Kapoors Year 9A: Paris/Sicily/Myanmar/Nepal travel blog

We Could Hardly Have Been Staying Closer To The Bodhnath Temple, We...

For Centuries In The Past, The Stupa Was An Important Staging Post...

On The Way To The Temple I Spotted A Shop Selling Caps...

And Shortly Thereafter, We Rounded A Corner And The Real Stupa's Eyes...

Thousands Of Pilgrims Gather Every Day To Make The Ritual Circumnavigation Around...

At Quieter Times, It Appears That The Pilgrims Are Not The Only...

And Of Course, Where People Gather There Are Always Shops Galore Providing...

As It Was Quiet That Afternoon, We joined The Worshippers And Walked...

Though There Were People Walking And Sitting On The Upper Levels, I...

We Returned At Dusk To Experience Bodhnath In A Different Light

The Interiors Of The Shops Surrounding The Stupa Looked Much More Appealing...

There Was Quite A Variety Of Souvenirs On Offer, But We're Not...

The Array Of Coloured Lights Made The Stupa Look Quite Magical At...

Those All-Seeing Eyes Were Still There, But Far Less Intense In The...

Halfway Round We Came Across A Beautiful Shrine, One That I'd Completely...

These Framed Tibetan Artworks Were Most Appealing, Glowing In The Lights From...

Just When I Thought I'd Escaped The Gaze Of Those Eyes In...

While We Continued Walking I Looked Up Now And Then, Suddenly I...

Sure Enough, There Was The Crescent Moon, Lit From Below Not From...

Anil And I Laughed Remembering The First Time We'd Noticed The Different...

Yet Another Shop Drew My Attention Away From The Stupa, Just As...

I Turned My Gaze Back To A Small Religious Statue, Decorated With...

One Last Look Upwards Only To Discover Small Stupas, Also With Painted...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Nepal chapter on Kathmandu has to say about the Bodhnath temple:

“There is nowhere quite like Bodhnath. This enormous stupa pulses with life as thousands of pilgrims gather daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the dome, beneath the watchful eyes of the Buddha, which gaze out from the gilded central tower. This is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan Buddhist culture is accessible and unfettered, and the lanes around the stupa are crammed with monasteries and workshops producing butter lamps, ceremonial horns, Tibetan drums, singing bowls, plumed hats for lamas and other essential paraphernalia for Buddhist life.

Historically, the stupa was an important staging post on the trade route between Lhasa and Kathmandu, and Tibetan traders would pray here for a safe journey before driving their yaks on to the high passes of the Himalaya. Today, most of the Tibetans living in the village of Boudha (pronounced boe-da) are refugees who fled China after 1959, but the stupa also attracts many Sherpas, descendants of Tibetan tribal people who migrated to Nepal in the 16th century. Many of the monasteries around the stupa have opened their doors to foreign students, so you’ll see plenty of Westerners in maroon robes as you stroll around the backstreets.

The best time to visit Bodhnath is late afternoon, when the group tours depart and local Buddhists stroll down to the stupa to light butter lamps, spin prayer wheels, chant mantras, shop for household goods, socialise and perform a ritual clockwise circuit of the monument. Try to visit on the evening of the full moon, when the plaza surrounding the stupa is lit up by thousands of butter lamps.”

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

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