Namo Buddha is about 40km away from the heart of Kathmandu City. It is in Kavre District towards the southeast of the valley. Driving from Kathmandu, it took us around 2 hours to get there. We left the paved road and drove on dirt road after an hour. After about 45 minutes we caught a glimpse of the temple through the clouds.
Namo Buddha is a beautiful place far from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, with no pollution, and the air is so fresh and cool. Situated at an elevation of 1750 m above sea level, Namo Buddha is a great tourist destination around Kathmandu valley. From the top of the hill you can see the snow-covered Himalayan ranges which look so pure and amazing.
From the Buddhist point of view, Namo Buddha is one of the most important religious sites in Nepal. There are three major Buddhist pilgrimage sites: Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Namo Buddha.
I went there with my parents and an aunty.Once we parked the car, we had to go through a big gate to reach the stupa. The stupa was not as big as Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa but has high significance.
According to history around 6000 years ago prince Great Being (Ngingdui Tshenpo Mahasatwo), found a tigress lying near a rock at the top of the hill, overlooking the jungle. Very quickly, he realized that she was going to die. Her five babies were still little and their survival depended on their mother. Ngingdui Tshenpo, was a young man who had his own kingdom but he decide to give his life to the tigress in a bust of love and compassion. The tigress refused. When the tigress refused to eat him, he decided to cut his arm to feed his warm blood to the tigress. The taste of blood gave the tigress an appetite and finally she accepted the sacrifice from the prince. The tigress left only the bare bones of the prince which were brought back in the village and buried in a tomb which became the actual stupa of Namo Buddha. Some 3500 years later, the Gautam Buddha came to the village of Sange da Fyafulsa; he went around the Stupa three times and declared that he was the reincarnation of Prince Ngingdui Tshenpo. It was that moment that Gautam Buddha renamed this village and henceforth the name of Namo Buddha which means First Buddha.
My mum and my aunty bought the butter lamps and offered it to the Buddha and we prayed and went around the Stupa. There were a few kids begging money. At first I didn’t wanted to give money to them and spoil their habit but later I felt sorry for them and gave them 10 rupees each.
Once we were done, everyone was hungry at this point so we went to a local restaurant. Everyone had rice, dal, vegetable (meat is not available in the local restaurants as Buddhist doesn’t eat meat) but I ordered my favourite Wai Wai instant noodle soup. After lunch we all were recharged and went back in the car to go to the monastery.
The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse monastery looked really beautiful up-close. As there was specific time for the opening of the monastery we waited for it to open. As we waited, we saw there were more people coming to visit the place.
The inside of the monastery was impressive but pictures are not allowed inside. There were about 10-15 painters working on hand painting the walls. The walls and ceiling were very colourful with Buddhist paintings. The place is really silent and I could easily imagine why people came there to meditate.
As we walk out from the monastery, there are prayer wheels all around it. We rotated the prayer wheels and walked around the monastery. A prayer wheel is a cylindrical “wheel” on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma).
From the monastery, we walked to towards the top of the hill. There is a big statue of the Buddha at one place made out of brass.
As we walked towards the top of the hill, we reached a stone sculpture that depicted Buddha himself feeding a hungry tigress and her cubs. It is believed that the place is where Buddha gave up his body.
Following the ridge to another summit on the same hill, there is another small Stupa which is said to be the spot of the den of the tigress. There, we saw pilgrims lying down on the ground as if offering their bodies to the place. Pieces of cloth hung on the branches of the tree for protection. It was such a beautiful place to be at.
When we reached the top of the hill, we could see the monastery and the view of the village. On one side we could even see some part of the Karve District forest. The top of the hill is surrounded by colourful prayer flags and there were a few people enjoying their picnic around the area.
I really liked this side of Kathmandu and it will be a great place for anyone to go for a day or more to enjoy the peace you can find so close to busy Kathmandu.
Till next post, take care!
M from nepaliaustralia
P.S.: I am going to Bryan Adams concert tonight and very excited. I will update more soon. Happy weekend everyone!!!
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