Dubai Post 56: Stupas of Kathmandu
|One of the largest Stupa's in the world, Boudhanath.|
I know I have written a lot about Nepal but it was that great of a trip. This will be my last post on Nepal so I hope you found it interesting and are now jumping out of your seat to visit the country. This post will be about the few Stupas we visited. I found this to be the least interesting part of our excursion but it was also because I did not spend a lot of time at these locations.
The actual meaning of a Stupa is a heap because that is exactly what is it. It is basically a structure that contains many Buddhist relics. It is a place of worship for Buddhists and can be found all over Asia. There are two famous stupas in Kathmandu, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath.
I spent a total of about five minutes at Boudhanath which is in the heart of Kathmandu. Our driver literally pulled up aside a busy road, we walked through an archway and there it was, one of the largest Stupas in the world. You can also view the Tibetan lifestyle as Boudhanath was situated on a Tibet trade route. This is one reason I would have liked to experience more of if we had more time. One thing I did learn here was how some of the monks pray. Sumit showed us that monks walk along the side of the stupa flipping prayer wheels.
|Two Tibetan monks with Andy creeping in the background.|
|Flipping the prayer wheels at Swayambhunath.|
The second Stupa we visited was Swayambhunath also known as the monkey temple. It gets its name from the holy monkeys that run free amongst the grounds. The monkey temple is situated on a hill overlooking Kathmandu. If you climb to the very top, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the entire city. For me, the greatest aspect of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath is that they are still used today. People prayed at Swayambhunath 1500 years ago and were doing so when I was there in 2012.
|A view of Kathmandu from the top.|
|A view of the main Stupa at the monkey temple.|
After climbing the stairs at Swayambhunath, our group had enough. After a long two days in Nepal, we decided to spend the last few hours chowing on some local cuisine and sipping on some local brews. We laughed and reflected back on what was one of the greatest trips ever taken.
|Monkey minding his own business and his ice cream cone.|
|Walking up stairs and mountains was a common theme of our trip.|