Where We Be
|This is the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal -- Bodhnath is sometimes called the "Little Tibet" of Nepal
|These two colorful statues welcome you at the second tier of the stupa, the highest the general public can climb
|At a rooftop restaurant overlooking the stupa
|After lunch, we visited this beautiful Tibetan monastery located just north of the stupa along its outer perimeter.
Called the Guru Lhakhang Gompa, It is newly constructed, and its upper balcony is lovingly carved and painted.
|These are the elaborate main doors on the upper balcony of the monastery. Is Robin thinking of joining the order? She'd have to shave her head!
|Hundreds of additional butter lamps filled with oil wait to be lit by devotees
|Rows of butter lamps stretch down a very long table
|Buddha gave his first sermon at Deer Park in Sarnath, India -- these deer honor that sermon
We liked Bodhnath straight off. For one thing, it's
an easy site to visit, being centered on a single
enormous “stupa” around which everything and
everybody circles. The stupa, a kind of Buddhist
temple, looks like a white inverted pot with a gold
tower rising up from the middle, with the eyes of
Buddha painted onto the four sides of the tower.
This dramatic stupa is the absolute centerpiece of
Bodhnath and without a doubt one of the most
famous stupas in the world. Monks, tourists, and
locals alike circle it in a clockwise direction. Shops,
restaurants, and monasteries line the outer edges
of the circular path, while hundreds of spinnable
prayer wheels line the path's inner perimeter.
Passing inside a gate, we walked thrice around the
stupa's lower level for good luck, past endless
rows of butter lamps, burning candles, and people
quietly praying, chanting, or meditating. Climbing
steps to the second tier, we made the same circuit
for close-up views of Buddha's mesmerizing eyes.
|This is the most famous stupa in the world -- you get a sense of its size when you look at the buildings around it
|This dragon-like creature adorns one of the Tibetan monasteries near the stupa
|We passed hundreds of lit butter lamps as we circled the lower tier of the stupa