“Can I please go to Boudhanath tomorrow morning alone ? And I wanna go early morning.” – Anindya said before retiring for the day

“Do I have an option ? but please dont get delayed in coming back and ensure that you come back on time. We have a flight to catch and Tugga has to get ready.” – Madhushree stopped yawning and retorted .

Morning tea Boudhanath Kathmandu

Morning tea at Boudhanath

This was the discussion between Madhushree and me, where I pleaded to go for Boudhanath on the last day of our Nepal tour. A successful and satisfying tour by all means till then. It was still the niggling feeling of not having a dessert after a sumptuous meal, was what I was going through . I had already visited Boudha a couple of days earlier in the evening with the family but without much result in terms of photography . I have been to Swayumbhu (read my experience in Swayumbhu here) but there was something special and different in Boudhanath . In  the evening, when we went, this place was special, however I was told I needed to come here in the morning during the prayer. I did not want to miss it. Hence an early morning alarm on a holiday , tiptoeing out of my room and the house , catching a cab after letting go off 3 cabs for asking for abysmal fares and finally, reaching the venue by 6.20 A.M.

It was the same feeling as the previous evening. Visuals , sounds , aroma, all sending that message to the brain – stop the clock , disconnect with the world , look through the view finder and discover a world.  A world with small individual stories which build up the epic .

Here are my reasons why you should visit Boudhanath if you are in Kathmandu –

Buddha eyes Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

Buddha eyes at Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu


1. Colour Riot – One will find splash of colours here . Morning or evening does not really matter . Boudhanath Stupa with whitewashed dome and piercing Buddha eyes painted on all four sides, is a view in itself . The stupa is symbolic of three dimensional reminder of Buddha’s enlightenment. The bright coloured prayer flags come in sets of five: one in each of  five colors. The five colors are arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue, white, red, green, and yellow. The five colors represent the five elements namely earth , water , fire , air and space . The prayer flags against the bright blue sky is a treat to watch and to click also.

Shop at Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

Shop at Boudhanath

Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu colourful prayer flags

Boudhanath Stupa with colourful Prayer flags

2. People around – Boudhanath is a mini world in itself . From shop owners to visitors and monks and nuns, pilgrimages and photographers – you will find them all here . Dont be in a hurry . Circumambulate the stupa in clockwise along with the pilgrims and visitors as they chant Om mani Padme Hum while spinning the prayer wheels . Observe the faces and the people who have come to offer prayers . Its a revelation . The ideal time to come is either in the early morning or in the evening . Thats the prayer time and one gets to see a flux of people . Each face tells a story . Each activity paints a picture . Be alert not to miss them. Dont forget to explore the bylanes where I saw the seven monks in a row .

Prayer Wheel Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

The lady by the side of the prayer wheel – Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

blessings Boudhanath Stupa

The old lady who blessed all

Devotee Boudhanath Stupa

Devotee at Boudhanath Stupa

Prayer Boudhanath Stupa

Prayers at Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu Offerings

Offerings – Boudhanath Stupa


Seven Monks Boudhanath Kathmandu

Seven monks in a row

3. Tamang Gompa – If at Boudhanath,one should not miss out on Tamang Gumpha . Located just opposite to the main Stupa, this is perhaps one of the most visited monasteries in the area . Its a three layered structure where each level is worth exploring and experiencing . The minute one steps in to the monastery, before entering the main monastery, on the left hand side there is large prayer wheel from roof to ground . The main prayer hall is here . As one goes up the stairs , the walls are filled with murals with Tibetan symbolism. On the first floor there is a small prayer hall with a large traditional Taiko . Moving further up to the second floor, one gets the most breathtaking photo of the stupa . This is the biggest attraction for the tourists . There is a small hut to the left where butter lamps are being lit . One can take as many pictures as possible anywhere , get into some occasional chats with the monks in case they are not praying, as I did and please don’t forget to leave your shoes outside before entering any prayer hall .

Tamang Gompa Boudhanath Stupa

Entrance of Tamang Gompa at Boudhanath Stupa

Tamang Gompa Entrance Boudhanath Stupa

The main prayer hall at Tamag Gompa – Boudhanath Stupa

Tamang gompa Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

Inside prayer hall at Tamang gompa

Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu 1

Boudhanath Stupa from Tamang Gompa

4. In case the legs have started to tire out now after a good long walk around and circumambulating ( one lap is about 150 metres), take a break . One can just sit down on the benches which are interspersed in the Stupa and just watch the happenings around . Smell the incense burning , catch up on a conversation on the person sitting beside, after all this is why we travel isn’t it ? There are some amazing cafes and shops around with amazing views of the Stupa . Walk in to any of the coffee shops – order a coffee and if you have time in hand – open up that book which was long waiting to be read .

Boudhanath Stupa Tamang Gompa

View of Boudhanath Stupa from tamang Gompa 1st floor


5. If the above reasons are not strong enough, this is Asia’s largest Buddhist Stupa . A UNESCO world Heritage site . As a matter of fact Kathmandu valley has seven UNESCO World heritage sites and this is one of them . Not only Asia , but this is one of the World’s largest stupa . Its also the most important Tibetan Buddhist Monument outside Tibet. As a tourist, its always a special feeling to visit one of the largest pilgrimage of a religion . Do not miss out on that feeling.

Old monk Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

The Old monk at Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu 1

The Lamps at Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

 The reasons are personal and one may not have the same feelings as I had, however as a photographer and as a traveler, this is one place which should not be missed at any cost. I returned on time, Tugga was ready on time and we safely caught the flight .

P.S. – We were staying in Kathmandu with Komal, a very close friend of Madhushree . She has her home in Kathmandu and during our entire stay- her parents, her sister , her maid , her driver – everyone went out of their way to make us feel special . I tiptoed out of the house on my way to Boudhanath as I did not want to cause further trouble by waking up anyone .