Kathesimbu Stupa - Square, Kathmandu
Just south of the small square Thahiti Tole is at the right hand the entrance to a courtyard with the Kathesimbhu Stupa. This stupa from around 1650 is a copy of the great Swayambhunath complex on a hilltop 2 KM west of the centre at the other side of the Vishumati River.
It is said that, if a devotee not can make the ascent to the hill to the great complex, a circuit around this smaller replica is a good substitute.
Everyday we passed this stupa. It was a nice surprise, when we discovered it the first time, at the end of a small alley, hidden between the buildings.
Officially Nepal is a Hindu country, but in practice the Hinduism and Buddhism are mingled in a complex blend with a pantheon of Tantic deities mixed up with Hindu gods.
So in the courtyard of the Kathesimbhu Stupa is an image of Avalokiteshvara. This prime Bodhisattva of the Buddhists becomes Lokeshvara, a manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva.
Not only the religions are mingled, also the religion is an integrated part of the daily life.
There are temples, shrines everywhere, nearly at every corner of the street. And the people are walking, sitting, worshipping at the holy places, just in the middle of the citylife. In the courtyard of the Kathesimbhu Stupa we saw always people around, also playing kids and schoolboys, spending their break from school here.
In the courtyard of the Kathesimbhu Stupa just behind the stupa, is also a small pagoda of Harti, the goddess of the smallpox.
Further we saw a lot of statues of deities, like the image of Avalokiteshvara.
Near the entrance of the stupa are statues of lions atop concrete pillars.
It amazed me, how many small builded structures, images and statues were concentrated at one place. By the overload of information, it was impossible to see, recognize or remember it all. So I enjoyed the general impression and atmosphere of the area.
We accidentally came across this beautiful stupa with square built around it.
It is quite busy with lots of local visitors. There are some interesting shops around the square, and also very interesting architecture.
It is a short walk from Thamel and is definitely worth visiting.
This Square is a main religious pilgrimate site in the old part of Thamel. The entrance to the square is guarded by two bronze lions with the Kathesimbu Stupa in the middle and surrounded by other chaityas (smaller stupas) and temples (one devoted to Goddess Harti). The square is located near the Thahiti Tole at the south of Thamel. It was my first encounter with the Tibetan mysticism, that´s why i found it so charming.
Remember to always walk around the Stupa in a clockwise direction and give the prayer wheels a spin for good luck! It is worth taking your time to view the local people saying their mantras and absorbing the place.
There are some painting art schools surrounding the square (where one can see the alumns painting in the Mandala style) and some shops selling the thangkas.
A detail of a beautiful chaitya located in the square, one of the many small stupas that surrounds the Main Stupa of Kathesimbu.