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Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal

Offerings at Boudhanath Stupa

Offerings at Boudhanath Stupa

Just a short taxi ride to the outskirts of Kathmandu brings us to Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the world and a pilgrimage site for Buddhists worldwide.

Interestingly, it’s a focal point for Tibetan Buddhism because it’s located on an ancient trading route between Tibet and Nepal and for centuries was used as a holy resting place. A large number of Tibetan refugees have made the area their home which accounts for the nearly 50 Tibetan monasteries surrounding the stupa.

I was surprised to learn that stupas, unlike cathedrals,  have no inside area. Other than containing some relics in the center of the mound, their colossal domes are completely solid.

Walking around the stupa clockwise we peeked into monasteries where monks chanted and played music unlike anything I have ever heard (video below). The whole area is a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells.

Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the entrance fee is: 150RPS ($1.50 US).  It’s an easy place to spend a whole morning or afternoon with plentiful people-watching, handicraft shopping, and food options.

Photos of Boudhanath:

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