandu. A huge stupa, surrounded by temples, shops and buildings with beautiful Newari architecture. This area is home to many Tibetan Refugees.
There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area.
It lies about 6 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu.
Do take time to visit this wonderful place.
I visited here again during my second visit, and enjoyed it as much as the first time.
Boudhanath entrance NPR150 was one of if not thee most beautiful sight we visited in Kathmandu. The site is dominated by a large whitewashed stupa with the all seeing eyes of Buddha on each side. Boudhanath is home to around 16000 Tibetan refugees. There are several beautiful Tibetan monasteries around the stupa and nearby. As dusk approached hundreds of Tibetans in traditional Tibetan cloths began their clockwise stroll around the stupa spinning the prayer wheels as they passed.
There were several rooftop cafes and restaurants affording fantastic views of the shrine and surrounding countryside. A really beautiful and peaceful place, well worth a visit.
If you are stuck in Kathmandu for an extended period, really anything more than three days in that horrible place wold be extended, this place is almost a necessity. No cars are allowed, which will be a very huge benefit, you will realize why once you spend a couple hours dodging cars, of course in a lawless country such as Nepal rules are meant to be broken, but this rule is mostly followed. DON'T PAY TO ENTER!! There is a small alley way just to the east of the main entrance, this is the local entrance, you will pass some small shops and wind around to the left and enter in to Boudha without paying, especially nice if you are staying at a hotel that you have to enter through Boudha.
If you are looking to book a hotel in Kathmandu, my first advice is don't go there (Kathmandu), but if you won't listen to reason, and you don't want to pay western prices at the Hyatt down the road from Boudha, stay at the Mandala hotel just of the brick road surrounding the Stupa, after staying with a host family this place felt like a 10 star hotel. They hve hot water, TV, real beds and clean rooms. I think it cost around 20 USD per night.
There are tons of restaurants around Boudha, one of our favorites was Flavors, pretty good prices, pretty good food (let's face it, most of the food you get there is going to suck, there is only one meal that was actually good, and that was the Shahi Paneer at Weizen German Bakery in Thamel.), dont bother with the desserts though, they look great, but they are gross.
Make sure you go out and explore the allies surrounding Boudha, you will see some small sweatshops where the locals are pounding out all the little tin trinkets that are sold in all the shops.
Bauddhanath, probably one of the largest stupas in the world, lies 5 km from Kathmandu on the traditional trade route leading to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital occupied by China since 1950. The stupa at Baudha is one of the few places in the world where the Tibetan culture is accessible, vibrant and unfettered.
This massive stupa (over 36 m high) has been built sometime between the 4th and the second half of the 9th century. UNESCO heritage site since 1979.
From simple domed burial mounds, “build to hold relics of Buddha”, stupas they evolved over the centuries to become complex structures that represent Buddhist philosophy
- the five elements characteristic to the Buddhist universe – the base symbolises the earth, the dome - water, the spire – fire, the umbrella – air and the pinnacle – ether.
- At the lowest level of the stupa is the plinth, which may be a simple square platform or terraced one. The plinth at Boudha Natha stupa is made of 3 tired crossed platforms and represent a mandala (aka a circle of completion), being used by the pilgrims as circumbulatory passages.
- A little above there is a series of recessed niches encircling the entire periphery of dome where a total number of 108 stone sculptures of Buddhist deities – 108 is a magic number in Buddhist philosophy.
- the hemispherical dome (kumbha), freshly whitewashed every year, symbolises the water.
- to the top of the stupa dome is the harmika, a square usually painted on each side with a pair of eyes along with question marks. With these ever cautious eyes, the lord Buddha beholds every happening constantly with a very keen attention.
- topping the harmika is a tapering section of 13 stages, representing the 13 different mental stages on the way to Nirvana (the final salvation, freed from the worldly bondages).
- above the harmika, there is a vessel in the form of an inverted lotus patel, which is to be filled with the water of knowledge. On the top, a gild metal parasol or umbrella to capture the wind.
The largest Buddhist stupa around Kathmandu is found at Bodhnath. This used to be out in the country - NE of Kathmandu, about 3-4 km from the ring road. It is north of the large Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath by a few km and you can easily walk between the two complexes, though it is easy to get lost in the warrens of little streets on the north side of the Bagmati river. The stupa is very large and is ringed by a large walkway in which pilgrims can go - clockwise - around the stupa. The stupa is also ringed by buildings - some are monasteries - most of the buildings are filled with tourist shops and the sound of new age music pours forth from the cd players. Walking up on the stupa and looking to the west, you get a wierd contrast as you look over a monastery and see the Hyatt Regency in the distance - seemingly as large as the temples in Lhasa.
Bodhnath, one of the two biggest buddist stupa in the world is located 6Km far away from Kathmandu center, and it is the center of the religion for the population coming from Tibet that is actually living in Nepal.
Bodhanath is a place (and it doesn’t exist a lot of place like this) where the tibetean culture is so self evident and “free”.
When you take the main entrance, on the left and on the righ side you will see a lot of small shops that are selling every kind of religion stuff (too expensive here!!, search 4 it in Thamel!) and a lot of smaller monasteries.
The tibetean culture is so impressive!
Here , you can also walk trough the Gompa and get to the Top, but keep in mid to follow the right directions (anyway, there are a lof of signals and everyone there will assit you in the entrance).
The first immage that will impress you is the pray section, so huge and coloured.
The religious music, the tibetean population, the quietness, the pray section makes this place unbelievable!
Here you will meet also some european/american buddist students.
Bodhanath is a place where you will spend at lest three hours. Is not so huge place, but the time will pass you by.
To simply wander -clockwise, of course - around the Stupa and to observe the colors, the people, the shops, the smells - to mentally slow down and absorb. If only they could stop that New Age music playing from a plethora of CD players in an attempt to get people to buy the Nepali version of Yanni to complete their 'Buddhist' experience, but hey, that is capitalism at work. An interesting walk is to go from Pashupatinath to Bodhnath - from Hindu to Buddha, but also to see how Kathmandu has itself exploded into new neighborhoods that have developed only in the last couple of decades.
One of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monuments ever built in Nepal, Boudhanath is an imposing structure standing some 36 meters. The Stupa stands on the massive three level mandala style Platforms surrounded by colourful private family houses.
This stupa is said to have been built in 5th century A. D. The site is considered very much like Mecca for the Tibetan Buddhists and every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region visit the stupa.