The Bouddhanath Stupa
This is one of the biggest stupa ‘s in Nepal. A stupa is a dome-shaped building, used to celebrate Buddhism.
The Bouddhanath Stupa is made up of a base of 3 layers, followed by a great dome and topped off with a great pyramid. It’s diameter is 100m and it is as high as 9 double decker buses (36m high). Each side of the base has a pair of eyes on each side painted in blue, white and red on each base. The four eyes are meant to represent Buddha’s eyes watching over the North, South, East and West. Prayer flags are draped from the top of the monument.
You must always walk clockwise around the stupa and spin the hundreds of prayer wheels as you pass them. Did you know that there are 108 small images of Buddha around the stupa? There are often Tibetan monks dressed in red who pray and perform their musical talents.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square
This is a square full of palaces, courtyards and temples, from where the old kings used to live and rule the city. Durbar means palace. The square is still important for royal events e.g. kings coronation. The palaces are decorated with carefully carved wooden windows and pagoda style buildings.
At one end of Durbar Square is the, the Kumari Bahal, where the Raj Kumari, or “living goddess” lives. She is a young girl (5 years old) who is chosen through an old fashioned process to become a goddess. She is meant to be the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Taleju. Raj Kumari is not allowed to leave her house except during festivals when she provides her blessings. Her house is guarded by two stone lions and her feet are never allowed to touch the ground, so she must be carried everywhere. The last Raj Kumari, 4 years old, was picked in 2008 and she will remain in her house until she becomes a teenager, when a new Raj Kumari is picked.