Wonderful Nepal

Jul 29, 2017 | Views: 3,594

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(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Nepal, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia. It is a country with a diverse tapestry of culture and religion, and Nepal has always been a popular destination known for its best value for money. Eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including the highest – Sagarmatha or Mount Everest, are located in the north of Nepal, while an abundance of flora and fauna populate the tropical south.

Regardless of where you plan to visit in Nepal, you are sure to be welcomed by the warm, friendly and helpful people of Nepal. Before you visit, the information below may be useful to help make your trip more memorable.

 

Location

Nepal’s location in Asia. Click to enlarge.

Nepal’s location in Asia. Click to enlarge.

Located in the Himalayas, Nepal borders the People’s Republic of China to the north, and India to the south, east, and west. In a roughly trapezoidal shape, it is 800 kilometres (497 miles) long and 200 kilometres (124 miles) wide, with a total land area of around 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 square miles).

The country can be divided into three main geographical regions: the Himalayan region, the mid-hill region, and the Terai region. The highest point in the country is Mt. Everest (8,848 metres) while the lowest point is in the Terai region of Kechana Kalan in Jhapa (60 metres).

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Population

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Based on the latest United Nations estimates, the current population of Nepal is 29,187,845. The population comprises of about a 101 ethnic groups speaking over different 92 languages. These ethnic groups include: Chhetri 16.6%, Brahman-Hill 12.2%, Magar 7.1%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.8%, Newar 5%, Kami 4.8%, Muslim 4.4%, Yadav 4%, Rai 2.3%, Gurung 2%, Damai/Dholii 1.8%, Thakuri 1.6%, Limbu 1.5%, Sarki 1.4%, Teli 1.4%, Chamar/Harijan/Ram 1.3%, Koiri/Kushwaha 1.2%, and others 19%. The proportion of the population that lives in the cities is relatively small (18.6%) compared to the overall population of the country.

 

General Information

The official currency is the Nepalese Rupee (रू, Rs.). For official, legal and government works, Nepal is divided into seven provinces and 75 districts, inclusive of four metropolises, 13 sub-metropolises, 246 municipal councils and 481 village councils.

Province No. Districts Area (km2) Population
1 Bhojpur District, Dhankuta District, Ilam District, Jhapa District, Khotang District, Morang District, Okhaldhunga District, Panchthar District, Sankhuwasabha District, Solukhumbu District, Sunsari District, Taplejung District, Terhathum District, and Udayapur District 25,905 4,534,943
2 Bara District, Dhanusha District, Mahottari District, Parsa District, Rautahat District, Saptari District, Sarlahi District, and Siraha District 9,661 5,404,145
3 Bhaktapur District, Chitwan District, Dhading District, Dolakha District, Kathmandu District, Kavrepalanchok District, Lalitpur District, Makwanpur District, Nuwakot District, Ramechhap District, Rasuwa District, Sindhuli District, and Sindhupalchok District 20,300 5,529,452
4 Baglung District (eastern), Gorkha District, Kaski District, Lamjung District, Manang District, Mustang District, Myagdi District, Nawalparasi District (east of Bardaghat Susta), Parbat District, Syangja District, and Tanahun District 21,504 2,413,907
5 Arghakhanchi District, Baglung District (western), Banke District, Bardiya District, Dang Deukhuri District, Gulmi District, Kapilvastu District, Nawalparasi District (west of Bardaghat Susta), Palpa District, Pyuthan District, Rolpa District, Rukum District (eastern), and Rupandehi District 22,288 4,891,025
6 Dailekh District, Dolpa District, Humla District, Jajarkot District, Jumla District, Kalikot District, Mugu District, Rukum District (western), Salyan District, and Surkhet District 27,984 1,168,515
7 Achham District, Baitadi District, Bajhang District, Bajura District, Dadeldhura District, Darchula District, Doti District, Kailali District, and Kanchanpur District 19,539 2,552,517

 

Nepal’s Unique Weather Pattern and the Best Time to Visit

Nepal has four seasons, as well as a period of monsoon. The dry months are from October to May, and the monsoon months are from June to September. Summers are cool and winters are severe in the north, while in the south summers are tropical and winters are mild. The Kathmandu valley itself has an average summer temperature of 19°C – 35°C and winter temperatures of 2°C – 12°C.

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The best time to visit Nepal is from October to November as the air is clean and the skies are clear after the monsoon. This is also when many tourists visit, meaning that hotels and lodges along trekking trails may be full. The weather remains dry until about April.

The weather from late December to February is the coldest, with significant temperature drops at night. Winter nights are especially cold in the trekking regions, and some lodge owners may shut down the lodges during this period. In fact, certain areas in the Annapurna and Langtang regions, both famous trekking areas, may be less accessible due to snow. However, this is the time when you can get better deals or discounts on treks or tours, and you may find your trip more enjoyable with fewer crowds at the top tourist destinations.

The spring months of February to mid-April are another good time to travel due to the longer days. The weather becomes warmer in May, but clouds or fog may reduce visibility. This is also the best time to discover the Terai region’s flora and fauna as you will find beautiful Rhododendrons welcoming you.

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The pre-monsoon months of May and June may make you a little unrestful if you visit then because of the heat and rain showers. This is also when many mountaineers take their last chance to hit the trail before the monsoon begins in full force.

Monsoon usually begins around mid-June and ends in September. Many people enjoy visiting Nepal during this time of year as fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Days are warm and wet, but do look out for leeches along trekking routes. There is also a danger of landslides occurring during this time.

Below are the average temperatures and rainfall during the peak of summer and winter for three most popular tourist areas in Nepal:

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Local Culture and Customs

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The common Nepali greeting is to say “namaste” (“I salute the god within you”) with palms held together. For a more formal greeting, you can say “namaskar”.

Nepalese often refer to someone they respect or care for as a close relative. You will often hear words like didi (“older sister”), bahini (“younger sister”), daai (“older brother”), and bhaai (“younger brother”). To be more formal or respectful, you can add “ji” to the end of someone’s name, as in “namaste, Peter-ji”.

Generally speaking, there are certain taboos you should avoid when it comes to food and eating. If you take a sip from someone else’s water bottle, try not to let it touch your lips. Don’t offer food that you have taken a bite of, and don’t touch food until you have paid or bought it.

If you decide to try eating with your hands, remember to only use the right hand. It’s considered good manners to give and receive everything with the right hand. Always offer money, food or gifts with both hands, or with only the right hand. The reason for all the above is because the left hand is reserved for washing after defecating.

Nepalese will not usually tell you what you can or cannot wear out of respect or just to be polite. However, the Nepalese are quite conservative in general, especially when it comes to religious aspects or in more rural parts of the country. Women should wear long skirts or a sari when visiting religious places. It is also acceptable for women to wear fitting trousers. Women should always cover their shoulders and chest area. Short shorts, sleeveless tops and other revealing items of clothing are unsuitable for both women and men.

You should not smoke near or in any monastery or temples. Likewise, you should remove your shoes and hat before entering. Always walk clockwise around stupas and mani walls (made of stones carved with Buddhist prayers). Some Hindu temples and their inner sanctums are closed to non-Hindus and others will not allow you to enter if you have any leather items (mainly leather shoes and belts). Don’t take photographs unless you’ve asked permission, and always leave a few rupees in the donation box.

 

Festivals

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As a cultural melting pot, Nepal celebrates more than 50 festivals every year. Most religious festival dates are set by astrologers according to the lunar calendar, hence the dates are not fixed according to the Gregorian calendar. Processions are common for bigger religious festivals, where ancient and holy images are paraded through cities and towns on towering wooden chariots called raths.

Some of these festivals include:

Losar (January-February)
The Tibetan Buddhist New Year that is usually celebrated in the monasteries across the country and Tibetan communities with rituals and lighting of butterlamps.

Maha Shivaratri (February-March)
Devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate his wedding day by anointing lingams (sacred stones) and bathing in the Bagmati River at Pashupatinath.

Holi (February-March)
This festival of colours marks the victory of Lord Vishnu over the demon Holika and Hiranyakashipu. Locals arm themselves with dry powdered paint, coloured water solutions, and water balloons to douse others in colour during the exhilarating celebration.

Seto Machhendranath Jatra (March-April)
An annual procession of the image of Seto Machhendranath from the temple in Jan Bahal, which is brought out and paraded through town in a towering chariot, celebrated by both the Hindus and Buddhists in Kathmandu.

Bisket Jatra (April)
Bisket Jatra or the Nepali New Year is celebrated with a chariot parade for Bhairab, the fearsome aspect of Lord Shiva in Bhaktapur.

Rato Machhendranath Jatra (April-May)
Rato Machhendranath, the lord of rain and compassion represented by the red-faced statue from the temple at Kumaripati is paraded in a 65-foot-high chariot all the way to Bungamati, where the deity remains for six months before being paraded back to Patan.

Buddha Jayanti (April-May)
Buddhists gather at Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, to celebrate his auspicious birth. Others pay homage to the Buddha at the Boudhanath and Swayambhunath Stupas in Kathmandu.

Indra Jatra (September)
A celebration at the end of the harvest where the living goddess Taleju, the Kumari, is paraded through the city. A huge wooden lingam is erected outside Kathmandu’s old palace, the Hanuman Dhoka, and a giant mask of Seto Bhairab is unveiled in Durbar Square.

Dashain (September-October)
The festival celebrates the victory of the Hindu goddess Durga over the forces of evil. Unfortunately, there is custom during this period to offer countless pigeons, goats and buffaloes on sacrificial altars.

Tihar & Deewali (October-November)
This is a special day where animals are treated like kings for a day. Thousands of butter lamps are lit in doorways and windows to welcome the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi.

Mani Rimdu (October-November)
The Sherpas celebrate their biggest festival with sacred Cham dances by monks who wear masks of wrathful protector deities followed by singing and dancing by the Sherpa community.

 

Food

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The national dish of Nepal is called Dal-bhat-tarkari. It comprises of spiced lentils (dal) poured over boiled rice (bhat), and served with vegetables cooked with spices (tarkari). Examples of such vegetables include mustard greens, daikon radish, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, etc. They are usually served with condiments such as spicy chutney or pickle.

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Momos are a type of dumpling which is made from dough, usually filled with minced meat such as buffalo or chicken. There are also vegetarian momos available. They are available in steamed or fried versions on almost every street corner of Nepal. Momos are usually accompanied by one or two dipping sauces, often with a tomato base or with fermented vegetables.

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Sel Roti can be eaten as a snack or during breakfast. Made of rice flour, sel roti is a cross between a doughnut and a bagel. This deep fried bread has a crispy and sweet outer surface. You can dip the bread in yoghurt too.

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Chatamari is a rice-flour crepe with toppings such as egg, onions, or meat, sometimes called “Nepali pizza”. This Newari speciality is now available at many restaurants in Kathmandu.

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Despite originating from Tibet, Thukpa, a dish of boiled, hand-pulled noodles, with vegetables and meat is a household name in Nepal. The fiery Nepalese variation features garam masala and chilli which gives it a kick.

 

45 Popular Destinations in Nepal

KATHMANDU
The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu has been a base of religious activity in Nepal for centuries. The valley’s name is indicative of this tradition. Kathmandu is derived from Kastha Mandap, which means “wooden temple” in Sanskrit.

 

1. Chenrezig Temple (Seto Macchendranath)

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At Jan Bahal (or Macchindra Bahal) in Central Kathmandu, there is a temple that was built by Yaksha Malla in 1500 CE. This is a temple dedicated to Seto Macchendranath, worshipped by both Hindu and Buddhists in Kathmandu for good rainfall and to prevent drought during the rice harvesting season.

