Nepal is an alluring mountainous country full of sacred and holy places. Customs and traditions in Nepal differ from one place to another. Nepal is a secular country consisting of multi-cultures and multi-religions like Hinduism, Buddhist, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism. The majority of Nepalis are either Hindus or Buddhists and they have co-existed in harmony through many centuries.
Gautam Buddha sermonized the importance of balance between physical and mental conditions of human life. He believed that it's the mind that must be at peace and in check. Buddha is one of the greatest pride Nepal has and is liable for the beginning of Buddhism all over the world. Nepal is a proud country to be the homeland of Gautam Buddha, the light of Asia. Gautam Buddha is widely worshipped by both Buddhists as well as Hindus in Nepal.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Touris a journey for a better understanding of the moral and spiritual beliefs of Buddhism. People mainly travel to deepen knowledge about Buddhism and connect with its history. To see the sites where miracles happened, spiritually connect with it, and receive blessings. Buddhist pilgrimage tour in Nepal covers many sacred places like Bouddhanath stupa, Swambhunath stupa, Namo Buddha, World Peace Pagoda, Lumbini-the birthplace of Buddha, and hundreds of monasteries.
Major Buddhist Sites in Nepal
Swayambhunath Stupa - Holiest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal
Located in a hillock 3km west of Kathmandu, Swambhunath is considered one of the holiest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. The history of the stupa goes back to ancient times. It is the oldest of its kind and is surrounded by many shrines and monasteries. The earliest written record of the Great Stupa of Swayambhunth was in the 5th century stone inscription. Swayambhunath stupa, also known as Monkey Temple, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The eyes and eyebrows painted on the stupa represent Buddha’s mind of compassion and wisdom. It offers peace, freedom, joy, and evens spiritual release. Visitors and pilgrims walk around the stupa, recite mantras, make offerings and prayers for all beings. It is most crowded on Buddha’s birthday which falls in May each year.
Boudhanath stupa has been an important site of pilgrimage and meditation for centuries. It is located 11km northeast of the centre of Kathmandu. It is located in what was once the major trade route between Tibet and Nepal. The huge mandala of Bouddhanath stupa makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in the world. It dominates the skyline of that area. There are countless Tibetian Gompas around Bouddha. The huge meditative monument built around the 14th century is said to be created right after the passing of Buddha. Bouddha stupa was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Devotees stroll around the glimmering white dome and visit nearby monasteries for prayers.
It is located 40km away from the heart of Kathmandu city in Kavre district. It is a very quiet and beautiful place. Namo Buddha is a small village area where the very old Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the world resides. It is known as the place where Siddhart Gautam in life as a Prince, gave his body to a starving tigress. The environment is clean, pure hence the air is fresh and healthy. You can see snow-capped mountains and beautiful sunrise and sunsets.
Lumbini- Buddhist Pilgrimage Site in Nepal
Lumbini is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. It is the place where Gautam Buddha was born. It has a number of old temples including Mayadevi Temple and many other new temples funded by Buddhist organizations from various countries. Lumbini was enlisted UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The Main Highlights of Lumbini
- Mayadevi Temple: Maya Devi is an ancient Buddhist temple which is the main temple of Lumbini. It is the site considered as the spot where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Gautam Buddha in around 563 B.C. The temple stands adjacent to a pool(Puskami) and a sacred garden.
- World Peace Pagoda: It is a Buddhist monument designed and built by Japanese Buddhists. The golden statue depicts the posture which is assumed Buddha was born. There is a grave near the World Peace Pagoda of a Japanese monk who was killed by anti-Buddhist during the construction of the monument.
- Myanmar Golden Temple: The Myanmar Golden Temple is one of the oldest structures within the Lumbini Compound, built-in Burmese style architecture. The temple is in the form of a stupa with an impressive corncob shaped shikhara(tower) styled after the temples of Bagan and is painted in golden colour. Within the temple, there are three prayer pillars and a Lokamani Pula Pagoda.
- Ashoka Pillar: The Ashoka Pillar heads back from 3rd century stone pillars built by Emperor Ashoka. It was erected as a symbol of respect by Ashoka after he visited Lord Buddha’s birthplace and decided to accept Buddhism. This fact makes the pillar a major attraction in the country.
Buddhism is a symbol of peace. A pilgrimage trip is a spiritual journey. You will connect not only with the history but also with the beautiful nature along the way. You can plan your trip with licensed agencies and make the most out of your tour.