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Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage (1979), the biggest stupa in Nepal is called Jhyarung Khashyor, Khasa Chaitya, at Boudha-Jorpati Road, 4.5 km north of Kathmandu airport. The stupa covers 6756 sq km of land, 141 ft tall, 100 ft in diameter, and 3-tiered plinths in yantra form raised over 12 crossed rectangles. Five Dhyani Buddhas set Vairochana at the centre, Ratnasambhava in the south, Amitabha in the west, Amoghasiddhi in the north, and Aksobhya in the east direction. The dom tied 108 small niches with icons of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and female deities of conjoint figures in erotic poses. The floor base has countless praying wheels with carving mantras, Om Mani Padme Hum.

The 5th-century old stupa kept a relic of the Kasyapa Buddha of Dwapara-Yuga. North of the stupa is an ascending ladder symbolically to Tushita heaven. Symbols of stupa translate two eyes (method and wisdom), Nose (nirvana), Thirteen Steps (13 states of Bodhisattvas ground to complete enlightenment), Pinnacle (Mount Sumeru), Dome (Universe), Umbrella (protector of Buddha), Dharma, Sangha, Harmika (8 noble paths), Mandala (mansion of Buddha), and Lotus (compassion with purity). North of the stupa owns an Ajima temple, two prayer wheels, prayer flags, bells, a light offering house and a garden. Ajima explains Mamo Pukasi as the stupa protector and wish-fulfilling goddess. Boudhanath entrance fee is Rs. 400 for foreigners and Rs. 100 for SAARC countries.

Boudhanath Stupa is as sacred as Lumbini, Swayambhunath and Namo Buddha. The stupa has been gold-plated (75 kg gold) after the 2015 earthquake. Every day at 5 a.mand 4 p.m., pilgrims circumambulate clockwise of the stupa with prayer wheels and mantras. There are handicraft shops, painting schools, monasteries, guest houses, Tibetan settlements (1959), 35 monasteries with monks, cultural activities, prayer wheels and meditation. There are exquisite Shechen Monastery (northwest), Guru Lhakhang Monastery (nearby to the north), Dilyak Yebam (1966), Jhamchen Lhakhang (1986), Tashi Samteling Monastery (northeast), Thrangu Monastery, Buddhist school. Ghyoilisang Peace Park and the historic pond (15745 sq ft) lie in the northwest (2-minute walk). The park soil was used to build the stupa. The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu renovated the park with a statue of Guru Padmasambhava in 2015.

The stupa's history and construction are exciting. The Mountain Buddhist believes the widow Jyajima was a poultry keeper helping her four sons (Trisong Deuchen, Shanta Rakshita, Guru Padmasambhava, and Bami Thiser) build the stupa. Next story, King Manadeva built the stupa in the 5th century. The third story, the stupa, was constructed in memory of the Tibetan Lama, who died on the pilgrimage tour of Kathmandu.

Annual festivals celebrate Losar (Jan-Feb), worshipping the deities and lighting butter lamps day to night. Buddha Jayanti (April-May) is the birthday festival of Gautama Buddha, celebrated on the full moon day of Baisakh. Janai Poornima (Aug-Sept) festival celebrates decorating the stupa with prayer flags and lights. Ropai Jatra (August) celebrates annually the full moon day with the Tamang and Newar community. Every 12 years, honours a special ceremony with a belief of 12 years to build the stupa. Musical instruments, chant hymns and dances perform during the ceremony. There is a facility of tourist toilets, terrace restaurants and a monastery rooftop for the photo.