Seto Macchendranath is worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike. Click to enlarge.

Seto Macchendranath is worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike. Click to enlarge.

Worshipped as an aspect of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara, Seto Macchendranath is also known as Jana Baha Dyo, Karunamaya, and Arya Avalothesvara. Hindus on the other hand, believe that Seto Machhendranath is an incarnation of Shiva, able to bestow longevity to children and bless barren women with fertility.

From the 8th to the 10th day of the sixth lunar month in the Nepalese calendar, a special festival called Jana Baha Dyah Jatra (or Seto Macchendranath Jatra) is celebrated, during which the holy image of Seto Macchendranath is bathed, repainted and taken out of the temple on a towering 35-foot high chariot for procession around Kathmandu.

Address: Siddhidas Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: Jan Bahal has no opening/ closing hours. However, it’s best to visit in the morning and late afternoon when the temple is sure to be open.
Entrance fee: N/A

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2. Kathmandu Durbar Square

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Durbar Square is the name given to a group of plazas opposite old royal palaces, which usually contain courtyards, water fountains, and temples. There are 3 Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, each built by a Newar kingdom before the unification of Nepal. They are the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

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The Kathmandu Durbar Square is the location of the royal palace of the Malla or Shah Kings, in use from the Licchavi period in the 3rd century until 1896, when the royal family moved to Narayanhiti Palace. Also known as the “Hanuman Dhoka” palace complex, a statue of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman with a red cloth and an umbrella was installed in 1672 as a guardian at the “dhoka” or entrance of the palace. There is also a famous 17th century stone inscription that is set on the wall of the palace, written in 15 different languages.

Another not to be missed landmark and a crucial part of Nepali culture is the Kumari Ghar, the residence of the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, a young pre-pubescent girl who is believed to be the living representation of the Goddess Taleju (or Durga). The tradition of venerating a living Kumari in Nepal started from the 17th century.

There are a few Kumaris in Nepal, the most important one being the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu. She is chosen from a group of girls aged three to five belonging to the Shakya caste or Bajracharya clan of the Nepalese Newari community. Only those with the 32 auspicious signs of divinity are shortlisted, and they go through a rigorous selection process before being chosen. A Kumari is not permitted to leave the house of the Kumari, except for special occasions. Her feet are also not allowed to touch the floor. Once the Kumari undergoes her first cycle of menstruation, it is believed that the goddess vacates her body and a new Kumari must be selected.

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Tourists can enter the courtyard of this red brick, three-storey building with intricately carved windows and balconies, and you can also take photographs in the courtyard. However, you are not allowed to take pictures of the Kumari herself. The Kumari may sometimes appear in one of the first-floor windows, and the most likely hour to see her is in the morning or late afternoon.

You may also see a huge chariot that is used to transport the Kumari around the city during the annual Indra Jatra festival at the big gate to the right of the Kumari Ghar.

Address: Kot Square, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 7am -7pm
Entrance Fee: 1000 NPR

 

3. Boudhanath Stupa

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This unique structure of a giant dome with a pyramid tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest stupas in the world. This stupa is said to enshrine the remains of the previous Buddha, the Buddha before Shakyamuni, named Kassapa Buddha. The structure itself has huge religious significance, for example, the nine levels of the stupa represents Mount Meru, the centre of the universe, the 13 rings from the base to the top of the stupa represents the path to enlightenment, and the pairs of eyes on each of the cardinal directions represents the all-seeing and all-knowing nature of the Buddha.

The Newari attribute the founding of the stupa to the Licchavi King Manadeva (c. 464–505 CE). King Manadeva’s father, the old King, consulted his astrologers when the country faced a drought. He was told that the death of a virtuous man is the only way to end the drought. He then instructed his son to decapitate him. Manadeva followed his father’s command, and later on, was told that to expiate his sin, a reliquary stupa must be built, and so he ordered the stupa to be built.

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The stupa was an important pilgrimage site for Tibetan traders as it was on the trade route between Lhasa and Kathmandu. Today, Boudha hosts around 50 Tibetan Gompas (monasteries/ nunneries) and is a great place to experience the Nepali-Tibetan culture. You can see many pilgrims, including monks and nuns circumambulating or prostrating at the stupa daily while reciting mantras or prayers. Surrounding the area, there are plenty of souvenir shops selling local handicrafts and religious artefacts, as well as restaurants selling Nepali and Tibetan food such as momos (dumplings).

Visiting during the early morning kora (around 5 a.m.) and evening kora (4 p.m. onwards) is a must, and it is where one really gets to experience the site, more than at any other time. Kora literally means ‘circle’, and relates to the way people walk around the base of the stupa, reciting mantras on their malas (prayer beads), prostrating their bodies full length on the ground, or simply chatting with friends. Kora is an action compliant with the revolution of the earth around the sun, and our solar system within our galaxy. Down the side streets, there are the remnants of one or two of the old little tea shops, where at these hours, you can still get a much-appreciated traditional chai or Tibetan tea with some ‘paleb’, a soft and slightly raised flat bread accompanied by a lightly spiced potato dish.

Address: Boudhanath Sadak, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 7am-7pm
Entrance Fee: 250 NPR

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4. Swayambhunath Stupa

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One of the oldest pilgrimage sites in Nepal, as recorded in the Gopalraj Vamsavali, is the Swayambhu Stupa built by King Vasudeva in the 5th century.

This site is closely connected to the founding story of the Kathmandu valley and the bodhisattva Manjushri. According to the Swayambhu Purana, the entire Kathmandu valley was once an enormous lake and it had a self-arisen (svyambhu) flame at its centre. Manjusri had a vision of a lotus flower in the middle of this lake and travelled there to worship it. To make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, Manjushri cut a gorge at Chovar. The Kathmandu valley is the result of draining the lake. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower became the Swayambhunath stupa. The valley itself came to be settled by humans and was named Manjupattan.

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Despite Swayambhunath being a Buddhist pilgrimage site, it is considered a holy site by both Buddhists and Hindus alike. Many Hindus are known to have paid their homage here, including the King of Kathmandu Pratap Malla.

Address: Manjushree Marg, Kathmandu 44620, Nepal
Hours: 7am–7pm
Entrance fee: 200 NPR

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5. Manjushri Teaching Site/ Manjushri Hill

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You will find a courtyard a short walk away from the Swayambhunath Stupa, which is believed to be where Manjushri gives teachings to celestial beings once a year.

Next to this courtyard, there is a Manjushri/ Saraswati shrine, located 50 metres to the west of Swayambhu. This shrine is a pilgrimage location for both Buddhists and Hindus alike. School children visit the shrine during Saraswati Puja that falls in late January or early February to have their books and pencils blessed.

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Up until today, the Newari Sakyabhiksus and Buddhacaryas of Swayambhu perform their Acarya initiations at this site. According to local legend, it is said that Lord Buddha himself taught the origin of Swayambhu and its merits, here at this site at the request of the Bodhisattva Maitreya. The small stone footprints at the east of the smaller stupa on this hill is known as Buddha paduka, believed to have been the place where the holy seat of Buddha used to be.

Address: Manjushree Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 24 hours
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

6. Temple of the Doors/ Shantipur

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Near a big statue of the Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya at Swayambhunath, you will find a one-storey building that looks like a house. This is the previous abode of Shantikacharya (the monk with illimitable life, also known as bhikkhu Shantishree) and it is called Shantipura or Shamworapura. Here you will find a locked door with painted eyes in the middle of a room filled with beautiful wall frescoes of various Buddhas.

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The door is said to be the main entrance of a tunnel that leads to a 3-storey underground building with nine rooms on each floor. The most popular legend about this place surrounds King Gunakam from the 10th century. When the valley suffered from dought, King Gunakam went to visit Shantikacharya at this temple, who drew a naga mandala which magically appeared in the sky at dawn, and the problem was solved. Later, during the 17th century, King Pratap Malla also faced the same predicament. The king went down the tunnel and found Shantikacharya and borrowed the same naga mandala to make rainfall, ending the drought.

It is believed that this is also the home of the 16 arhats who will only emerge when Buddha Maitreya, the next Buddha appears.

Address: Swayambhu, Kathmandu 44620, Nepal
Hours: Contact (+977) 1 4281 889/4277236 for more information
Entrance Fee: 200 NPR to enter Swayambhunath complex

 

7. Phegyeling Monastery

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Originally a monastery in Nyanang, Tibet, this monastery is famous for its Cham dance and housing many ancient holy objects. Re-established at the foothill of sacred ground in Kathmandu, the Swayambhu Stupa, this is an active monastery with 45 monks engaging in religious study and performing daily rituals, starting their day at 5am.

The famous Speaking Tara of Phegyeling Monastery

The famous Speaking Tara of Phegyeling Monastery

Here you can have an audience with the Tara image famous for speaking to and blessing sincere devotees, see the footprints of the 6th Dalai Lama on a slab, or the ancient statue of Buddha Shakyamuni from the 9th century that spoke to King Langdharma of Tibet.

One of the most treasured artefacts still kept in the monastery until today is a very special statue of the Dharma protector Dorje Shugden made personally by the 5th Dalai Lama. The monastery still uses the sacred texts composed by the 5th Dalai Lama and performs monthly pujas or fulfilment rituals to this protector. You can pay for special rituals or pujas to be done for you and your loved ones at this monastery to support the monastery and the monks.

Address: Swayambhu G.P.O. Box # 13864, Kathmandu, Nepal
Hours: Please contact the monastery for more information or to schedule your visit (+977) 1427 9576
Entrance Fee: None

 

8. Pashupatinath Temple

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Located three kilometres north-west of Kathmandu, in Deopatan, is the site of the Pashupatinath Temple complex. Located on the bank of the river Bagmati, it is considered the most sacred place in Nepal.

Pashupati, an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva is revered as a national deity of Nepal. The ornamented pagoda here houses the holy symbol of Lord Shiva and is said to date back to 400 BCE. According to the ancient Nepali chronicle Gopalraj Vamsavali, this temple was built by the Lichchhavi King Supuspa Deva. There are 518 temples and monuments on this 264-hectare site. The inner sanctum of the temple houses the sacred symbol (lingam) of Pashupati that’s adorned with four faces. Temple authorities are quite strict in that only Hindus are allowed to enter the compound of the main temple, however, you can view the compound from several points around its perimeter wall or from across the bank of the river.

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An equivalent to the city of Varanasi on the sacred River Ganges in India, the cremation ghats along the Bagmati River at Pashupatinath are used for open-air cremations. Here you can easily see wrapped bodies cremated on wooden pyres on the ground.

There is a series of caves carved from the living rock a hundred yards up river from Arje Ghat, called Surje or Surya Ghat. For centuries, these caves were homes to yogis, including the great Buddhist mahasiddhas Tilopa and Naropa, who are progenitors of a lineage of Buddhist tantra that became the Tibetan Kagyu School. In fact, their teachings and lineages permeated all major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Some of the caves are still inhabited by contemporary Buddhist practitioners.

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Address: Pashupati Nath Road 44621, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 4 AM to 9 PM but it is closed in the middle of the day between noon and 5 PM. The best time to visit the temple is early in the morning or late in the evening.
Entrance fee: 1000 NPR

 

9. Guhyeshvari (Vajrayogini) Temple

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Built by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century, this is an important pilgrimage location for Hindus as well as Buddhists. Newar Vajrayana Buddhists consider this temple to be the holy temple of Vajravarahi, a form of Vajrayogini. It is also said to be the location where the root of the mythical lotus of Swayambu lies. Locals believed that a body part of the wife of Lord Shiva, Sati Devi fell after her death at the very place where the temple is now located.

