Around the World in 80 Clicks

inspiring you to travel

Nepal: Boudha Stupa

Mission accomplished image

Boudha Stupa | Nepal | Asia

[Visited: April 2007]

Inevitably, I knew what the stupa of Boudha would look like before I arrived. Still, when I walked the main street in Boudha I did not notice anything special. Only when I turned to the left, the stupa and the golden tower on top of it presented themselves to me. Even so, it was only when I arrived at the end of the alley that the entire stupa unfolded before my eyes. Yes, it was big, yes, it was crowded, and yes, I wanted to get on top! I walked clockwise around the stupa, and climbed several levels to the highest level where you are allowed to walk.

Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Prayer flags flying from the stupa seen from below

Actually, the Boudha stupa has nine levels, representing the World Mountain, or Neru - home of gods and centre of the cosmos. The levels represent the five elements. The stupa itself, whose original version was probably built in the 7th century, consists of three levels, accessible to the visitor. They symbolize Earth; two higher plinths symbolize water, and the golden tower above that bear the eyes of the omnipresent god. Between each of these eyes, in three colours, you can find a third eye, the symbol of wisdom. Stair-like steps leading up to the top represent the steps to enlightenment; the pyramidal shape symbolizing fire. The canopy on top stands for air, and the spire defining the top of the structure stands for the sphere.

Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Typical eyes, golden tower, orange canopy and spire on the Boudha stupa

Obviously, as can be seen in the amount of people circumambulating the stupa on the kora at ground leve, the stupa is of significance to Tibetan buddhists, who have established a large community in Bodhnath or Boudha - many of them fled Tibet after the failed uprising in 1959. At the same time, it is a gathering place for many people, and indeed, is as pleasant a place as any to while away your time. The sun has unobstructed access to the sides of the stupa, and, with a little caution for the sloping sides of the stupa, you can sit virtually anywhere. As the sun goes down and the colours of the stupa become warmer, there are more people around. The prayer flags flying above your head, the murmur coming from below, the friendly eyes of the omnipresent god that never even blink looking down on you, make for a peaceful experience, whether you are a buddhist or not.

Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Boudha stupa: stupa, prayer flags and golden tower
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Bodnath or Boudha stupa, prayer flags and golden tower
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Golden tower, canopy and prayer flags on top of Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Vigilant eyes watching on all sides of Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Boudha stupa above the Bodnath quarter of Kathmandu
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Colourfully dressed women walking on Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Woman having a quiet moment on Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Eastern side of Boudha stupa with kora and surroundings
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Woman and children walking on Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Prayer flags and people on Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Walking the kora around Boudha stupa, just before sunset
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Couple on Boudha stupa
Picture of Boudha Stupa (Nepal): Bodnath: dwarf at entrance of prayer hall

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Boudha Stupa (Nepal). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Boudha Stupa.
Read more about this site.

Follow us