Early morning or late night, walk to one of the UNESCO heritage sites, Boudha, is a perfect spot if you wish to witness the religious rituals of Buddhists with the architecture of Nepal. Unique white dome-shaped structure stupa, in the local language, is known as "Khasa Chaitya".
The stupa is considered to stand firmly on the ground with the height of thirty-six meters and holds a religious value for the pilgrimage residing in and out of the country. UNESCO inscribed Boudha stupa on the list of the world heritage sites in the year 1979 due to its aesthetic value attached to the religion of Buddhism. Not only, has the stupa been roughly surrounded by twenty-nine monasteries? The monastery holds several historic tales and is believed to have been standing tall since the fifth century.
Caption: The map of Boudhanath, where the main stupa is situated. (Credit: Google Map)
The main entrance of Boudhanath is famously called the "Boudha gate" by local people. The gate is gigantic having dragons on top with colorful flower crafts. Entering the gate we directly come across a dome-shaped structure and pure, mysterious eye of Buddha. When we get in, our ears automatically will get hold of Buddhist chant "Om maney pay mei ho", playing in a soothing tone whereas our nose will hold the smell of burning holy incenses.
Caption: The dusky view of the Bauddhanath Stupa. (Credit:getlostmagazine.com)
We can also see a touristic information desk where SAARC countries guest is to pay Rs.50, Chinese visitors -two hundred and fifty, other international guests are to pay–two hundred and fifty. Take note that visitor's below ten years are allowed to enter the religious place without any charge. Moving, closer to the white stupa we get to see a huge crowd of people and small vendors selling multiple items.
Caption: The surroundings shop of Baudhanath Stupa, Bauddha. (Credit: flickr)
Now, let's talk about the left portion of the stupa. Moving left from the main entrance we come across another magnificent building having a huge bell at the front gate. When we further move in we get to see an astonishing statue of lord of peace, the Gautam Buddha. The building is two-story when we climb the staircase to move to the first floor we can see paintings portraying human life, past, present and future.
On the first floor, we have a prayer room with beautiful painting and a golden statue of Buddha's enclosed inside transparent glass. Stepping out of the building we come across an area where people feed grains to the birds and a small butter lamp burning lace where devotees were seen lighting the lamp chanting mantras with closed eyes.
Caption: The burning butter lamps in Baudha Nath Stupa. (Credit: flickr)
As head ahead we get to see coffee shops, tea stalls and monks sitting on public benches praying. We can also witness a small dog checkup post where wounded or sick street dogs are given treatment without any charges. The Boudha stupa has been connected with numerous small alleys way and it is not advised to get inside the tiny walking spaces without guides or travel maps.
As we move according to the circular structure at the end we come back to the right part of the stupa and then again get connected to the main entrance gate. With this brief overview of Bouddhanath let's get into the list of things which we can do inside this religiously rich premises.