Instead of a central standing image like in most temples, the sacred image is flat on the ground and one has to worship by bowing down. There is a Bhairav Kunda (pond) next to the sacred image where pilgrims submerge their hands to gain blessings. In the centre of the temple is a kalasha (water jar) covered with silver and gold.

Note: Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the main sanctum of the temple.

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Address: Pashupati Nath Road 44621, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
Entrance fee: N/A

 

10. Thamel

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No visit to Kathmandu is complete without visiting Thamel, a backpacker’s heaven. Located in downtown Kathmandu, here you can find many hotels, restaurants, and plenty of shops catered specially to tourists.

Discovered by the hippies and popular among Westerners since the 1970s, Thamel is still the shopping paradise of Nepal. You can buy most of the things you want here. Some favourites include incense, sold almost everywhere, prayer flags, and Kukhuri swords. There are also a number of bookstores, and shops selling outdoor paraphernalia.

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This labyrinth-like neighbourhood is always bustling with backpackers, students, tourists, and locals during both the day and at night, making it an interesting visiting spot, where you can catch a glimpse of the daily life of the Nepalese locals.

Address: Thamel, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 24 hours
Entrance fee: None

 

11. Bhagwan Bahal Thamel

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Vikramshila Mahavihar, Thambahil, and Simhakalpanagar are the ancient names of Bhagwan Bahal in Thamel, Kathmandu. The name Mahavihar signifies that the site is a higher teaching institute, the Buddhist equivalent of a western university; Thambahil means that it is a monastery of high significance and pride; and Simhakalpanagar denotes it as a separate city or town.

There are records of important figures of Buddhism visiting this institute, such as the Indian Pandit Atisha Shrijana (982 – 1054) who visited Nepal for a year and spent most of his time in Thambahil. Dharmashri Mitra, a renowned scholar from Vikramshila Vihar, Nalanda, India is believed to have visited and studied in Thambahil in the early 13th Century.

WonderfulNepal-11cIt is said that this temple was built by one of the previous lives of Lord Buddha. According to the 16th chapter of Gunakarandavyaha Simhala Sarthabaha, one of the previous lives of Buddha, Singha Sartha, led a merchant caravan of over 500 people to Tibet. They fell under the spell of demonesses in the form of beautiful women who were waiting for an opportunity to eat them. Singha Sartha was the only one who managed to escape on a flying horse and returned to Nepal safely with a fortune.

The main image of the Bhagwan Bahal, known as Garujuju or Garud Bhagwan, is believed to be the image of Singha Sartha. His demoness wife, was later honoured as the goddess Ajima. In Newar Buddhist traditions, Ajima is known as a child eating carnivorous raksasi who had taken vows and was given the duty to take care of children. Most of the prominent Newar viharas have temples dedicated to her. The small shrine outside this temple is dedicated to goddess Ajima.

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The four volume Saharsha Prajnaparamita manuscript in the collection of Thambahil is dated to around 1223 CE, and is believed to have been written by Jinashri Jnana, with the initial texts written by Manjushri himself. During the Buddhist holy month of Gunlaa (the ninth month of the lunar calendar), the four volumes are given to the Bajracharyas of four renowned Vihars of Kathmandu to recite from beginning to end. You can view the text by paying a small contribution towards the temple’s expenses.

Address: Bhagawan Bahal Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance fee: N/A

 

12. Itum Bahal

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Itumba or Itum Bahal is one of the oldest Mahayana Buddhist Mahaviharas (Mahayana Buddhist monasteries) in Kathmandu city. It was founded in the 11th century by Keshchandra. An ancient bilanpau (scroll painting) that records the legend of the monastery’s founding is displayed to the public on special occasions.

A special feature of Itum Bahal Newar Buddhist monasticism is that a member of the sangha (a monk) is non-celibate and lives at home with his wife and children. The male child in every local Newar Buddhist family is ordained for four days, after which they give back their vows of celibacy, yet remain a member of the monastery for life. The monastery now has around 450 members from 118 families in Itum Bahal.

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Itum Bahal hosts the most famous Tara image in Nepal, a large bronze statue of White Tara called Mahashanta Shweta Tara, or “The Great Peaceful White Tara Who Turned the Wheel of Dharma”. It is said that a white sandalwood tree at the site is the location where this statue of Tara landed, spoke and taught Buddhist teachings, after miraculously flying there from Tibet. Although Tara is not a major deity propitiated by the Newari Buddhists, she is highly revered with a special ritual observed by the Newari Buddhist community called the Tara Vrata, during which a devotee fasts and maintains a state of purity for a day.

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Address: Itumbahal, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: The area is open 24 hours, but the temples are open from 6am to 8pm.
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

13. Budhanilkantha

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Considered the most impressive and enigmatic image of Vishnu in the country, the five-metre long statue of Vishnu in the form of Narayan was carved from a single piece of stone in the 7th century.

Known as the Jalakshayan Narayan, or the Sleeping Vishnu, the statue lies peacefully on the coils of the 11-headed serpent Shesha. Narayan holds the four symbols of Vishnu in his four hands: a chakra disc (representing the mind), a conch shell (the four elements), a mace or club (primeval knowledge), and a lotus flower (the moving universe).

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The Haribondhini Ekadashi festival on the 11th day of the Kartik (Hindu) month (usually falling in late October or early November) celebrates Lord Vishnu waking up at the end of the monsoon from his annual slumber. Thousands of pilgrims, especially from Nepal and India come to celebrate the festival here at Budhanilkantha.

*Please note that non-Hindus are not allowed to approach the statue or touch its feet. You can get unobstructed views from the fence surrounding the enclosure.

Address: Narayanthan, Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

14. Chabahil Stupa

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The Charumati Vihara (Chabahil) stupa or Dhan Dhoj stupa is surrounded by yellow fences on the roadside from Pashupati to Chabahil.

This stupa was said to have been built by Princess Charumati, daughter of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, who married a Nepalese prince in Kathmandu and founded the Charumati Vihara (monastery) of Chabahil, which is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Nepal.

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It was mentioned in the scriptures that she accompanied her father, Emperor Ashoka on his visit to Nepal, and archaeological evidence confirming this was found in 2003 at the location. Archaeologists discovered a brick bearing inscriptions with her name in the ancient Brahmi and Bhujimol scripts.

A taxi ride from the heart of the city (New Road) to the stupa takes only about 20 minutes.

Address: Musu Ganesh Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: The gates open at 5:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m
Entrance Fee: None

 

15. Katisimbhu Stupa

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Near the busy street of Chandraman Singh Marg is where you will find this stupa, known as Katisimbu or the ‘Small Swayambhunath’. It is said to be a self-arising stupa with the power of a mahasiddha, that enshrines the head of Buddha’s disciple, Shariputra.

Legend has it that a monk from Nepal, Vakvajra was consecrating a stupa at Benares in India. The locals from the area surrounding the Katisimbhu Stupa were not impressed with his simple consecration involving a few drops from the Benares river, and hence did not have much faith in the stupa. Vakvajra used his power and the stupa moved itself to Nepal and became the Katisimbhu stupa.

This stupa is within walking distance from Thamel, and it is surrounded by other smaller stupas, and inscriptions. You can also find a Buddhist monastery, and shops nearby.

Address: Thahity Tole, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 24 hours
Entrance Fee: None

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16. Manjushri Gorge & Caves

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Nine kilometres South East of Kathmandu is Manjushri Gorge or Chobhar gorge. This gorge corresponds to the legend that Manjushri cut a deep gorge allowing the water to drain from a lake, thus creating the Kathmandu Valley.

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The Manjushri caves in Chobar were made open to the public only in 2007, and even geologists claim that the Kathmandu Valley was once submerged.

As the deposits of soft limestone in the trenches of Chobhar hill began to give way to the pressure of the caves within, soil and limestone in the lower parts of Chobhar continued to rupture. The lake gradually subsided, plains emerged and the trench transformed into a gorge, through which all rivers flowing into the valley from the Himalayas would pass.

However, legends about the birth of the Kathmandu Valley centre around the Buddha Manjushri who cut the hill at Chobar with his fiery sword, letting out the water of a primordial lake and opening the fertile valley for habitation.

It is located 7 kilometers from central Kathmandu and one hour’s drive is enough to reach there if there are no traffic jams in the valley. At the base of the gorge flows the Bagmati River. A 104-year-old suspension bridge gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sight of the gorge, the Bagmati River, and the entrances to mystical caves.

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Address: Chobhar, Kirtipur, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: 6am to 6pm
Entrance Fee: park entry 100 NPR, caving fees from 500-1500 NPR

 

17. Sanku Vajrayogini Temple

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Sankhu is the ancient Newar town located in the north-eastern corner of Kathmandu Valley and is about 17 kilometres from the capital city Kathmandu.

This temple is part of a medieval Lichchhavi period (2nd – 9th century CE) Newari settlement in the east of the Kathmandu Valley. The Sankhu Vajrayogini is the eldest of the four sister Yoginis of the Kathmandu Valley, known as the Sankhu Khamdga Yogini, Guhyeshvari, Phamthing Yogini, and Vidyeshvari.

For Buddhists, this is a sacred site associated with Vajrayogini, while for the Hindus, it is a shrine dedicated to Ugra Tara, a wrathful emanation of Tara venerated by both Buddhists and Hindus alike. Sometimes she is referred to as Blue Tara, one of the three wrathful forms of Tara.

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There are various meditational caves here, where many masters from ancient India, including some of the Mahasiddhas, meditated for years and achieved spiritual realisation.

This holy site is maintained by Newari families and the image in the main Vajrayogini Temple here is said to give extremely powerful blessings. It is an ancient temple where the Vajrayogini manuscripts in Newari have been discovered and date as far back as the 11th century.

Sankhu is also where Padmasambhava (or Guru Rinpoche) met Shakyadevi, who later became one of his main consorts. Shakyadevi was said to have been raised by monkeys as she was abandoned after her mother died during childbirth. Padmasambhava and Shakyadevi later went into meditative practice at the Yangleshö cave (Asura Cave) in Pharping, and achieved high levels of attainments.

Address: Shankharapur 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

18. Vijashwari/Bidjeshwori Vajrayogini Temple

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On the west bank of the Bishnumati River next to the ancient religious site of the Ramadoli (Karnadip) cremation ground stands the Vidhyeshvari Vajra Yogini or Bidjeshwori Bajra Jogini Temple. This temple houses four different forms of the Buddhist deity Vajrayogini.

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The statue on the left in the pose of a sacred dancer is Vajravarahi, followed by one whose legs are tilted upwards and flying in the sky. Next is one that has her left leg raised in a flying form, and the last one is in the form of Naro Kacho, which was the form that the great Buddhist meditator and master Naropa saw in his visions.

Address: Swayambhu Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: N/A
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19. Nagarjuna Hill

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This hill, 7 kilometres or 15 minutes away from Kathmandu was named Nagarjuna Hill because the famous Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna stayed and meditated in one of the caves here. Also known as Vindya Mountain in Sanskrit, this hill situated to the north-west of Kathmandu is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus as well as Buddhists. The hike to the top of the hill, Jamacho Peak, is about 5 kilometres, steep, and takes around 2 to 3 hours from the gate. There are roads up the hills through Raniban [Queen] forest for motorbike or jeeps/ 4-wheel drives. This is the 17 kilometres road and is 3 times the distance than by hiking. It takes about 45 minutes to reach there in jeeps/ 4-wheel drives, while the uphill trek is about 5 kilometres.

