The Boudhnath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. It dominates the Kathmandu skyline with it’s distinctive and massive mandala making it one of the largest spherical Stupas in Nepal.
As soon as we arrived, we walked the circumference of the Stupa, turning the prayer wheels as we went, until we got to the entrance of the Stupa, where we could head up a set of stairs to the upper levels. It was there we discovered hundreds of monks and nuns, all waiting patiently for a visiting Lama to lead prayers.
He must have been pretty famous for such a turnout but regretfully I do not have his name. I do know it was not the Dalai Lama as I have seen him a few times now in Vancouver. The lay people were in the lower echelons of the Stupa but were equally as fervent in their praying.
Fortunately for us, we stopped for a cup of tea and a plate of momos to share at one of the many rooftop restaurants overlooking the Stupa. It was not by design but pure fluke that we managed to get a bird’s eye view of the visiting Lama arriving, leading prayers and blessing many who lined up for the privilege.
We loved the reciting of the prayers so much, we ended up buying a CD of Tibetan chanting afterwards – you have to be a tourist at some point! I left the ladies at a taxi to take them back to the hotel for a snooze before the others arrived home, and I headed off to the Bus Park to catch my bus to Banepa. No roosters, goats or crazy driving stories to tell on this trip! Or it may just be that it is all becoming quite normal.