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Boudha Nath Stupa. Is among the largest Stupas in South Asia,36 metres tall and located in the northeast part of Kathmandu Valley. Tibetan merchants found this sie a resting place in their onward jourey and they offered their prayers here for many centuris. Maroon-clad monks still walk about the shrine while devotees walk wih prayer wheels in their hands. The rituals of prostration are presented to the Buddha as worshippers circumambulate the stupa on their hands and knees in deference. It was built by Licchavis King Man Dev in the 5th century A. D. Its colossal and ancient stupa is regarded as one of the world’s biggest stupa and has been built on a stepped octagonal base and inset with alcoves representing Buddha and his teachings. After Chinese invasion in 1959, Tibetans in thousands came to this famous Buddhist Chaitya and energized the stupa. The stupa is surrounded by various temples or 'gompas'. The atmosphere of the whole place lightens up with zest as fragrance of incense drifts through the air. Chanting of monks and creaking of prayer wheels can be heard while strolling around the base. It is one of the prime sites for pilgrims and tourists in the country.
Swayambhu Nath Stupa. It is Buddhist shrines like the Swayambhu Nath and Boudha Nath are renowned throughout the world for the stupa or chaitya architecture. These are dome- shaped structures that house the deity concerned. What is remarkable at the swayambhu complex is that it is seen from every point of the valley because of its situation on a hilltop. The largest image of Lord Buddha in Nepal is found in a monastery next to the stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjushree (for Buddhists) or Saraswoti (forHindus)-the godess of learning. Statues and shrines of both Buddhist and Hindu seities are fond at Swayambhu Nath its 3kms away from the West of Kathmandu. Ancient tale has it that thousands of years ago Swayambhunath was an island. Later a stupa was built. King Manadeva contributed in the making of the stupa in 460. After the invasions from Mughal, it was distorted and had to undergo renovation in the 14th century. King Pratap Malla in 17th century further enhanced the architecture and also added a stairway to get to the stupa. At present, the stupa is a solid hemisphere of brick and clay, supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt and has Lord Buddha’s eyes adorned on all the four sides of the spire base. Buddhists regard it as the holiest place. Swayambhunath also offers a majestic view of the entire Kathmandu valley.
Lord Buddha's BirthPlace of Lumbini. lies in the southern Terai plains of Nepal and is about 300 kilometers Southwest of Kathmandu. Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha, is considered the holiest of the Himalayas, south of Chure range in nepal's Rupanndehi District. It was here that Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama. It washe who later attained enlightenment and founded the Buddhist tradition. In 1896, Nepalese archaeologists discovered a huge pillar in Lumbini, erected by Emperor shoka who ruled India then, thus re-confirming it as the named Fa Xian also helped identify the site. the Puskarini or Holy Pond-where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to giving birth to him and where he also had his first bath-still lies in Lumbini. The remains of Kapilvestu place can be found here. And is therefore regarded as a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists. In 250 BC, Emperor Ashoka built a large stone pillar containing an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. Lumbini bears not only historical and religious significance but also cultural significance. Lumbini Garden, Maya Devi Temple, Tara Foundation,World Peace Pagoda, China Temple, Thai Monastery, Burmese (Myanmar) Temple, Nepal Buddha Temple and Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery are the major attractions of Lumbini. There is a museum and a research center for Buddhism. It is also considered an ideal birding destination as it houses variety of rare bird species. Many high quality hotels, restaurants and lodges are available in Lumbini.
