Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal
Visit one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world!
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Best time to visit
Mar - May, Sep - Nov
Ideal for friends
About Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu
Boudhanath Stupa, with its colossal white mandala set against the beautiful landscape of the Himalayas, is the most important Buddhist stupa in Nepal. The original construction is as old as 600 AD. The Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo is said to have constructed it as homage to Avalokiteshvara, back when he had converted to Buddhism. Another story goes that the king constructed the stupa in penance after he mistakenly killed his father. Later during the 14th century, Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu was plundered and left in a state of ruins by Mughal invaders. So the current edifice that stands is a reconstruction by later rulers. However, the significance of the place remains untarnished. At night when the place comes alive with lights streaming down from the spire, Boudhanath Stupa looks magical.
Significance of Boudhanath:
The most important thing about Boudhanath stupa is the many architectural and numerological tributes it pays to Buddhism. From a bird’s eye view, the map of Boudha Kathmandu looks like Mount Meru – the mythical mountain at the centre of the cosmos as per Buddhism. Four meditating Buddha statues guard the four cardinal points of the temple. From the base to the top, there are five different segments that signify each of the five elements of nature. The plinth at the bottom represents earth, upon which the temple is built. The magnificent white-washed dome is water that sustains life. Above that is a small square base where there are eyes drawn on all. The Boudhanath stupa eyes are said to be Lord Buddha’s watching over the world. On top of that goes up a spire with 13 steps. The triangular shape of the spire represents fire. The 13 steps are to mark the 13 rites of passage to attain enlightenment as said by Buddha. Above the spire, the gilded canopy spread like an umbrella is the embodiment of air and finally the gilded spire; rising above all is what represents the ether, or void or the eternal space.
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FAQ's of kathmandu
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How old is Boudhanath stupa?
The original structure is at least 1400 years old. The current one was built in around the 15-16th century.
What does the architecture of Boudhanath stupa stand for?
The mapping of Boudhanath stupa resembles the Buddhist cosmos as per old scriptures. The dome looks like Mount Meru, the centre of the universe in the Buddhist pantheon.
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