Nagarjuna’s Cave still survives high up on the eastern side in a gully where images of Nagarjuna and Aksobhya are found inside. Some Tibetans refer to this cave as Guru Rinpoche’s cave, while the local population calls it the Lakshmi Gupha.

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There is a famous legend about a Buffalo Buddha (Mahe sangs rgyas shul), a meditator who turned into a buffalo. It was said that a buffalo herdsman from Kathmandu asked for meditation instructions from Nagarjuna who was meditating in one of the caves here. Nagarjuna told him to meditate in a cave nearby and visualise himself as a buffalo. He was successful and horns and tails started to grow on him. The horns began to strike the rock above him and created holes, which can be seen today in the caves. Later, he was given initiation and precepts. He became attained through his meditation, shot through the roof of the cave and ascend to the paradise of the Dakinis.

There is also a famous stupa and a watch tower. On the east side of the stupa there are two rows of Buddha images, including White Tara, Padmapani, Green Tara, and Vajrapani. You can get a great view of the Kathmandu Valley, Swayambhu Hill and Nuwakot district from here. You can also visit the summer palace of the Royal family that was turned into a museum.

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Address: Nagarjun Forest Reserve, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Hours: Check point closes at 5pm
Entrance Fee: 565 NPR and the check point will retain your identity document for safety purposes.

 
PHARPING
A Newari town with various holy sites, attractions in Pharping will keep you busy if you decide to visit this town 19 kilometres south of Kathmandu. There are a few holy places to visit, concentrated in a small area near Asura Cave.

 

20. Self-arising Tara & Ganesha Temple

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It was in 1979 that the images of the Buddhist deity Tara, and the Hindu god Ganesh were found arising from the rocks in Pharping. There have also been times when sacred nectar was said to have come out from these images, and the images themselves become more defined and visible as the years go by.

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A temple was built around these self-arising images, and now also includes bronze sculptures of the 21 Taras and daily pujas (prayers/ rituals) are done to propitiate the blessings of these deities.

Address: Kulekhani – Phakhel – Pharping Rd, Dakshinkali 44600, Nepal
Hours: 6am-6pm
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

21. Guru Rinpoche Cave

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The Asura Cave, also known as the Upper Cave of Yanglesho, is the cave where Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche, otherwise known as Padmasambhava, attained enlightenment with his consort Shakyadevi. When Nepal suffered drought, famine and various diseases, Guru Rinpoche received instructions from his Indian teachers and managed to stop the disasters from continuing using supernatural means. On the upper left side of the entrance to the cave, you will see an imprint of a hand on the rock that remains till today. It is said that this imprint was left by Guru Rinpoche himself.

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Address: Kulekhani – Phakhel – Pharping Rd, Dakshinkali 44600, Nepal
Hours: 6am-6pm
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

22. Pharping Vajrayogini Temple

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Housed in a 17th-century Newari building, this Vajrayogini is said to be connected with and made during the time of the lineage masters of the Vajrayogini tantra, the Phamthingpa brothers, who came from this area. You can access the temple by following the flight of stairs downwards from the Guru Rinpoche Cave.

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You will find the central image of this chapel on the top floor of the building, surrounded by a narrow passage for circumambulation. This Vajrayogini is red in colour with her right leg on the ground and left leg raised straight into the sky, pulled up by her left arm which presents a skull-cup to her mouth. She is also known as Phamthing Yogini, Uddhapada Yogini, Indra Yogini, or Nil Tara.

Address: Pharping, Dakshinkali 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

Accommodation for Kathmandu, Sankhu and Pharping

As Sankhu and Pharping are less than 20 kilometres away from Kathmandu, it is recommended that you stay in Kathmandu for more options and better hotel facilities. Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Kathmandu. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Kathmandu Guest House
Address: PO Box 21218, Ward no. 16, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 470 0632/470 0800 & +977 9851020484
Website https://ktmgh.com/kathmandu-guest-house/

2. Shambaling Boutique Hotel
Address: GPO Box: 3064, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 491 6868
Website http://www.shambaling.com

3. Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Address: PO Box 9609, Taragaon, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 517 1234
Website https://kathmandu.regency.hyatt.com/

You may also check out local homestays for a more authentic experience. You can visit https://www.airbnb.com.

 
NAMO BUDDHA
Namo Buddha is about 2 hours drive from the heart of Kathmandu city. It is in the Kavre District in the southeast of the valley. It is a small village most famously known as the place where the previous life of Buddha Shakyamuni gave his body to a starving tigress. There is also a Tibetan monastery complex here, Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery.

 

23. Namo Buddha Stupa

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It is said that in Buddha Shakyamuni’s previous life, he was the Prince called Great Being (Ngingdui Tshenpo Mahasatwo), who found a tigress lying in a cave. He realised that the tigress didn’t want to leave her cubs and would die of hunger. Great Being decided to give his life to the tigress out of compassion, and started to cut his arm to feed his warm blood to the tigress. The tigress later pounced on the prince and ate him.

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The bones of the prince in a casket covered with seven kinds of jewels was buried and a stupa was built over the place. This place became the Namo Buddha stupa.

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For centuries, this holy pilgrimage site is visited by great masters and pilgrims from around the world, where they make offerings of butterlamps, or a fresh coat of paint for the stupa.

Address: Simalchaur Syampati 45200, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: N/A
How To Get There: Namo Buddha is about 40 kilometres away from the heart of Kathmandu city. It is in the Kavre District in the southeast of the valley. If you take a local bus, it will take around 3 to 4 hours because there are several substations, but if you take a taxi from Kathmandu, it will take around 2 hours. It may cost about NRs1,700-2,000 for one way (KTM-NB) and NRs2,500-3,000 for a return trip (KTM-NB-KTM).

 

Accommodation

Below are recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Namo Buddha. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Namo Buddha Resort
Address: Namobuddha Rd, Simalchaur Syampati 45200, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 1 691 2212, (+977) 9851 106 802
Website: http://www.namobuddharesort.com/

2. Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery Guesthouse
Address: Namo Buddha, Kavre
Phone: (+977) 1 166 3360 or contact Hotel Ngudrup in Kathmandu at (+977) 1 491 6317 / 491 6206
Website: http://www.rinpoche.com/guesthouse/guesthouse4.htm

 
PATAN (LALITPUR)
Located across the Bagmati river, Patan is one of the ancient and largest cities in Nepal. Patan is also known as Lalitpur, due to the origin of its name from Sanskrit, Lalitapattan. This city is famous for its Durbar Square, temples, and is a centre of handicrafts where you can purchase Buddha statues, masks and jewellery.

 

24. Mahabodhi Temple in Patan

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A special terracotta tile covered structure located on a narrow street south of Patan Durbar Square is actually “The Thousand Buddhas of Patan”, a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple, that was built by a Newari Buddhist priest Abayaraja Shakya after he returned from Bodhgaya.

The temple was used to enshrine an image of the Buddha he brought back from Bodhgaya. The construction of this temple was a feat in itself. Abayaraja Shakya started building in 1564 but passed away after only the foundation was built. His five sons continued the building until it was completed in 1610.

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The current fee for foreigners is 50 rupees. The ticket is also valid for the nearby Newar Buddhist Monastery called Uku Baha or Rudravarna Mahavihar, so you only need to pay once at either location.

Address: South of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600, Nepal
Hours: 9am-5.30pm
Entrance Fee: 50 NPR

 

25. Patan Vajrayogini Chapel

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In the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal there are several known temples dedicated to different forms of Vajrayogini. These temples include the Sankhu Vajrayogini temple, the Vidhyeshvari (Bijeshwori) Vajrayogini temple, the Pharping Vajrayogini temple, and the Guhyeshwari temple.

This tiny chapel at the edge of the Mahaboudha Temple complex is a lesser known jewel, as it is usually not open to the public, however you can always try your luck! This chapel houses a beautiful statue of Vajrayogini in a form that appears to be flying in the sky. The caretakers have mentioned that the statue has been there for over 500 years. It is said that the founding of the chapel is quite mystical. An old lady who visited Mahaboudha Temple told the caretakers’ forefathers that Vajrayogini resides there, and that a chapel should be built for her.

Please note that you are not allowed to touch the statues or step into the inner sanctum of most temples in Nepal.

Address: South of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600, Nepal
Hours: 9am-5.30pm
Entrance Fee: N/A

 

26. Golden Temple (Kwa Bahal)

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The Golden Temple, or the Hiranyavarna Mahavihar is the largest and most important Mahavihar (great Buddhist monastery) in Patan. The main temple, a three-tiered pagoda is mostly gilded with gold.

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It is said that the location of this temple was divined by the Licchavi King Bhasker Dev Verma from his vision of a golden mouse chasing a cat. Till this day, the temple still keeps rice at the four corners of the temple to feed the mice living in the temple. The main image at this temple is an ornate statue of Buddha Shakyamuni while in the chapel or prayer room on the first floor, you will find an ancient white, eight-armed Avalokiteshvara.

The doorway is guarded by lion statues, and the entry flanked by two stone elephants. In the courtyard, you will find various Buddha images such as Vajrasattva, Tara, and so on. You will find four large bronze statues of various bodhisattvas in the four corners of the courtyard.

It is a common practice for the locals to commission recitation of the Prajnaparamita or The Perfection of Wisdom sutra (preserved and kept in this temple) during auspicious occasions, such as for a wedding, or when a loved one is ill.

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Address: North of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600, Nepal
Hours: 5am-6pm
Entrance Fee: 50 NPR

 

27. Rudravarna Mahavihar

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Located in Uku Baha, about 500 metres away from Patan Durbar Square is one of the oldest and well-kept Buddhist monasteries in Patan.

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Built by the Lichhavi King Shiva Deva in the 6th century, the monastery was known as Shiva Deva Sanskarita. A few decades later, this monastery was renovated by King Rudra Deva who spent his life in this Vihara after completing the renovation.

The central image of the monastery is a large image of red-faced ‘Kwapadhya’, Buddha Shakyamuni adorned with various ornaments. You will see a smaller red-faced statue beneath the Buddha who is Rāhula, the son of the Buddha who became an arhat.

The current fee for foreigners is 50 rupees. The ticket is also valid for the nearby Mahabodhi Temple, so you only need to pay once at either location.

Address: Uku Baha, South of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: 50 NPR

 

28. Rato Macchendranath Temple

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Known as Rato Matsyendranath (Macchendranath) to the Hindus in Nepal, the temple is dedicated to the Guru of Gorakhnath and the patron siddha of the Kathmandu Valley. For the Newari Buddhists, he is Bunga Deo or Karunamaya, an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara.

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It is said that this holy image of Rato Macchendranath formed naturally from sandalwood. The holy image is housed in this ancient temple, built in 1673, for six months of the year and is then moved to a temple in Bungamati, regarded in Nepal as the birthplace of Macchendranath, for the remaining six months of the year.

The major festival associated with this temple is the Rato Machhendranath Festival in April–May, which includes a month-long procession with a chariot that is over 20 metres tall.

This festival began in 879 CE during King Narendra Dev’s era, celebrating the end of a drought due to the blessing of Rato Macchendranath.

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Address: South of Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur) 44600, Nepal
Hours: N/A
Entrance Fee: 50 NPR

 

Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Patan. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs. As Patan is around 25 minutes away from Kathmandu, you may also stay in Kathmandu for more options and better facilities and accessibility.