Changu Narayan. Its a Hindu temple situated atop ahill in Bhaktapur, east of Kathmandu Valley. Although there are more riligiouns shrines, and more impressive ones at that, changu Narayan stands out because of its ancient heritage. A 5th century stone inscription on the oldest shrines of Kathmandu Valley. The temple stands as an excellent example of stone, wood and metal craft that adorns the deity here. Two-tiered Changu narayan temple is 15 kilometers away from Kathmandu city. Since this is the temple of Lord Vishnu, also called Narayan and is situated near Changu, the temple has been named so. Stone inscription of 464 A.D and other architectural master piece featured in the temple showcase ancient history of Nepal. The temple also bores the sculptures of Vishnu’s ten incarnations; Vishwaroop, Vishnu Vikranta, Vishnu riding Garuda, Nar-Singha Vishnu etc. Temples of Kileswar Shiva, Chinnamasta Devi and other gods and goddesses are also present in the vicinity of Changu Narayan temple. The temple provides an awesome view of Manohara River cascading through lush vegetation.
Patan Durbar Square. Lying connected to the 5 kms South-East of Kathmandu Valley by Bagmati River, 459 hectares of Patan is bounded by 4 stupas built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC as recorded in the history. Patan is also called Lalitpur. There are several legend attached to the origin of the term, Lalitpur. One such legend says that in the ancient time Kathmandu was engulfed with severe drought and three people were assigned to summon God Red Machhendra Nath from Kamaru Kamachhya, a place in Assam, India, into the valley for rainfalls. Among the three people one was a farmer named Lalit who believed to have contributed more. When rain finally poured into the valley, people as a sign of gratitude sanskritized the valley after his name and the term ‘pur’ meaning town ship and was finally named as Lalitpur. Another tale boasts that the valley was named after king Yalamber. Patan people refer to Patan as Yala. History has it that Patan was founded in the 3rd century by the Kirat dynasty and later was modeled into perfection by Lichhavis in the sixth century followed by Malla dynasty. At present Lalitpur sub metropolitan city has been categorized into 22 wards. This city presents a potpourri of finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritage. Patan Durbar Square, Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor temple, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple or Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Mulchowk, Jagat Narayan Temple, Big Bell, Pillar of Yognarendra Malla, Hari Shanker temple, Vishwanath temple, Bhimsen temple, Marga Hiti, Mani Mandap, Café Pagoda, Rato Machhendra Temple, Minnath, Rudra Varna Mahavihar etc are the major attractions of Patan.
Pashupati Nath Temple. Perhaps the most impressive of them all is the tow-storeyed golden pagoda of Lord Pashupati in Kathmandu. Agold-plated roof, silver doors ad woodcarvings of the finest quality decorat the pagoda construction whose original contrucion is believed to go back more than tow millennia. The temple, built on the banks of the Bagmati River, is the centre for the Shaivaite sect of Hinduism. As the name indicates, Pashupati Nath is a temple of Lord Shiva and is the holiest place for Hindus. The sacred temple lies on the banks of sacred Bagmati River 5 kms east of Kathmandu city. Non-Hindus are strictly prohibited from entering thet temple. It has two-tiered roof and four silver doors.Devotees from all over the world come here to pay their homage to lord Shiva. It is not known for certain when Pashupati Nath was founded. Tradition says it was constructed by Pashupreksha of the Somadeva Dynasty in the 3rd century BC, but the first historical records date from the 13th century. The ascetic Pashupati sect was likely related foundation to for the Pashupati was a tutelary deity of the ancient rulers of the Kathmandu Valley; in 605 AD, Amshuvarman considered himself favored by his touching of the god's feet. By the later Middle Ages, many imitations of the temple had been built, such as in Bhaktapur (1480), Lalitpur (1566)and Benares (early 19th century). The original temple was destroyed several times until it was given its present form under King Bhupalendra Malla in 1697. According to a legend recorded in local texts, especially the Nepalamahatmya and the Himavatkhanda, the Hindu god Shiva once fled from the other gods in Varanasi to Mrigasthali, the forest on the opposite bank of the Bagmati River from the temple. There, in the form of a gazelle, he slept with his consort Parvati. When the gods discovered him there and tried to bring him back to Varanasi, he leapt across the river to the opposite bank, where one of his horns broke into four pieces. After this, Shiva became manifest (Lord of Animals) in a four-face (chaturmukha) linga.
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