Nepal Buddhist Temple, the history
For years, one of the most important places of meditation and pilgrimage for Nepalis and Tibetans Buddhist is Boudhanath. Boudhanath, or also known as Boudha is the most important temple in the country. Boudha is pronounced the same way as Buddha, so ‘Bo-da’. Boudhanath is located on what used to be the major trade route between the two countries, Tibet and Nepal.
Because of its location, this Buddhist Temple was used as a resting place for many merchants. Right now it is also one of the high points for tourism in Kathmandu and the whole Nepal. Especially after it became a Unesco World Heritage Site, back in 1979.
Why you need to go to this Nepal Buddhist Temple
It is pretty obvious what I’m going to say here. You must go because it is fucking pretty! I am the opposite of a religious person, so the Buddhist side for me is just not so important. But as a photographer and especially as a portrait photographer, this was one of the most exciting points of my trip.
The focal point of Boudha is, of course, the Great Stupa of Boudhanath. The eyes of Buddha are spectacular! So big, so golden, so nice. And the whole picture you have from there is fabulous. A big contrast from the dirty and full of dust looks of Kathmandu.
Around Boudhanath, there are around 30 Tibetan Gompas. Gompas are a Tibetan monastery and/or nunneries. Besides all this, many cafes, restaurants, shops and even tattoo shops are there. It is, in my view, the most Buddhist shopping mall I ever saw. I mean no disrespect, of course. The comparison is mainly because of the amount of business around the Stupa.
You can have a better view of what I’m saying from this video I did. Please help us by giving a thumbs up and subscribing to our YouTube channel, every little help counts.
The vibe of this place is very much Himalayan. Himalayan with a solid presence of Sherpas and Tibetans, of course. You can see this by the products being sold there. Momos, thukpa and other amazing Tibetan food and favorites.
Lots of folks walk around the Stupa two or three times as a daily ritual. They do this repeating a mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” (according to the internet, maybe I’m wrong). They sing this either super quiet or very loud. Besides those walking folks, you have the praying people. They go up and down, in a yoga-like way of praying. It is very interesting and calming at the same time to see such dedication from all sorts of people.
If your visit turns out to be on a full moon, be prepared for a thick air with incense. So a strong smell and a large number of monks and ordinary people singing mantras. It is fascinating! It is worth to do two trips maybe so that you can get the two sides of this Nepal Buddhist Temple.
Another thing I did and I strongly recommend is to find where the sun lays down and go to a cafe or restaurant on the last floor of one of the buildings. The sunset is magical! Order 20.000 momos and thank me afterward. If you all want, I make a post dedicated to this fantastic delicatessen called momos. Addiction can describe how I was my feeling towards momos.
The entrance and free and most of the restaurants close around 8 pm. If you are going from point A to B in Kathmandu with taxis, know that from the airport to this Nepal Buddhist Temple is no more than 400 or 450 rupees. Right now, according to Google, 1 euro is around 120 Nepalese Rupees, but I always advise you to double check all these price and currency info before you travel. I strongly suggest to either use the meter or negotiate the price beforehand with the driver. Scammers are everywhere in Nepal, as you can expect. Also, tell the taxi driver that you wish to go to Boudha Stupa main Gate.
For those going by bus, loads of local buses and vans go from the Chabihil to the Kathmandu Valley around the Ring Road. They will be around 20 rupees. Take whatever that goes to the Bouda Stupa Main Gate, and you’ll be fine. Nepal is a very friendly country, and you don’t need to be afraid of starting a conversation, the Nepalese people were one of the most friendly people I ever saw in my travels. Nepal is forever in my heart!
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