Boudhanath

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath (also known as Boudha, pronounced 'Bo-da') is located 7 km East/Northeast of Kathmandu & home to one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, built during the 5th century AD.

Understand

For centuries, Boudhanath has been an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists & local Nepalis. It is located on what was a major trade route between Nepal & Tibet. Many traveling merchants used it as a resting place. It is also a popular tourist site. In 1979, Boudha became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Stupa of Boudhanath is the focal point of the district. There are at least 29 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries & Nunneries) around Boudhanath. The culture is very much Himalayan with a strong presence of Tibetans & Sherpas, as can be evidenced by the number of restaurants selling momos, thukpa & other Tibetan favourites. Many maroon clad Tibetan Buddhist monks & nuns can be seen walking around Boudha, especially at the Stupa. As a daily ritual, many people walk three or more times around the stupa while repeating the mantra 'Om Mani Padme Hum' either quietly or aloud. During the days of & surrounding the full moons, the air is often thick with incense & mantras sung by monks, & the number of people visiting the Stupa increases significantly, along with the intensity of their mantras & prayers. Boudha is a fascinating & very spiritual area. Most of the restaurants & shops are closed by 20:00.

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Get in

Taxis: From the Kathmandu airport, or from Thamel, expect to pay 250-350 rupees (2011). If you are coming to see the Boudha Stupa, tell the taxi driver that you wish to go to Boudha Stupa main Gate.
There are also a number of local buses and vans that carry passengers in the Kathmandu Valley around the Ring Road (which loops around Kathmandu & the Kathmandu Valley) to Chabihil for 15 to 20 rupees. From Chabihill, one can take one of the many buses/vans to the 'Bouda Stupa main gate' for 15 rupees, or walk for 20 mins. up the Boudha road to the Stupa.

Get around

Most of the sites of interest are located near the stupa and can easily be reached on foot. Taxis are available on the main road by the main stupa gate, until around 8PM.

See

Boudhanath Stupa

Monasteries & Nunneries

The older monks take turns annually learning different jobs in the monastery. The monks chant special prayers as requested & often go to private homes to do pujas for the deceased, for new homes, etc. There are many monks under the age of eighteen and most of these boys are from rural areas of Nepal, particularly the mountain areas bordering Tibet. From an early age, they learn to develop the good habits and discipline.

Do

Buy

There are many handicraft shops around the stupa. This may be the best place in Nepal for Buddhist & Tibetan related items - statues, prayer flags, Tibetan incense, etc.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

There are dozens of hotels & guesthouses not listed here. Check bulletin boards in cafe/bakeries for individuals offering rooms for rent by the week or month.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Respect

In the vicinity of sacred sites:

Stay healthy

Shechen Monastery operates an efficient, hygienic & friendly clinic offering treatments using Western & traditional Tibetan medicine, homeopathy & also sometimes massage & acupuncture. It is a good place to seek treatment for both acute & chronic ailments. The clinic is in an alley across from Shechen Guest Houses.
Fatima Healing Centre is on the first floor of a beautiful mansion. They treat most common health issues. Dr Fatima (from Llasa Tibet) heals with traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture & herbal medicine. They also offer therapeutic/healing foot baths, facials & massage. A 15 min. walk North of the Stupa. Closed Saturday & Sunday
Kanti Dental clinic does general dental work including cleanings for rps 450. Located off the main road into Boudha, less than 100 m east of the Stupa main gate on the same side of the road. Open 7 days a week.
Krishna's Ayurvedic Therapy features Ayurvedic Medicine, Foot Therapy/Reflexology/Acupressure (1 hr foot massage/treatment costs rps 600, half hour for rps 300, in 2011). Also offered: Aroma therapy, Shiatsu therapy, Facials (rps 600). Store entry is in front of Stupa. From main stupa gate entry, walk clockwise around stupa almost half way - it's on left. Look for "Ayurvedic" sign.

Connect

Most cafes & coffee shops in Boudha have free WiFi for customers. There are many internet cafes near the Stupa.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.