Things to do in Kathmandu: Visiting The Sacred Boudhanath Stupa

Things to do in Kathmandu: Visiting The Sacred Boudhanath Stupa

The Boudhanath Stupa ( known as Khāsti by the local people) is considered to be the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet.  This holy stupa is the biggest in Nepal and one of the largest in the entire world.  It’s located just outside of downtown Kathmandu in the town of Boudha.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa prayer flags

The proper way to walk around the stupa is clockwise. The sounds of Tibetan chanting, prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, and prayer bells will fill your ears with delight. I felt a great sense of peace and tranquility as I walked around the Boudhanath Stupa.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath stupa

Boudanath stupa monks

Glowing butter lamps, fragrant flowers, the musky smell of burning incense, and singing birds all added to the sense of the sacred at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You can pay to light the lamps to give a blessing to yourself and to your loved ones.

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Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath stupa

The Buddha’s blue eyes which are supposed to see all are painted on the four sides of the central spire and, above them, are the 13 golden steps that lead to Nirvana.

Boudanath stupa

I didn’t care for the many souvenir shops surrounding the stupa, so I walked inside one of the lower platforms which has a wall around it and shields you from all the commercialism which, in my opinion, ruins the atmosphere. By walking inside, you will also see many statues and carvings that you will miss if you just walk outside on the perimeter. There are several restaurants with rooftops overlooking the Boudhanath stupa if you want to sit and watch the activity happening in the square.

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Boudanath stupa

The easiest way to get there is by taxi. It will cost around 300 rupees or $3 USD. You can also rent bicycles in central Kathmandu and reach the Boudhanath Stupa by bike as well.

Valen Dawson