Bodhnath Stupa, Kathmandu
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.
Bodhnat (or Boudhanath) stupa, is one of the two large unesco stupas near the city, Bodhnat is the easiest accessible one (because cars can let you off right in front of it), and it is very interesting. This stupa is sacred to many, but to Tibetans people in particular. Circle it clockwise, play to prayer bells and enjoy its pure shape and colour. The stupa is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and entrace is 200 rupees
All round it, a circular square full of restaurants and souvenirs shops, often Tibetan.
The Boudhnath stupa is a must visit while in Kathmandu. It is a simple structure yet fascinating. One can walk around the stupa and also sit there and relax, The whole atmosphere is very relaxing with prayer flags fluttering, chants of "Om mani padmeham" filling the air. You can see fervent Buddhist offering their obeisance to the Buddha in their unique ritualistic way.
There are many shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and other religious items. However the shops here are more expensive than the Thamel area.
Nepal's largest and most famous stupa. One was first built on this site around 600 A.D. though that was destroyed centuries later and this one was probably built around the 14th century. I stayed at a hotel near here so I was able to come back to it several times. It is surrounded by restaurants and shops and I loved eating dinner on a high terrace as the sun set and watching the monks and others circle the stupa.
Walk round the white Bodhnath stupa and notice the beautiful buildings that encircle it. You can get there by renting a bike as it's around 10 kms from the city centre. There are more than 50 Tibetan Gompas surrounding the stupa. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The stupa at Boudha has been for centuries the most important landmark along the Tibet-Kathmandu trade route and today is in many regards the national symbol for Nepal. The Tibetans call it Chorten Chempo (the Great Stupa). Visiting the Boudha Stupa area is an imersion into Tibetan culture.
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.
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.
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.
Maybe the most beautiful detail of the stupa: the Harmika, the square construction painted with gold on each face and with the eyes of Buddha, instead of a nose there´s a question mark (the Nepalese character for number 1, wich symbolised unity and the way to reach enlightment). The small third eye represents Buddha wisdom.
The white washed Bodhnath stupa was built over terraced platforms, the plinth is the first level and is surrounded by niches and praying wheels, after the platforms there´s a dome or Kumbha, this dome also supports the Harmika, a square base painted on each side with the eyes of Buddha, then there´s 13 stages that represents the stages of perfection, atop the construction there´s a protective umbrella.
This small town located eastern of Kathmandu (6 kms from Thamel) is a religious center for the large amount of Tibetan exiles. The main feature of the village is the amazing Boudhnath Stupa, the largest and holiest in Nepal. The stupa was built in the 9th century, so most of the village was constructed around it. It´s impressing the view of hundreds of people doing Kora, wich consists in walking and praying around the stupa.
Bodhinath, also known as "Khasti", is the biggest Buddhist stupa in the valley. Rising to 36m, the circular stupa's golden spire is festooned with colourful prayer flags sending words of wisdom into the air. By night the stupa resembles a huge Buddhist birthday cake covered with candles, lights and lanterns. Walk with mantra-chanting monks turning Tibetan prayer wheels around the stupa in a clockwise direction known as a "Kora", a sacred circumambulation that brings great merit. Bodhinath is believed to contain the relics of the past Buddha Kashyapa, but is also held holy by Hindus. The stupa is set along the ancient Tibetan trade route and is an important pilgrimage point for the valley's Tibetan community.
This monastery is very near to Bodhnath Stupa and 10 mins drive from Hyatt Hotel. It's a very beautiful monastery. You can visit this monastery after visiting Bodnath Stupa. There are very many beautiful and spectacular paintings on the walls of the monastery.
Khawalung Monastery was founded by Lama Jigme Korjee. It was consecrated blessed by H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche, H.E. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and many Rinpoches and Yogi Masters. The monastery includes an elementary school, a training school for rites and rituals, Buddhist studies and retreat. It consists of more than 8 teachers and 40 monks from very remote region of Nepal and Tibet. One of its objectives is to preserve the treasure teachings of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
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.