Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath

This is the most famous and iconic structure of Nepal. This has been the cover of numerous travel books scattered all over the world and written in different languages.  Boudhanath is famous among tourists as well as locals and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pilgrimages are being done all year round to this place and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu.

It is pretty amazing to see the stupa right before your very eyes. My jaw dropped at how beautiful and majestic it looks with the soft hum and chants of people praying while spinning the prayer wheels as they go around the stupa.

Prayer Wheel

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I joined the devotees going around the stupa in a clockwise direction and went up to the stupa. It’s even more beautiful up close seeing the prayer flags and the painted eyes.

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I came back after a couple of days and stayed in a guest house nearby. I left my stuff in my room and decided to go around the area. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants and shops surrounding the stupa. I shopped for souvenir items which are reasonably priced compared to those found at Thamel (travel tip!).

Boudhanath stores

After shopping, I bought a small tub of seeds and fed the birds with the locals.

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It was almost sunset so I decided to search for a restaurant with a great sunset view. I ordered some tea and waited for sunset.

Boudha

At night, I came back to the stupa to grab some dinner and I was surprised to see a number of devotees praying and lighting candles. I didn’t bring my camera so I used my phone to snap these photos.

Candle Lighting at Night

Candle Lighting

Even before the crack of dawn, the place was buzzing. The guesthouse where I stayed is owned by a monastery and I can hear people walking about outside the streets. I hurriedly dressed up and went to the Boudha grounds. Monks were sitting by the side with little tables. People would come and make some offering and prayers are said for good merit.

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Compared to last night, more tables were set-up covered with lots of tea lights. I joined in lighting the candles while saying a silent prayer.

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I went around the stupa and monasteries surrounding the Boudhanath are also doing their morning prayers inside. I witnessed a monk praying with his whole body while going around the stupa.

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Armed with their prayer beads, people continue to walk around the stupa.

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I felt lucky to have witnessed and be a part of the morning prayer on one of the sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal. The memory will forever be etched in my heart.

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Patan – The City of Arts

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Patan is one of the major cities found in the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as Lalitpur which means the city of arts. It is one of the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in Nepal. Before exploring Patan, my tour guide Dinesh and I went to have lunch. The restaurant has a wonderful panoramic view of Patan Durbar Square as shown in the photo above.

After having a hearty meal of chicken biryani, we were ready to explore Patan. The first thing I noticed is the picturesque Chyasing Deval a temple dedicated to Krishna. The colour and the shape is very unique compared to the other structures in the area.

We went inside the Mul Chowk otherwise known as the Royal Courtyard. The beams of the building are decorated intricately with different carvings.

We went out the courtyard and continued to walk further and saw the Vishnu Temple. It’s not as huge as the other temples but it also has a unique design.

In front of the Vishnu Temple is the statue of King Malla facing the Royal palace worshipping the goddess Taleju.

Then I saw the Krishna Temple (click to see another view of this temple on a previous post) with a kneeling statue of Garuda in front of it. This is the first temple built in Shikhara style and is made entirely of stone and is the only temple in Nepal with 21 golden pinnacles and scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are engraved in its interior.

It’s such a beautiful place with a lot of history! It is one of the must visit places in Nepal as this is considered as the oldest of all three cities of Kathmandu valley.

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I booked my tour with Alpine Club of Himalaya. Thanks to Sujan for all the help and for allowing me to personalise my tour.