Boudhanath Stupa

Published on: March 13, 2020

Overview Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath is situated 11km northeastern side of Central Kathmandu. It stands firmly dominating the skyline with its purity and beauty since the 5th century. It is one of the largest stupas in Asia and the largest spherical stupa of Nepal. Boudhanath is a very popular destination for tourists. A large number of Tibetan refugees and Buddhist pilgrims live around this stupa and more than 50 monasteries surround the stupa complex. Tibetan refugees influenced the constructions of the monasteries.

Due to its pure and serene environment, one can get a feeling of good and positive vibes. Different flavors of incense make the air around Boudhanath pleasant to smell. The environment seems more pure, spiritual and gracious because of various Tibetan chantings and mantras with the Tibetan and Buddhist pilgrims and monks.

A large number of domestic as well as international tourists visit this stupa making it a famous destination. Join the locals during morning and evening Kora for a cherishing environment. Kora is a circular walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction.

UNESCO enlisted this stupa in the world’s heritage site of the Kathmandu valley in 1979. It is very popular for its beauty, serenity, and spirituality.

There are various fast food cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and many other souvenir shops inside the Boudhanath complex. One can admire the beautiful view of the stupa from rooftop restaurants and coffee shops.

The evening time around Boudhanath stupa is always a pleasing and gracious time.

boudhanathBoudhanath during Night time.

History of Boudhanath

Khasti Mahachaitya was the real name of Boudhanath, before the Panchayat era. Khasti Mahachaitya means great stupa of dewdrops. But later during the Panchayat era 1960s, King Mahendra named it “Boudhanath”.

It is believed that the first stupa at Boudhanath was built around 600 AD when Song Tsen Gampo, the Tibetan king, converted to Buddhism. But, the Mughal emperors destroyed the first stupa. However, according to the Gopalaraja-vamsawali, Lichhavi king Sivadeva founded the stupa during the 5th century. The construction of this stupa is associated with a number of kings. Many Nepalese chronicles date this stupa back to the reign of King Manadeva. Similarly, excavators found bones of Amshu Verma in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Besides these, there are many myths and stories behind the construction of this ancient stupa.


Boudhanath stupa is shaped in a mandala style. It symbolizes the three-dimensional reminder of Buddha’s path towards enlightenment. The base of the stupa symbolizes Earth, the Kumbha (white dome) symbolize water, the spire symbolizes air and the top-most umbrella shape symbolizes void. There are 13 stages which Human beings need to pass to achieve Nirvana. The 13 spires are a symbol of those stages.

boudhanathBoudhanath dominating the skyline.

Earthquake 2015; Boudhanath

The earthquake of April 2015 heavily damaged this large stupa. The reconstruction began on 3rd November 2015. Boudha Area Development Committee was responsible for the reconstruction and renovation of the stupa. Buddhist groups and volunteers donated funds for the renovation and reconstruction works. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal officially inaugurated the newly constructed stupa on 22 November 2016.

Also, read about Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square.

1 day Kathmandu valley UNESCO heritage sightseeing
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