Kathmandu Valley

Boudhanath Stupa

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Boudhanath, Nepal's biggest stupa(current one), is thought to have been built in the 14th century, since then Boudhanath stupa become one of the most important centers of Buddhism.

Boudhanath Stupa has been a symbol of Buddhist belief for centuries, towering above the neighboring town as a vast mandala of calm, beauty, and enormous eyes.
Boudhanath Stupa

Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.

Boudhanath Stupa is enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first stupa was most likely built about 600 AD by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The existing stupa construction was most likely built following the 14th-century invasion of Mughal conquerors.

Boudhanath is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple.

With a diameter exceeding 100 meters, Boudhanath is among the largest stupa in the world and the biggest in Nepal.

Boudhanath Stupa is closely associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Padmapani), whose 108 forms are depicted in sculptures around the base. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara – Om Mani Padme Hum – is carved on the prayer wheels beside the images of Avalokiteshvara around the base of the stupa.

Boudhanath Stupa
Prayers Wheels in Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath is topped with a square tower bearing the omnipresent Buddha eyes on all four sides. Above this is the third eye, symbolizing the wisdom of the Buddha.

The prayer flags tied to the stupa carry mantras and prayers into the Universe, whilst fluttering in the wind. Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five, one in each of five colors. The five colors represent the elements and the Five Pure Lights.

Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa, Prayer Flags with Birds

All these symbols put together as well as their recurrence make the Boudhanath Stupa a meta-symbolic construction with distinct levels of suggestion, sagacity, and profoundness.

Monks, worshipers, and locals circumambulate the Stupa clockwise whilst praying and chanting.

Some people go around the stupa in the anti-clockwise direction, which is a wrong practice. You should circumambulate the stupa in a clockwise direction.

It is believed when you go clockwise, you align with the natural force. In Buddhist circumambulation, also called pradakshina, the practitioner walks clockwise around the stupa. 

Saffron water is used for the decorative lotus petal pattern. A skilled worker is throwing the water in a bow, so when it lands on the stupa it creates a round shape.

Boudhanath Stupa Lotus Petal
Boudhanath Stupa Lotus Petal Color

Early in the morning: The feeding of the birds is an act of giving and compassion. It is common for Buddhist holy places to have some sort of organized feeding of birds, fish, or animals.

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