1. The Inn Patan
Address: Swotha, Patan (Lalitpur) 44700, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 554 7834
Website https://www.facebook.com/TheInnPatan/

2. The Life Story Resort
Address: Bubahal, Gabahal chowk, Old Patan, Lalitpur 44600, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 9803 333 223
Website http://thelifestorynepal.com/

3. Hotel Himalaya
Address: Sahid Sukra Marg, Lalitpur 44700, Nepal
Phone: (+977 1) 552 3900
Website http://hotelhimalaya.com.np/

 
BHAKTAPUR
Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa, is an ancient Newar city in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is about 13 kilometres from the capital city, Kathmandu. Along with Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur is of one the three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings and courtyards.

 

29. Changu Narayan

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The ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. As one of the oldest temples in Nepal, Changu Narayan, was first built on top of a hill in 325 CE, however, it was rebuilt around 1702 due to a fire. Surrounded by sculptures of mythical animals as guardians, this temple’s two-tiered pagoda with intricate carvings is a UNESCO world heritage site. Don’t miss out viewing the different forms or avatars of the Vishnu around the courtyard from a bygone era.

Here you will also find a pillar with inscriptions from 464 CE, recorded down by King Manadeva of the Licchavi period persuading his mother, Queen Rajyavati, not to commit sati (a traditional form of self-immolation for widows) on the funeral pyre of her husband, King Dharmadeva.

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The founding myth of this temple was that Lord Vishnu was punished for his crime of killing a Brahmin. Vishnu then settled on Changu Hill and was living off milk that he milked from a cow that belonged to hermit-sage Sudharshan. Sudarshan attacked and beheaded the stranger who was milking his cow without permission. When Vishnu was beheaded, he was freed from his sins and arose in his glorious form, riding his garuda mount. The temple was then built to worship him in this form. It is said that even today, the priest of the temple is a descendant of Sudarshan. Performed at the temple every day, there is a ritual which involves removing and replacing the head section of the sheath covering the central image of Vishnu mounted on his garuda, symbolising the beheading and then re-capitation of Vishnu.

Please note that non-Hindus aren’t allowed to enter the main temple itself, but they can enter the courtyard and visit the surrounding area. Along the town’s main street, you can find many stalls selling souvenirs, especially of wooden masks and mandala paintings.

Address: Bagmati Zone, Changunarayan 44600, Nepal
Hours: Open from dawn to dusk.
Entrance Fee: 300 NPR

 

30. Mul Dipankar Bihar/ Prasannasil Mahavihar

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This is the oldest Newar Buddhist monastery in the medival town of Bhaktapur. To the Indians and Nepalis, they identify the main image as Dīpankara, one of the Buddhas of the past, while the Tibetans identify this image as the wishfulfilling Red Tara.

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The locals say that the reason this image of Red Tara seems to be looking down is because she was sad. This Tara went to Tibet and was tied down when she returned so that she would remain in this area, that is why the Tara is sad.

The Dipankara Buddha image housed here is one of the five famous Dipankaras and is the main center of Buddhist activity in Prasannasil Mahavihar. There are five Dipankara Buddhas in Bhaktapur: the Mangala Dharmadvipa Vihara, the Caturvarna Mahavihar, the Sayakirti Mahavihara, one in Kothubhai and this one here.

Address: Kwathandau Tole, Bhaktapur 44800, Nepal
Hours: 5am – 8pm
Entrance Fee: None
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Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Bhaktapur. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs. As Bhaktapur is around 20 kilometres or 40 minutes away from Kathmandu, you may also stay in Kathmandu for more options and better facilities and accessibility.

1. Planet Bhaktapur Hotel
Address: Mandev Marg 7, Jhaukhel Vdc, Bhaktapur 44800, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 661 6038 or (+977-9)841 488 482
Websitehttp://www.nepalplanet.com/

2. Bhaktapur Paradise Hotel
Address: Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur 44800, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 509 2720, 509 2723
Website http://bhaktapurparadise.com/

3. Hotel Heritage
Address: Bhaktapur Rd, Bhaktapur 21164, Nepal
Phone: (+977 1) 661 1628
Website http://www.hotelheritage.com.np/

 
LUMBINI
One of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites is in the Rupandehi District of Nepal, 22 kilometres west of Bhairahawa. This significant Buddhist sites centres around the Maya Devi Temple, the pillar of Ashoka, and the foundations of many ancient stupas and monasteries.

Various phases of development works were executed by the United Nations Development Programme and the Nepal government to restore the Lumbini Garden and the surrounding areas. Lumbini is not only a place for pilgrims and tourists, but rather for anyone who appreciates spirituality, meditation, and peace. Lumbini is also where the second World Peace Stupa in Nepal is located, among the 80 built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

 

31. Maya Devi Temple

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This UNESCO world heritage site is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), the son of King Suddhodhana, the once ruler of the ancient kingdom of Kapilvastu, and his Queen Maya Devi. The queen gave birth here in the garden of Lumbini Park, while on her way home, holding onto a branch of a Sal tree.

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Today, this site is where the Maya Devi temple stands. There is an older temple structure under the current building. A few years ago, ancient tree roots dating to the 6th century BCE were found in the temple, which correlates to the story of how Queen Maya gave birth to Buddha.

Excavations carried out in 1992 revealed a succession of ruins dating back at least 2,200 years, including a commemorative stone on a brick plinth, matching the description of a stone placed there by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.

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Address: Taulihawa Road, Lumbini Sanskritik 32900, Nepal
Hours: 6 am – 6 pm. For more information, contact Maya Devi Temple +977 980-8851004
Entrance Fee: 200 NPR

 

32. Ashokan Pillar

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One of the main attractions in Lumbini is a six-metre tall pillar made of pink sandstone that commemorates the visit of the third king of the Maurya dynasty, Emperor Ashoka (304-232 BCE), to Lumbini in 249 BC. It is said that when Emperor Ashoka visited, he built four stupas and a pillar with the figure of a horse at the top, and included an inscription about his visit while paying homage to this sacred site.

The inscription on the pillar roughly translates to “King Piyadesi the beloved of the Gods, having been anointed 20 years, came himself and worshipped saying – Here Buddha Sakyamuni was born”.

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This pillar is just one of the many pillars that Emperor Ashoka erected during his reign. Although there were many Ashokan pillars spread out throughout the northern Indian subcontinent, only 10 survive to this day, and they all have inscriptions. All the pillars were excavated in Chunar, south of Varanasi and transported, sometimes hundreds of miles, to the place where they currently stand.

Emperor Ashoka was the ruler of a huge kingdom, which stretched from the Hindu Kush to the Bay of Bengal. He was successful in conquering the kingdom of Kalinga, but the violence and the great loss of life made him convert to follow the Buddhist path. Being a great patron of Buddhism, he sent emissaries to various countries around the world, including Egypt, China, and Persia. It is said that he sent both his children, his son Mahindra who was a monk and daughter Sanghamitra who was a nun, to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to spread Buddhism there as well. Mahindra converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism, and Sanghamitra who was a nun brought a branch of the Bodhi tree from Bodhgaya to Sri Lanka and planted it there.

Address: Taulihawa Road, Lumbini Sanskritik 32900, Nepal (next to the Maya Devi Temple)
Hours: The park is open 24 hours. However, for safety purpose, it is advised to not wander around after dark.
Entrance Fee: None

 

33. Lumbini Monastic Sites

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The Lumbini Monastic Sites is an area situated in the middle of Lumbini, between the Sacred Garden and the New Lumbini Village. Divided by a canal, it is separated into two zones, the East Monastic zone for Theravadan monasteries and the West Monastic zone for Mahayana monasteries, with a total of 42 plots for the construction of these monasteries.

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The attractions in the East Monastic zone are the various monasteries built in various architectural styles or according to the tradition of the country of origin. The first monastery one will come across is the Royal Thai Monastery designed and built according to typical Thai architecture. Do not miss the replica of the Burmese Swedagoan Pagoda and other replicas of Burmese historical buildings at the Myanmar Monastery. The other monasteries in this area include: Monastery of Mahabodhi Society of Kolkatta (India), International Nuns’ Temple (Nepal), Dhamma Janani Meditation Center (Nepal), Sri Lankan Monastery (Sri Lanka), and the Cambodian Monastery.

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On the West Monastic zone, you will see the Chinese Monastery, Vietnamese Monastery, Korean Monastery, and various other buildings, such as: The Great Lotus Stupa (Tara Foundation, Germany), Drigung Kagyud Meditation Centre (India), Sokyo Monastery (Japan), Linhson Monastery (France), Geden International (Austria), Manang Monastery (Nepal), and Dharmodaya Sabha Monastery (Nepal).

Address: Taulihawa Road, Lumbini 32914, Nepal
Hours & Entrance Fee: For more information, please contact Lumbini Development Trust at +977-1-4268285

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Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Lumbini. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Buddha Maya Garden Hotel
Address: Lumbini Sanskritik, Lumbini 32900, Nepal,
Phone: (+977-1) 470 06 32 / 470 0733, (+977-1) 470 01 33
Website: https://ktmgh.com/kathmandu-guest-house/

2. Lumbini Buddha Garden
Address: GPO Box: Telar River, Parsa Chauraha, Lumbini 32914, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 491 6868
Website: http://www.lumbinibuddhagarden.com

3. Hotel Peace Palace Nepal
Address: Vishnupura Road, Lumbini Sanskritik, Lumbini 32900, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 580286, +977 71 580210
Website: http://www.hotelpeacepalacenepal.com/

 
POKHARA
Nepal’s third largest city, Pokhara boasts amazing views of highland ranges, including the snow-capped mountains which surround the city. Pokhara means “the valley of lakes”, as there are eight beautiful lakes in its vicinity: Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Maidi, Khaste, Gunde, Dipang, and Kamal Pokhari.

 

34. Phewa Lake

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Located at the western edge of Pokhara city, Phewa Lake is the second largest lake in Nepal and the largest in the Pokhara valley, measuring 4.43sq kilometres with the water volume of 46 million cubic metres. This picturesque lake is a stunning sight as it’s surrounded by the Annapurna Himalayan mountain range.

On a clear day, you can even see the awe-inspiring Mount Machhapuchhre, also known as the Queen of Mountains, which is sacred to the locals.

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The eastern bank, Baidam or commonly referred to as Lakeside, boasts plenty of establishments for tourists while the southwestern shore and the surrounding hills are rich in flora and fauna, the home of nearly 100 species of birds.

Here, you can rent a colourful doonga (boat) and enjoy a leisurely boat ride on this stunning lake. You can also go paragliding, mountain biking, take a stroll along the lakeside or simply sit by the lake and enjoy the sunset at the many restaurants and cafes.

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One of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Pokhara is the Tal Barahi temple, located on a small island on the lake. Dedicated to the Goddess Barahi, who is one of the eight mother goddesses in the Hindu religion, this temple is frequented by pilgrims as well as visitors who just want to enjoy the beauty of the location throughout the year.

Address: Shital Path, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Hours: 5am to 7pm daily
Entrance Fee: 100 NPR per person

 

35. Peace Stupa (Shanti Stupa)

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First built in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bomb disasters as a symbol of peace, the building of Peace Stupas (Buddhist pagoda-style monuments) is a movement started by Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk and the founder of the Japanese Buddhist order of Nipponzan-Myohoji.

There are around 80 Peace Stupas around the world, with two in Nepal: the Shanti Stupa in Pokhara and the Shanti Stupa in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. The foundation for this stupa which includes relics of the Buddha was laid in 1973 but the stupa was only completed and inaugurated in 1999.

The Buddha's parinirvana depicted on the north facing side of the stupa. Click to enlarge.

The Buddha’s parinirvana depicted on the north facing side of the stupa. Click to enlarge.

At 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter, this brilliant white Peace Stupa on Ananda Hill has two levels for circumambulation. The height is great for a panoramic view of the city, Phewa Lake, and the Annapurna mountain range.

