The Giant Stupa – Boudhanath

On Saturday 10th March 2018 we braved another outing (both of us still not back to being 100% health) and got a taxi to Boudhanath (also known as Boudha).

Boudhanath is a 36 metre high stupa in Kathmandu that is one of the largest in the world. It is built along an ancient Tibetan trade route and Tibetan merchants have placed offerings and said prayers here on their way into Kathmandu for centuries. In the 1950’s, Nepal received a large number of refugees from Tibet and many chose to make the surrounding areas of Boudha their home, so this area has a big Tibetan influence.

We negotiated a taxi for 500 Nepalese Rupees (£3.40) and it took around 20 minutes for us to get there. It was 400 rupees each to get into the square which is used to maintain the site and I think the price was raised after the earthquake to help with the damage, preservation and strengthening of the stupa for the future – for £2.70 we really didn’t mind paying it and it was actually on the more reasonable side compared to other sites we would be visiting during our time in Kathmandu.

We both really liked it here. The stupa is an enormous, imposing presence towering over you with the all seeing eyes watching as you circle the stupa in a clockwise direction. There are shops and restaurants in the terraced buildings that surround the square and these can give you a great view of the entire area and stupa.

I loved the number of prayer flags that hung from the top of the stupa down to the bottom and this gave an extra level of colour to the already bright white and gold structure. In the sunlight the white of the stupa was almost blinding and you could walk on the stupa itself which was pretty cool. The prayer flags are from Tibet and resonate with the heavy Tibetan presence in Boudha. The Tibetans believe that the prayers written on the flags blow up to their deities in the wind and will bring good fortune to them, their loved ones as well as everyone who they know (including their enemies!)

We stopped at a cafe that did nice milkshakes and had some lunch here as we didn’t want to overdo it on one of our first outings after being so ill. The cafe was nice and after a rest we headed towards a small temple that was covered in colourful paintings and gave you good views of thestupa. It’s definitely worth finding somewhere higher, whether it’s a restaurant or the temple to see the whole stupa in one go as it really is very impressive and looks so lovely whilst watching all of the life carrying on around it in the little shops and stalls.

Boudha was one of our favourite places in Kathmandu and it was good to get to spend a long time their walking around the structure and relaxing with it in view. We weren’t there for it but apparently every morning the monks who all live and worship in the area climb the stupa and pray on it which would be have been really cool to see. We still enjoyed the stupa in all it’s grandeur and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Kathmandu to come and spend some time here.

Sending Love x

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