Boudhanath Stupa

Location: Kathmandu

Affiliation: Buddhism

Country: Nepal

Architectural type: Stupa

Coordinates: 27°43’17”N 85°21’43”E

Boudhanath stupa was probably built in the 14th century. It is one of the largest stupa in the world. It is one of the most popular Tourist sites in the Kathmandu area. It is located about 11km from the center and northern outskirts of Kathmandu. The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet. Boudhanath was founded by the Nepalese Licchavi king Sivadeva. Tibetan sources claim a mound on the site was excavated in the 15th century and the bones of king Amshuvarma were discobered here. The Tibetan Emprior is also traditionally associated with the construction of the Bouddhanath Stupa.  The village that surrounds the great Kasyapa stupa is generally known by the name of Buddha.

The main entrance to the upper platform of Boudhanath Stupa is on the North side. The surroundings of the Stupa are streets and narrow alleys lined with colorful homes. The one can see the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and street vendors in the surroundings.  It is asia’s largest stupa and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist Temple. It is believed that the stupa was founded in between 590-604 CE by the Nepalese licchavi king. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, where thousands of devotes come daily to perform ritual circumnavigation.

It is believed that thousand of Buddhas and heavenly deities incarnated as lamas in the Buddha Stupa. It is also believed that, the rays of bodhisttivas entered in the song from heaven and the holy sound was heared in the sky. The stupa has an interesting history of its own which explains this strange name. It is said in this history that Kasyapa was a Buddha that lived a long time before Shakyamuni Buḍḍha. After Kasyapa Buddha’s demise, a certain old woman, with her four sons, interred this great sage’s remains at the spot over which the great mound now stands, the latter having been built by the woman herself. Before starting on the work of construction, she petitioned the King of the time and obtained permission to proceed with a tower. By the time that, as a result of great sacrifices on the part of the woman and her four sons, the groundwork of the structure had been finished, those who saw it were astonished at the greatness of the scale on which it was undertaken. Especially was the case with the high officials of the country, who all said that if such a poor old dame were allowed to complete building such a stupendous tower, they themselves would have to dedicate a Temple as great as a mountain, and so they decided to ask the King to disallow the further progress of the work. When the King was approached on the matter his Majesty replied, “I have finished giving the order to the woman to proceed with the work. Kings must not eat their words, and I cannot undo my orders now.” So the tower was allowed to be finished, and hence its unique name, “Jya Rung Khashor Chorten Chenpo.” However, the tower must have been built after the days of Shakyamuni Buddha. During the festival of Losar, Boudhanath hosts the largest celebration in Nepal.

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