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JK Roaming Adventures

The Stupas have Eyes

NEPAL | Wednesday, 5 November 2014 | Views [602]

The only way to travel is to blog about it. Below is one of our stories from our personal travel blog www.jkroaming.com

 

With one full day left in Kathmandu,  Nepal we had to make a choice between The Swayambhunath Stupa (also known as Monkey Temple) or the Boudhanath Stupa. They are both almost the same so there was no point in doing both.In the end the deciding factor came down to Monkeys… After seeing what they could do in the Wizard of Oz John decided to go with Boudhanath.

Well maybe that’s not true. Boudhanath was talso he largest Stupa built in Asia and had over 50 Tibetan Monasteries surrounding it... so it was the bigger draw.

We jumped into our new mode of transport, The Minivan and headed over there. We began to have doubts after being deposited in a noisy dirty street but on walking a few metres we came across an alleyway that lead to our goal.

Like a Final Boss in Shinobi the Stupa found us out!

                                                                         

 

The Boudhanath stupa (aka the Boudha, Chorten Chempo and Khãsa Caityais) is one of the holiest and most recognisable sites in Kathmandu. It has a height of 36 metres and a diameter of 120 metres, making it the largest in Nepal and one of the largest in the world. Absolutely massive and dominating the surrounding locale the Stupa is awash with a kaleidoscope of colours from all the Tibetan Prayer Flags draped on it.

At this point you might be searching the deepest parts of your memory to try to understand where you might have seen this imagery before. Well if you are a fan of the band Enigma you will remember the Boudhanath Stupa from the music video for the song "The Eyes of Truth".

 

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Taste the rainbow!

                                                                       

 

There has been a stupa on this site since Tibetan king Songsten Gampo converted to Buddhism in around 600 AD. It is said that he built it as Penance for the killing of his father to seize the throne.

It's behind you!

                                                                       

Boudhanath is rich in symbolism. It has five statues of Dhyani Buddhas, representing the five elements (earth, fire, water, air and ether); nine levels, representing Mount Meru (the mythical peak at the centre of the Buddhist cosmos); and 13 rings from its base to its apex (representing the steps to enlightenment or Nirvana).

As a major Tibetan Refugee Settlement there are armies of monks pottering about  the cobblestone alleyways as well as every conceivable Tibetan Handicraft for sale along with Momos and other foods.

Crouching Buddhist Hidden Monk!

                                                                        

Dodging the expensive restaurants  on the square that use the stunning vistas they provide of the stupas to add a few  Rupiahs onto everything we went in search of a more local cuising. After a while we stumbled into a literal time warp and got some fried rice in what can only be described as somewhere straight out of. David Bowie song.

“Crusty Apple Pie in the China Cupboard. Psychadelic cushions for the punters…tame”.

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Tags: boudhanath, boudhanath stupa, buddhist monks, kathmandu, nepal, temple

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