There are four displays on the stupa, each with a Buddha statue representing an important event and the location it took place in Buddha’s life. Facing south is a standing Nepali Buddha representing Buddha’s birth in Lumbini, a Sri Lankan Buddha facing west represents the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodhgaya, a Japanese Buddha facing east represents the turning the wheel of Dharma (giving his first sermon) in Sarnath, and a Thai Buddha facing north represents the Buddha’s parinirvana in Kushinagar.

Address: Himalaya View Point, Pokhara 33411, Nepal
Hours: 24 hours. However, it is best to visit in the morning, or in the late afternoon.
Entrance Fee: None

 

36. Devi’s Fall

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Originally known as Patale Chhango, this fast-moving section of the Pardhi Kola stream vanishes underground into a narrow canyon through a series of caves after the waterfall. The length of the waterfall is around 500 metres while its depth is about 100 feet. The water forms an underground tunnel after reaching the bottom. After exiting the tunnel, the water passes through Gupteshwor Mahadev, another underground cave.

There are many versions of the story about why the place is now named Devi’s Fall. The most common tale was that of a tragic accident, where a Mrs Davis was swept away while she was swimming in the water a few metres ahead of the waterfall due to overflow. She did not survive. This incident was said to have happened in July 1961. The father of Mrs Davis then built a park around the area, and the waterfall was renamed Devi’s Fall.

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The area also includes a wishing well to the Hindu Goddess Manakamna Bhagwati where you can toss a coin and make your wishes.

Address: Siddhartha Highway, Pokhara 33411, Nepal
Hours: 5am to 7pm daily
Entrance Fee: 100 NPR per person

 

37. International Mountain Museum

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This museum has three halls that showcase the various aspects of the Himalayas. The first hall is called the Mountain People Gallery. This hall showcases the lifestyle and culture of indigenous inhabitants of the mountain regions of Nepal and the world. There is also a video hall where videos are played, especially about the people, culture and the mountains of the Khumbu region.

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The Hall of World Mountains showcases various national and international mountains, with detailed information and photographs. You will also find a collection of important rock samples from the mountain ranges, as well as pictures and stuffed replicas of flora and fauna of the area.

The third, Hall of Mountain Activities, has a gallery featuring equipment, clothing, professional climbing ropes, and photographs of mountaineers. There is also a small section of information on the reclusive yeti.
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Address: Pardi Bazaar, Gharipatan, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Hours: 9am – 5pm
Entrance Fee: 400 NPR

 

Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Pokhara. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Hotel Middle Path
Address: Middle Path Street, Center Point, Lakeside, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Phone: (+977-6) 146 2812 / 470 0733, (+977-1) 470 01 33
Website: http://www.hotel-middlepath.com/

2. Hotel Adam
Address: Center Point, Lakeside-6, Pokhara 00977, Nepal
Phone: (+977-6) 146 2844, 146 4906
Website: http://hoteladamnepal.com/

3. Hotel Crystal Palace
Address: Lakeside, Pahari Path, Pokhara 00977, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 580286, +977 71 580210
Website: http://www.crystalpalacepokhara.com/

 
JANAKPUR
A centre of Hindu pilgrimage, Janakpur is the birthplace of Goddess Sita, a central figure in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Goddess Sita is the consort of God Ram (an avatar of Lord Vishnu), and she is avatar of the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu. Home to the historic 500-year old Janaki Temple, this “city of ponds” is also the centre of Mithila culture of arts, music, and language. You can catch a glimpse of this rich culture at the Mithila Cultural Museum, which displays artefacts dating back thousands of years. You can also visit Janakpur Women’s Development Center to learn about their art and traditions, as well as purchase Maithili paper art, ceramics, and paintings from the gift shop there.

 

38. Janaki Mandir

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A golden statue of Sita was discovered in 1657 by the saint Sannyasi Shurkishordas at the exact location where Sita was said to have been found in a furrow by King Janak as a baby girl when he was ploughing the land. This location is where Janaki Mandir stands now. Built in 1911 by Queen Brisabhanu Kunwar of Tikamgarh in the Hindu-Rajput architectural style, this stone and marble temple, complete with 60 rooms, is also called the “Nau Lakha Mandir”, or the temple of nine lakhs (nine hundred thousand rupees), which was said to have been the cost of constructing the temple.

Other sacred sites in Janakpur include:

Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir
This is where Ram and Sita were married. There is an annual week-long celebration of Bibaha Panchami festival to commemorate their marriage in November or December, with processions and a re-enactment of their wedding.

Ram Mandir
This Nepalese style pagoda built in 1882 is a sacred temple to the Hindu God Ram. It is situated south of the Janaki Mandir.

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Address: Janaki Mandir, Janakpur – 45600, Nepal
Hours: 5.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m to 8.30 p.m.
Entrance Fee: 100 NPR per person
How To Get There: The Janakpur airport has daily flights to and from Kathmandu. The flight duration is around 25 mintues. There are also day and night buses from the Kalanki Bus Stop in Kathmandu. The journey is around 8 – 10 hours and tickets cost less than NPR1000.

 

Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Janakpur. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Hotel Welcome
Address: Shiv Chowk, Ward No 2, Janakpur 45600, Nepal.
Phone: (+977-4) 41-520646
Website: http://www.nepalhotelwelcome.com/

2. Hotel Sita Palace
Address: Ramanand Chowk, Janakpur 45600, Nepal
Phone: (+977-4) 1-520646
Website: http://www.hotelsitapalace.com.np/

3. Hotel Manaki International
Address: Shiv Chowk, Janakpur 45600, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 98550508899
Website: N/A

 

39. Chitwan National Park

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With forests and grasslands over 932 square kilometres, the Chitwan National Park is a very popular tourist destination in Nepal and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Home of the Bengal Tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, gharial crocodiles, sloth bears, giant hornbills and others, you can enjoy yourself by going for a jungle walk, an elephant safari, a jeep or motorcycle safari, or visit the various animal breeding centres, such as the Gharial Breeding Centre, or the Chitwan Hatisar Elephant Breeding Center.

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The best time to visit is from October to March as the temperature is comfortable, around ±18 °C / 64.5 °F.

Address: Subarnapur 44200, Nepal
Hours: 8am to 6pm daily
Entrance Fee: 1500 NPR per person per day plus 13% VAT. Your fee may be waived or included in the price if you are on a package tour.
How to get there: Bharatpur Airport is the nearest airport, only 10 kilometres away from Chitwan National Park. You can then take a taxi to your destination. There are two main entrances to the Chitwan National Park, Sauraha in the east, and Meghauli in the west. You can also opt for a bus from Kathmandu to Sauraha, a small town directly outside of the national park or Meghauli Village. The bus journey will take about 4 to 5 hours.

 

Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Chitwan National Park. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Green Park Chitwan
Address: Tigerpoint, Baghmara, Chitwan National Park 44200, Nepal
Phone: (+977-1) 425 5690
Website: http://www.greenparkchitwan.com/

2. Chitwan Gaida Lodge
Address: 2 Park Entrance, Bachhauli, Chitwan National Park, Sauraha 32909, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 56-580083, 9845239509
Website: http://www.chitwangaidalodge.com/

3. Wildlife Adventure Resort
Address: PO Box 9609, Taragaon, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: (+977-9) 517 1234
Website: https://kathmandu.regency.hyatt.com/

 

40. Everest Base Camp

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Trekking to or visiting the Everest Base Camp to catch a glimpse of the world’s highest peak is not a dream. The Everest (South/ Nepal) Base Camp trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas. The most popular route is to fly to Lukla from Kathmandu, make the ascend to Namche Bazaar (3,440 metres/ 11,290 ft), Dingboche (4,260 metres/ 13,980 ft), Gorakshep (5,164 m/ 16,942 ft) and then finally to the Base Camp.

The trek from Lukla to the Everest Base Camp usually takes 8 to 10 days, with around 40,000 people per year trekking this route. However, a lot of preparation is needed to get into shape before the trip, as well as planning the logistics. Booking with a travel or trekking company will help to take the load off. The best times to trek are during the months of March and April (spring), as well as October and November (autumn).

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For those who do not have the luxury of time or are unable to trek, a few operators provide the option of a 4-hour helicopter tour which lands at the Everest base camp, where you can visit the base camp and be back in Kathmandu on the same day. Buddha Air also provides an hour-long “mountain flight” on small propeller planes that pass around many of the world’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest.

Address: Khumjung 56000, Nepal
Entrance Fee:The average cost of the whole trekking trip departing from Kathmandu to Lukla and back is around USD1000 per person.
How to get there: It is easier if you book with a travel or trekking company as all arrangements, including insurance and porters can be arranged by the company. However, do check that the company is registered with the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN). For a list of registered companies, visit www.taan.org.np.

 

41. Namche Bazaar

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At the height of 3,500 meters, this hilly town on the slope of an arch-shaped mountain was once a trading post with locals bartering yak cheese and butter. Now a tourist destination on the trail up to Everest Base Camp, it is a popular location for trekkers to acclimatise before moving on to higher altitudes, since the location is above the altitude sickness threshold.

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This is a busy town with many lodges, eateries, bakeries, and stalls on the sides of cobbled streets. There is also a weekly Saturday market where you can get goods from Tibetan traders.

There are a few places of interests here, including the Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Centre, with information about the wildlife of the area. You can visit the Museum of Sherpa Life to learn more about Sherpa culture, and if you are only here for a short time, head up to the viewpoint above the village where you can get a good view of Mount Everest.
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Address: Namche Bazar, Namche 56000, Nepal
How to get there:
By Chartered Helicopter:
Chartered helicopter takes about an hour from Kathmandu direct to Namche Bazar.

By Flight & Trek:
Regular flights from Kathmandu to Lukla takes about 30-45 minutes. From Lukla it takes roughly two days to arrive at Namche Bazar. First day’s walk/trek is from Lukla to Phakding or Monjo which is roughly three hours. Second day’s walk is from Phakding to Namche which takes about five hours.

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Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Namche Bazaar. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Panorama Lodge and Restaurant
Address: 1 Namche Bazaar, Namche Bazaar 56002, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 985-2850021
Website: http://www.panoramalodge.com.np

2. Nirvana Home
Address: 2 Namche Bazaar, Namche Bazaar 56002, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 981-8478726
Website: http://www.facebook.com/nirvanahomenamche/

3. Himalayan Lodge
Address: Namche 56000, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 3854 0060
Website: http://www.facebook.com/Himalayan-lodge-25561474962/

 

42. Tengboche Temple

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En route to Everest Base Camp, Tengboche Monastery in the Khumbu valley of eastern Nepal is one of the most important religious centers for Sherpas, an ethnic group in Nepal who migrated from Tibet around 600 years ago.

The largest and most prominent monastery in the region, this site can be reached by a mountainous trail from Namche Bazaar, via Lukla airport.

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The monastery hosts the delightful Mani Rimdu Festival on the tenth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar where religious ceremonies, empowerments, a special blessing by the high lama of the monastery, and a Cham dance re-enacting legends are performed. Celebrations also include folk dances and singing, which can last up to two weeks.

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Address: Sagarmatha, Tengboche 56002, Nepal
How To Get There: Tengboche is accessible by a 6-7 hour hike from Namche Bazaar.

 

Accommodation

There are four lodges for visitors in front of the monastery. The quality and price is about the same. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs. One of the most popular lodges is listed below:

Hotel Himalayan
Address: Sagarmatha, Tengboche 56002, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 9803 580 230 / 9851 093 184

 

43. Mustang

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Although Mustang has been part of Nepal since the 18th century, its location on the edge of the Tibetan plateau and its isolation ensures the continuation of traditional Tibetan culture.

