Bodnath Stupa (बौद्धनाथ)
BodnathKathmandu 13369Nepal Phone No: +977 1-4256909

 

Boudhanath Stupa

Eye of Bouddhanath

Boudhanath (Devnagari: बौद्धनाथ) (also called Boudha, Bouddhanath, Bodhnath or Baudhanath or the Khāsa Caitya) is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu (Yambu), Nepal. It is known as Khāsti by Newars Jyarung Khasyor BY TAMANG as Bauddha or Bodh-nāth by modern speakers of Nepali.[1] Located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.

The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.

  • map of boudhanath
    Boudhanath Stupe
    Night view of boudhanath stupa
         
  • The Boudhanath Stupe (Temple) as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

    UNESCO World Heritage Site Boudhnath Stupa

    The Boudhanath Temple has further gained influence after being declared as a World heritage Site by UNESCO. The Boudhanath Temple was erected in the 5th century and has been of great importance to Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalese for purposes of pilgrimage and meditation. There are quite a number of monasteries and nunneries around the Boudhanath Temple and there is a strong Himalayan culture around the temple too because of the presence of Tibetans and Sherpas. Buddhists will be seen performing their daily rituals by walking around the Boudhanath Temple three times while reciting either loudly or silently the incantation “’Om Mani Padme Hum”

History of Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath was probably built in the 14th century after the Mughal invasions; various interesting legends are told regarding the reasons for its construction. After the arrival of thousands of Tibetans following the 1959 Chinese invasion, the temple has become one of the most important centers of Tibetan Buddhism. Today it remains an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalis, as well as a popular tourist site.

According to legend, Boudhanath Stupa was built by an an old poultry woman who asked the king for land to construct a shrine to the Buddha. The king agreed, and offered her as much land as she could cover with the skin of a water buffalo. The woman proceeded to cut a buffalo hide into thin strips, and placed them end to end to form a huge circumference. The king realized that he had been tricked by the old woman, but he adhered to his word, and the stupa was constructed according to these dimensions. Nowadays, the stupa is the most popular site for Buddhists in Nepal, and throughout the day pilgrims can be seen circumambulating the structure chanting mantras. It is especially spectacular at night when adorned with butter lamps. Remember to walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction and also to spin the prayer wheels clockwise. There is a small entry fee to enter the stupa area, though this is waived for guests of hotels located at the other side of the stupa. Here, you can also see Shechen Monastery, located in the alleys near the stupa. A very spacious and beautiful temple founded by the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. There is a garden restaurant near the monastery guest house.

  • Get in

Taxis: From the Kathmandu airport, or from Thamel, expect to pay 300-400 rupees (2013). If you are coming to see the Boudha Stupa, tell the taxi driver that you wish to go to Boudha Stupa main Gate.
There are also a number of local buses and vans that carry passengers in the Kathmandu Valley around Ring Road (which loops around Kathmandu & the Kathmandu Valley) to Chabihil for 20 to 25 rupees. From Chabihill, one can take one of the many buses/vans to the 'Bouda Stupa main gate' for 20 rupees, or walk for 20 mins. up the Boudha road to the Stupa.

Get around

Most of the sites of interest are located near the stupa and can easily be reached on foot. Taxis are available on the main road by the main stupa gate, until around 8 pm.

See

Boudhanath Stupa. According to legend, Boudhanath Stupa was built during the 5th century AD, by an an old poultry woman who asked the king for land to construct a shrine to the Buddha. The king agreed, and offered her as much land as she could cover with the skin of a water buffalo. The woman proceeded to cut a buffalo hide into thin strips, and placed them end to end to form a huge circumference. The king realized that he had been tricked by the old woman, but he adhered to his word, and the stupa was constructed according to these dimensions. Nowadays, the stupa is the most popular site for Buddhists in Nepal, and throughout the day pilgrims can be seen circumambulating the structure chanting mantras. It is especially spectacular at night when adorned with butter lamps. Remember to walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction and also to spin the prayer wheels clockwise.
There is a small entry fee (Nepales rps. 200) to enter the stupa area. This can be waived for guests of hotels located at the other side of the stupa.

Do

Circumambulate the stupa (walk clockwise around it). This is the main activity of pilgrims & many tourists too. One lap is approx. 150 meters. At the far side from the main gate entrance it is possible to walk up on to the stupa itself during the daytime.
Photography. The stupa & its surroundings are very photogenic, but please don't take pictures of people without their permission.
Monastery tour Please practice good manners. Ask the first monk or nun you see at the place (monastery or nunnery) you wish to visit for permission, before wandering around their home grounds. Some (not all) encourage the public to visit by offering guided tours, classes, puja services, meals, & gift shops. While on their sacred grounds, be respectful, don't smoke, turn off cell phones, lower your voice, leave your shoes outside before entering any temples or buildings, & get permission before taking pictures. Bear in mind that monasteries & nunneries are sanctuaries for inner practice, not tourist attractions. Most (if not all) of them welcome donations.

Buy

There are many handicraft stores located all around the stupa. This may be the best place in Nepal for Buddhist & Tibetan related items - statues, prayer flags, Tibetan incense, etc.

Releted articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om_mani_padme_hum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_noble_truths

http://wikitravel.org/en/Boudhanath

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudhanath

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293890-d1963559-Reviews-Bodnath_Stupa-Kathmandu_Kathmandu_Valley_Bagmati_Zone_Central_Region.html

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal/around-the-kathmandu-valley/bodhnath-boudha

http://www.boudhanath.com/

http://www.pnclink.org/annual/annual2004/2004%20Prroceeding/PDF/102022.pdf

http://www.boudhamap.com/images/Boudha_Map.pdf