After suffering earthquake damage, at last the great Stupa of Bouddha has been repaired and restored to all its former glory.
Here’s an introduction and a few images of the great Stupa of Bouddha on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
Also referred to as Bodnath, Boudhanath this huge Buddhist monument is not surprisingly one of the ‘must see’ sites in Nepal. It is the largest Stupa in Nepal, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I’d highly recommend visiting here in the late afternoon as that’s when the monument really catches the sun and also coincides with the time that the local Tibetan population come to say prayers and perform the Kora. There tends to be fewer tourists around at this time too.
Originally the Stupa’s significance was that it was on the trade route between Nepal and Tibet. Those en route to to Tibet would pray here for safe passage across the high passes of the Himalayas and those coming the other way would be clearly giving thanks for having reached Kathmandu.
When there’s a full moon the Stupa is lit by thousands of butter lamps and whether you’re spiritual or otherwise it’s hard not to feel the ‘power’ of the place.
It’s likely that Bouddha was built around the 14th Century.
The nine levels of the Stupa represent the mythical Mt. Meru, centre of the cosmos; and the 13 rings from the base to the pinnacle symbolise the path to enlightenment, or “Bodhi” — hence the Stupa’s name. From above the Stupa looks like a giant Mandala.
Although the Stupa was not severely damaged during the 2015 earthquake part of the main tower was cracked and subsequently dismantled.
There was a time when the Stupa stood alone surrounded by nothing but fields. However, in recent years Kathmandu has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger and thus nowadays the Stupa is essentially part of the Kathmandu suburbs.
Not that this distracts from the experience. Indeed since 1959 the area has become home to around 16,000 Tibetan refugees and consequently the area around Bouddha is also a great place to shop for Tibetan souvenirs and try Tibetan cuisine too.
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