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Upper Mustang, formerly the independent Kingdom of Lo, only opened up to travellers in 1992. It is said that Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche came to Mustang and battled against evil powers that sought to destroy Buddhism. The temple that he built after his success in battle, Lo Gekhar, still stands in eastern Mustang today.

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The landscape of deep gorges with various rock formations is something interesting. There is an estimated 10,000 human-built caves, the history of which remains a mystery. Archaeologists believe that they were first used as burial chambers, later on as living quarters, meditation chambers, as well as military lookouts.

Visit the monasteries, where you can find frescos depicting Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, tantric mandalas, sacred texts written in gold, thangkas, statues, and more. Settlements of white washed houses, barley fields, and stupas with prayer flags everywhere may give you a feeling that you are travelling back in time to ancient Tibet.

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Another place of interest that has important significance in Mustang is Ekai Kawaguchi‘s home in Marpha. Ekai Kawaguchi was a Japanese Buddhist monk, known for his travels to Tibet and Nepal in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and he advocated for the unity of Asia and Pan-Asianism in his letter to the Prime Minister of Nepal. During a pilgrimage to Lumbini in 1912, Ekai Kawaguchi witnessed animal sacrifices to Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, who was mistaken by the local people to be a Hindu Deity. He requested Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana to prohibit animal sacrifices, who issued a decree prohibiting animal sacrifices at Lumbini.

It was in 1899 that Ekai Kawaguchi arrived in the small town of Marpha, in the Mustang District of Nepal. He lived in Marpha for two years, making his secret preparations to cross over the border into Tibet. The house in which he lived has been turned into a small museum showcasing some of the items he left behind. While there, it is said that he studied the sacred Kangyur and Tengyur texts housed in the small chapel of the house. Marpha is known for its amazing landscape, idyllic outcroppings of apple and apricot trees, and as an overnight stop for trekkers on the Annapurna Mountain Range Circuit. Marpha is 1.5 hours walk/ trek from Jomsom.

Ekai Kawaguchi's House in Marpha, Mustang District, Nepal.

Ekai Kawaguchi’s House in Marpha, Mustang District, Nepal.

The house in Marpha, Nepal, where Ekai Kawaguchi lived for two years before his daring journey into Tibet

The house in Marpha, Nepal, where Ekai Kawaguchi lived for two years before his daring journey into Tibet

Part of an exhibition on the life of Ekai Kawaguchi at the Mustang Eco-Museum, in the neighbouring area of Jomsom, Nepal

Part of an exhibition on the life of Ekai Kawaguchi at the Mustang Eco-Museum, in the neighbouring area of Jomsom, Nepal

How To Get There:The most convenient way to get to Mustang is to fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and start the trek from there. The flight is an adventure in itself, flying through the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, which runs between the Dhaulagiri and the Nilgiri mountains. You follow the famous Kali Gandaki River upstream, partly walking in the river bed itself, to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni the restricted area of Upper Mustang starts. From Kagbeni the trek continues northward and leads to Lo Manthang in 4 to 5 days. You cross pass after pass, which are all between 3,500 and 4,000 metres above sea level.

You can hire a jeep, trek all the way, or even take a bike ride. You can get a jeep from Kagbeni, and can reach Lo Manthang within a day or two if driving.

Note: It is worthwhile to pay a visit to the famous pilgrim destination of Muktinath before heading north into Upper Mustang.

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Accommodation

Below are recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Lo Manthang. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Lotus Holiday Inn
Address: Lo Manthang 33100, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 974-670 3624/974-670 7022
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g3291430-d7158799-Reviews-Lotus_Holiday_Inn-Lomanthang_Dhaulagiri_Zone_Western_Region.html

2. Himalayan Guest House
Address: KA30-KA31, Kali Gandaki Corridor, Lo Manthang 33100, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 975-101 3460
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Himalayan-Guest-House-Lo-Manthang-223576701155156/

 

44. Muktinath Temple

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3,750 meters above sea level, on the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas, is an important pilgrimage place for both Hindus & Buddhists. Hindu Vaishnavites consider the Muktinath Temple in Mustang to be one of the eight most sacred shrines on earth.

There are two ponds in front of the Muktinath temple, and pilgrims believe that a dip in these holy waters wash away one’s past sins. A three-sided enclosure surrounds the Muktinath Temple with 108 waterspouts in the shape of bull heads, named “Muktidhara” where pilgrims can be seen taking a holy bath.

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A special attraction lies in the nearby Jwala Mai temple. Behind a tattered curtain, you will find a small natural gas jet that produces a continuously burning flame, as well as water that issues from the rock bed.

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Here, Hindus worship the fire as Jwala Mai or the Goddess of fire. Buddhists believe that Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the great Indian pandit who brought Buddhism to Tibet, meditated at this place. There are also foot prints which are said to be those left by Guru Rinpoche.

Address: Muktinath (Dhawalagiri), Mustang.
How To Get There: Vehicles heading up to Muktinath leave from Old Jomsom, near the large monastery at the north of town. When the road is open, four-wheel drives depart from 7am-6pm when full (12 passengers). The bumpy journey takes 1½ hours and costs Rs 710.

Muktinath itself has no accommodation, for that you have to go to nearby Ranipauwa (where the four-wheel drives from Jomsom stop). This dusty town comprises a string of hotels set up for both Indian pilgrims and Annapurna Circuit trekkers. It is best to use a travel agency to make all arrangements. You can find more information here: http://www.muktinath.org/

 

45. Gorkha Durbar

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140 kilometres away from Kathmandu is the home of the world-famous Gurkha soldiers, well known for their fearless military prowess and who are recruited by armies around the world. This is also the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified the rival kingdoms of Nepal into one nation in 1769. This town was the kingdom’s capital until the Shah moved it to Kathmandu after conquering the city.

You may want to visit the old palace, or Gorkha Durbar, which is the town’s main attraction. This old palace is an hour’s walk from downtown Gorkha. To the northeast of Gorkha Durbar is Upallokot, an ancient fort with superb views of the valley and Himalayas. The Gorkha Museum, housed inside the grand Newari-style palace built in 1835, is another place of interest where artefacts from the era of Privthi Narayan Shah are on display. The museum opens from Wednesday to Monday from 10.30am to 4.30pm, and from 10.30am to 3.30pm during winter.

WonderfulNepal-00

Address: Gorkha Palace, Gorkha 34000, Nepal
Hours: 6am-6pm Feb-Oct, 7am-5pm Nov-Jan
Entrance Fee: 50 NPR
How To Get There: Gorkha is approximately halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara, 24 kilometers north of the Privthi Highway. By road from Kathmandu it takes 4 hours and from Pokhara it is 3 hours. You can take micro buses, which are fast and relatively comfortable, or you can hire a taxi from Kathmandu or Pokhara.

 

Accommodation

Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Gorkha. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

1. Hotel Cafe de Gorkha Chautari
Address: Hillstreet, Satipipal, Gorkha 34000, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 9819 182 500 or 9846 391 708
Website http://www.hotelcafe-gorkha.com/

2. Hotel Gorkha Bisauni
Address: Abukhaireni-Gorkha Hwy, Gorkha Bazar 34000, Nepal
Phone: (+977) 6442 0107 or 6442 0419
Website http://www.hotelgorkhabisauni.com/

 

Travel Books on Nepal

Lonely Planet Nepal

Lonely Planet Nepal is the most relevant, up-to-date guide book that includes what to see and what to skip, as well as the many hidden discoveries waiting for you. With colour maps and images throughout, highlights and itineraries, it has everything you need to tailor your trip to your personal needs and interest, and includes helpful tips to save you both money and time.
Rough Guide Nepal

The Rough Guide to Nepal is said to be both an informative and passionate guidebook to this inspiring country. The book offers you an insider’s guide to Kathmandu, from its tantric temples to its lively night scenes. It details all the finest Himalayan treks, with practice, up-to-date and expert advice on when and where to go, and what to take with you. It also covers all the National Parks, giving you the perfect advice on everything from tracking wildlife to hiring elephant rides.

 

Free Download

Nepali Dorje Shugden graphic novel

This beautifully illustrated graphic novel in the Nepali language explains the fascinating story of how Bhagawan Dorje Shugden arose as the supreme World Peace Protector of our time. When you understand his story and origins, you will gain even more appreciation for this powerful divine being.

Click on the link below to open the selected file in your browser (PDF format):

 

 

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14 Responses to Wonderful Nepal

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  1. S.Prathap on Jun 28, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Nepal is popular destination known for its best value for money .It is one of the most beautiful country which is worth going .
    We can get all the information about festival , popular tourist spot delicious foods and even Nepal population from this article.This information really useful to make our trip to Nepal more memorable.Thank you very much for posting this article.

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    If it is down, or they decide to nevesr hyperlink to your site content for whatever reason, you enter trouble.
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  3. travel xbox one on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    The city boasts various theme parks annd kids would enjoy a try tto any one them.
    If you feel slightly adventurous or if you
    would like to bring awe-inspiring pictures with the state, then you is going too Karlebo.
    Successful headlines crreate anticipation, often giving the impression you’ll access informatyion and facts iin the event you read on.

  4. lifestyles unlimited steve davis on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    No time superior to now, because tourism, that’s widely believed to be the worlds largest single industry.
    If you’re like thousands or millios of other people around the globe, you definitely desire to lead
    and live a normal lifestyle – and who doesn’t. Understand the
    shouldd create another income stream apart from your overall profession.

  5. Mitra poudel on Feb 24, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Dear Rinpoche wonderfull blog post about my Nepal and culture and dharma I am very sure you you love nepal and nepali very much .Your kechara suport many nepali including me.i cant forget that moment with you and dharma even I m far now my heart my mind with you and your blessing with me love you so much Rinpoche .Most of the night I dreem of kechara and you.even I m not in kechara I continue dharma and pray protector.i wish nest life you birth Nepal and blessing to nepal and nepali .Thank you Rinpoche for everything.love you Mitra.

  6. Alice Tay on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:29 am

    This is an interesting and informative article covers population, festivals, foods and 45 Popular Destinations in Nepal and etc etc . What have draw my attention is the celebration of Tihar and Deewali from October till November every year. This is a special day where animals are treated like kings for a day. A good practice that cause less suffering of animals and should be practiced all over the world.

    Thank you for this sharing.

  7. Anne Ong on Dec 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Didn’t know there are so many amazing beautiful holy places. Love some of the places such as… 12. Itum Bahal, 1. Chenrezig Temple (Seto Macchendranath) , 20. Self-arising Tara & Ganesha Temple , 29. Changu Narayan, 44. Muktinath Temple. And the food looks very delicious!😋 Thank you very much Rinpoche and writers for this very interesting article 🙏

  8. Jennifer Yuen on Sep 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    A couple of years ago, my family and I had the privilege to visit Kathmandu with a group of family friends on a pilgrimage trip. I was not too sure at first when the invitation was extended by Grace to join her family for the visit. My children were both not exposed to Buddhism then. To my surprise, they were both mesmerized by the rich culture and beauty of the place. It was an unforgettable experience. And what we did was just a very small part of Nepal.

    Thank you for the article. I would love to go back to Nepal for more visits!!

  9. Stella Cheang on Aug 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Woah! I didn’t know there are so many attractions in Nepal. Never knew that the “Nepal” outside of Kathmandu has so much to offer! The many Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries are certainly great places that must not be missed. My short trip there only covered the beautiful Boudhanath Stupa and the enchanting Durbar Square, as well as the ever busy Thamel area. But the experience was enough to lure me into the rich and vibrant heritage of the Nepalese culture and religious traditions. The most memorable part of the journey is circumambulating Boudhanath Stupa together with many people in the evening. I hope I can visit Nepal again as a pilgrim. I think it will be very meaningful. Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing.

