The center of Buddhism in Kathmandu is Boudhanath… It is not just the biggest stupa of the Nepal, but the world.
Boudhanath that is 5 kms away from Kathmandu city center was a place that every Buddhist should at least go once.
The top of the stupas, the roof, was shaped as a hemisphere and it is white. Unline Hindu temples, there were no gates at the 4 sides of the stupas. Inside this hemisphere there were religious books and Buddha statues. But only monks can enter inside. There was a golden colored, square shaped area on the white roof. There are two eyes on every side of the square. These eyes symbolizes that the creator sees everything. There is a triangle roof on the top. There are 13 golden stairs on this roof. They represent reaching Nirvana. There are 108 niches on the white hemisphere and 108 little Buddha statues in them.
There are countles colorful windy flags hung from the top of the stupa to the bottom. There were manis lined up on the walls of stupa in 4 or 5 piece sets.
The importance of this square that the stupa is located is, that many Tibetans live here. Because China attacked Tibet in 1955, many Tibetans passed the Himalayas and came to Kathmandu and sheltered in this square. They were more than 20.000. That is why the shopkeepers here sell mostly Tibetan products.
There is also a big monastery for Tibetans in this square.
We went up to the highest floor of the monastery. We saw Himalayas on one side and Boudhanath Stupa and the people that counts beads and turn the manis in their hands, praying.
There are 2 same animal figures facing each other and a karma symbol on the top of the monastery. This symbol represents the base of Buddhist philosophy, “you will find good as long as you do good”.
There is no sacrificing animals tradition to god in Buddhism, unlike Hinduism. They light candles instead to show their respect.
The first place of birth for Buddha is the Lumbuni city in Nepal. Lumbuni is 25 kms east to the Kapilavastu, where Buddha lived until he was 29. Lord Budha (Prince Siddhartha Gautama) was born in 623 BC in Lumbuni. This is why this city is considered holy. But prince Siddhartha left the palace to find answers for the questions in his mind. He walked to the north of India, and meditated there under a banyan tree for 6 years. He started being enlightened after 6 years. After his enlightenment, he starts to spred the philosophy of Buddhism around the world.
The Boudhanath Temple in this square is very important for Buddhism. This temple is like the hadj place of Buddhists. The Buddhists that come here turns around the Stupa at least 108 times. They believe they will go to heaven if they to this.
We completed a tour around stupa and shopped from the stores around. You can buy, handmade Thangkas, cups with mantras written on them, little Buddha statues and prayer flags here. We left this very enjoyable square to go to Swayambunath Temple.