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Asia - Nepal
18 July 2010

Boudhanath Stupa outside Kathmandu

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After visiting Swayambhunath stupa, we drove on to Boudhanath Stupa, another place or pilgrimage for buddhists. It is one of the holiest buddhist sites in Kathmandu (Yambu), Nepal. The stupa is located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the centre and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. Large populations of refugees flowing in from Tibet have resulted in the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. Since 1979, Boudhanath has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.

The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet that enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudhanath Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of C?-bah? (often called 'Little Boudnath'). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati river to Patan - thus bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (founded later). Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for centuries and centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to settle around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.