  10. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 8, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Nepal is a spiritually potent place, traversed by many spiritual and motivated practitioners, even Buddha Shakyamuni began his last human rebirth in Nepal. For the Nepalese to lovingly protect such spiritual places is a measure of how spiritual Nepal as a nation is.

    In many cases temples and places of worship were maintained by generations of family members. And many such places do not become more commercialized with the modern times, but they maintain so that more future practitioners can come and create connections to such power places.

  11. Samfoonheei on Jul 30, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Very useful information written on these wonderful article make travelling to Nepal easier for first timer. Nepal is a gorgeous, landlocked central Himalayan country which offer alot of beautiful,architectural attractions for tourist as well as locals.Nepal is blessed with natures choicest flora and fauna. The country also boasts of significant historical monuments,old Buddhist monasteries lovely shrines,pagoda-roofed temples, stone sculptures and filled with snow capped mountains.It is one of the world’s oldest cities and most beautiful country which is worth going.
    Thank you Pastor Shin for these wonderful write up.

  12. Fong on Jul 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    What an article Capturing the essence of Nepal, what little I know of it. This has made me wish to travel again to Nepal to immerse in the culture and spirituality of the country.

    A place of so little and yet so rich. So much strive with the violence in the palace to the earthquake and yet so beautiful in how the people have hunkered down and forge forward with faith and tenacity.

    Thank you for transporting many of us back to Nepal again.

  13. Grace Leong on Jul 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Wow !! Thank you Pastor Shin. So much of Nepal I have yet to see. It is indeed a very diverse nation. The hidden pockets of mysterious sites all over the country makes Nepal an extremely intriguing place to visit. The energy of spirituality is very strong in many of these places too. A must visit country if one hasn’t done so! Totally magical !!

  14. Pastor David Lai on Jul 29, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Thank Pastor Shin for this extensive article on Nepal I really love the Vajrayogini temples and my favourite is the Bijashwari Vajrayogini temple that is quite accessible from Thamel. There are 4 icons within this temple and a particular haunting face of Naro-kacho.

    I have been to Nepal more that 6 times already and each time, I try to make it a point to travel to this temple here to make offerings and prayers to Vajrayogini that I may gain her sacred practice one day an ascend to he paradise in Kechara. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind returning to Nepal again and again. There’s just so many places of spiritual significance and the beautiful mountains and countryside.

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  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 06:41 PM
    Animals are like human beings. They will feel scared and they need protections. They are more vulnerable than human. Since we are stronger than them, we should protect them, but not inflict pain on them.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/all-she-needed-was-a-hug.html
  • Chris
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 04:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team for sharing with us this amazing news and inspiring occasion where Kechara has the chance to make offerings to sangha from Sri Lanka. These monks are pure monks and it is very meritorious when we can make such offerings to them.

    From this incident, I am able to see the true spirit of religion where the monks kindly accepted our offerings even though we are from a different sect of Buddhism and they even requested to bless the land on their own initiative. They have a good intention and wanted the Dharma to grow in Kechara sincerely.

    This is how it should be when it comes to religion. People should not discriminate based on the differences in their belief system.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/kechara-offering-dana-to-visiting-sangha-from-sri-lanka.html
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 03:16 PM
    From this article i can understand that by praying and believing in Dorje Shugden, it helps us to create conducive conditions for a spiritual practice. As a Dharma protector, Dorje Shugden will remove our obstacles, and protect us and our loved ones.
    This article good and complete for anyone who wishes to learn about Dorje Shugden.Thank you so much for sharing this article.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/33KfjDa
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 03:03 PM
    Rinpoche have always advice us that we should go to places full of spiritual power such to Bodh Gaya, Lumbini , Wu Tai San and so forth. Have an auspicious and meritorious trip instead of going for holidays to see places of interest. Rejoice to Pastor David for bringing your dad and your friend Paul with his mother for this wonderful meaningful pilgrimage to Nepal and India visiting powerful places of the tantric deity Vajrayogini and so on. And visiting Serpom monastery as suggested by Rinpoche to make offerings to the monks. Looking at those beautiful pictures paints a thousands words.
    I wish I could go on a pilgrimage to such Holy and scared place of Nepal and India some day.
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing your memorable account of your pilgrimage with your dad, Paul and his mother.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/pilgrimage-through-india-nepal.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 02:59 PM
    Very informative post of this Gyenze fire Puja or sometime known as the Fire Puja of the Wealth. In Buddhism, ceremonies are meant to provide a blessing. Gyenze fire Puja is no exception, is a very effective and powerful puja within the Tibetan Buddhism. And is considered the king of all pujas. Well its basically to remove all obstacles ,purifying negative karma, increase merits, dispel negative energies and pacifies unseen beings, that obstruct us from doing our Dharma practice. Wow……these are the 13 ingredients been offered during this fire Puja. I am fortunate to have witnessed one at Kechara Forest Retreat before and looking forward to the next Fire Puja this coming Saturday.
    Thanks Rinpoche for having those monks to perform this meritorious puja . And thank you all sponsors and those hardworking team making it possible.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/gyenze-fire-puja-or-the-fire-puja-of-the-wealth-increasing-form-of-dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 11:04 PM
    Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche known as Milarepa

    As is clearly seen in Helmut Gassner’s account, two of the most influential and trailblazing Tibetan lamas who taught in the West both practised Dorje Shugden and held him in high regard. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, was not only once the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery but was a well-known meditator, debator, tantric adept and teacher of thousands of monks and laypeople all over the world.

    Find out more of this great monk: http://bit.ly/2SRJrHB
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 10:52 PM
    Growing up with Rinpoche: You’ve got mail

    Rinpoche, if people take the time to write and express their thoughts and feelings, that is something that should be appreciated and respected. And if people confide in Rinpoche, that information is always treated as sacred because it is not always easy for people to trust someone else enough to open up to them.

    Read more of Rinpoche’s kindness and care: http://bit.ly/2SNcf3O
  • Chris
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 05:21 PM
    China is one of the most powerful countries in the world nowadays and many countries had chosen to be in China’s good books. It is only a matter of time where all the Tibetan government’s supporter will stop supporting them and be on China’s side.

    Let’s face it. The struggle for Tibet’s independence has been on-going for 60 years but there is no progress at all. Now, even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is telling the Tibetans to go for Umaylam instead of Rangzen. However, Umaylam requires their cooperation with the Chinese government.

    It is good for Tibetans or Tibetan government to befriend China because they will need their mercy to get back to Tibet because China has all the reasons for not letting the Tibetans go back to Tibet. They certainly do not need Tibetans.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-importance-of-tibet-befriending-china.html
  • Yee Yin
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 05:15 PM
    This is something I don’t understand. In the beginning, the 14th Dalai Lama was practising Dorje Shugden and he did not say anything about Dorje Shugden. Suddenly in 1996, he banned everyone from practising Dorje Shugden saying Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit.

    Dorje Shugden is a practice given to the Dalai Lama by his teacher, Trijang Rinpoche. Trijang Rinpoche would never harm the Dalai Lama by giving the Dalai Lama the practice of an evil spirit. This does not make sense at all. Is the Dalai Lama implying his teacher was not good and wanted to harm him when he said Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:49 PM
    Voyage to the Colossus of Rhodes

    In school, I remember we had a competition to make anything we wanted with the sole condition that it had to use LED lights. It was around the time that out of all the various figures of ancient Greek mythology, my fascination with Medusa was at its highest. Her story is an interesting one. She was once a beautiful maiden who, cursed by the goddess Athena, was made to look so terrible that the mere sight of her would turn anyone to stone. Over time her anger overtook her and she became a scourge, plaguing mankind. The demi-god Perseus slayed her and used her dreadful head to turn to stone monsters, beasts and other men alike in his self-serving yet glorified journey which ended with the founding of the ancient city-state Mycenae.

    Journey with Pastor Niral as he travel the the country rich in mythology: http://bit.ly/2LMkhJA
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:42 PM
    Growing up with Rinpoche: Putting down roots

    Rinpoche is never interested in secular activities just for the sake of it, but always uses his knowledge, interest and experience to see how he can improve the lives of those around him and how he can bring Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) to the next level in terms of serving others. So for Rinpoche, a vegetable farm is not just a vegetable farm, but an activity that can bring Dharma to others.

    Find out what exciting plans that Rinpoche has: http://bit.ly/32NjBsV
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:29 PM
    Over the years reading Rinpoche blog’s post , I have come across many true stories of how Rinpoche has helped countless of students and people in their career, sickness, business and so forth. Reading this post story is really amazing how relying on Setrap Protector and having trust and faith in our Guru has help Dato Eric Tan in his business . Dato’ Eric Tan’s achievements today is truly amazing all due his trust and never give up what ever happened.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing. May more people read this post and be inspired.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/behind-the-scenes/miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-6.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:28 PM
    Heartfelt watching the beginning of the video. Could imagine the fear the furry Edie encountered, so much so hiding at the corner. Edie was so scared and just needed is a hug and pad from some kind soul . Bronwyne Mirkovich is so compassionate , kind for saving Edie’s life. Thank you too Edie Gobbie from the American Maltese Association for helping with this wonderful project to rescue animals. Life is so precious nor matter what it is , it is still a life……human or doggie. Dogs are our best friends, never harm, abuse or hurt them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/all-she-needed-was-a-hug.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 07:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this auspicious post with us. It is amazing that Kechara has the chance to make such offerings to the high lamas and monks in the monastery. This is a clear example of the generosity of Rinpoche that wishes each and every one of us to adopt.

    Making offerings to the sangha is very meritorious and we can collect a lot of merit with such actions because we are directly supporting the growth of Dharma and those high lamas are Buddhas. Seeing such pictures warms my heart and I rejoice to see those happy faces of those monks who received those very much needed offerings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/making-offerings-to-the-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 07:29 PM
    Wow ….. there have been so many UFO sightings in so many different countries. There are altogether eight UFO sightings within 10 days witnessed by people across the globe. They saw shiny unidentified flying objects flying past in the sky as reported. Very interesting….. strange object sparked theories of possible extra terrestrial sightings and they do definitely exist after all. Many UFO sightings have been reported in the last decades yet scientist or researchers yet to confirm the details or evidence to proof it. But the strange sightings in different countries at the same month could not be wrong as we know “they’ have been watching at the earth from some where up there.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing …..simple amazing caught on camera by those eye witness.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ufo-ufo-everywhere.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
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Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 month ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 month ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
2 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
2 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
2 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
2 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
2 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
2 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
2 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
4 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
4 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
4 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
4 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
4 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
4 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
4 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
4 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
4 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
4 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    4 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    4 months ago
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    4 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    5 months ago
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    5 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
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CHAT PICTURES

Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
1 week ago
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
1 week ago
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
1 week ago
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
1 week ago
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
1 week ago
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Children were very excited to participate in the quiz. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Children were very excited to participate in the quiz. Lin Mun KSDS
We will do dedication before we end the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
We will do dedication before we end the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
It’s wonderful for parents and children to attend animal liberation together and recite mantra before releasing the birds. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
It’s wonderful for parents and children to attend animal liberation together and recite mantra before releasing the birds. Lin Mun KSDS
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong. Lin Mun KSDS
Rejoice ! Children getting blessing from pastor on Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Rejoice ! Children getting blessing from pastor on Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
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