If you visit Nepal, visiting Bodhnath Stupa and it’s surrounding area is a must. As one of the major sights to visit in the Kathmandu area, I had already made a trip before starting my time volunteering for a month at Rinchen Parli Monastery. It is full of tourists but is a very important pilgrimage point for Buddhists as well. It also is home to a large number of Tibetan refugees who fled China after 1959, and is one of only a few places in the world where the do not have to hide their culture without risk.
The circular area surrounding the main stupa has shops and cafes displaying Tibetan artifacts and serving Tibetan food (MOMOS!).
Walking around the main stupa you must always walk in a clockwise direction.
One of my favorite trips to Boudha was one I took with a few of the monks from the Monastery. It was a wonderful way to have an insiders look into this beautiful place and I am not going to lie, I felt pretty cool rolling up with my posse of monks (in a vehicle I named the ‘monk-mobile’). There were tons of tour groups, having their guide hold up a flag and lead them around. I felt like saying “move over people… monks coming through”. It was a very special day.
Above here Khenpo Dhondup and I stop to admire some artists. And last it was off to the juice stand (I was slightly scared this was one of those things that would literally destroy my stomach but I did not get sick at all):
It was delicious and my stomach agreed. Another happy day in Nepal.