Just north of the ancient Buddhist town of Boudhanath is the Kopan hill, rising up out of the terraced fields of the Kathmandu valley and visible for miles. Dominated by a magnificent Bodhi tree, it was once the home of the astrologer to the king of Nepal. It was to this hill that these lamas came with their first Western students in 1969.
Kopan Monastery had its beginnings in the Solukhumbu region of the Himalayan mountains. In 1971 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, a yogi of the tiny hamlet of Lawudo, fulfilled the promise of the previous Lawudo Lama to start a monastic school for the local children. The school was called called it Mount Everest Center. Twenty five monks moved down from the mountain to Kopan in 1971 – prompted by the harsh climate at an altitude of 4000 am, which made study barely possible in winter.
Now Kopan is a thriving monastery of 360 monks, mainly from Nepal and Tibet, and a spiritual oasis for hundreds of visitors yearly from around the world. Nearby is Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery, home to 380 nuns. Both the monastery and the nunnery are under the spiritual guidance of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and the care of the abbot, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lhundrup Rigsel. And it is the wellspring of the FPMT, a network of some 140 centers and activities world-wide, themselves expressions of the Buddha activity of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Swayambhunath, is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. According to the Gopalarajavamsavali Swayambhunath was founded by the great-grandfather of King Mānadeva (464-505 CE), King Vṛsadeva, about the beginning of the 5th century CE. This seems to be confirmed by a damaged stone inscription found at the site, which indicates that King Mānadeva ordered work done in 640 CE.
However, Emperor Ashoka is said to have visited the site in the third century BCE and built a temple on the hill which was later destroyed.
Although the site is considered Buddhist, the place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. Numerous king Hindu followers are known to have paid their homage to the temple, including Pratap Malla, the powerful king of Kathmandu, who is responsible for the construction of the eastern stairway in the 17th century.
The stupa was completely renovated in May 2010, its first major renovation in 90 years and its 15th in the nearly 1,500 years since it was built. The dome was re-gilded using 20 kg of gold. The renovation was funded by the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center of California, and began in June 2008.
Seto Gumba (White Gumba) – Druk Amitabha Mountain:
Located in the midst of vivid terrain and lush GREEN valley Seto Gumba (Druk Amitabh Mountain) or white monastery is a heaven to witness the sunrise and sunset. Just located in the outskirts of the valley Seto Gumba is a panoramic kaleidoscope of colors and rich culture that showcases the valley in the most spectacular way. Looking at it from a traveler’s point of view Seto Gumba is bliss of astounding natural rejuvenation that searches excitement as well as calmness. Endorsed with a rich Tibetan culture and architecture, it splurges vivid colors in the murals, statue and paintings professing Buddhism and its techniques. One can get nostalgic in the presence of finding and seeing the explicit environment that melds you in its presence. Winds shouting out loud the music of scenic views and panoramic existence makes you think of what life and you will lose time in absence. Once you get here you will be abided by the smell, sounds and prayer flags that spread around the message of peace, patience, and calmness. The more interesting are the visuals that overlook the valley in a synchronizing way of contouring the old cultural heritage with the increasing encroachment of the concrete jungle.
The supreme sacred place known as Namo Buddha is located in the mountains about 2 ½ hours from Kathmandu. It is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal and one of the holiest in the world. It is known as the place where the Buddha, in a previous life as a prince, gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. There is a very old temple in the village of Namo Buddha, located below Thrangu Rinpoche’s land, which sits on the top of the mountain. Several lamas have determined that the actual site where the Buddha gave his body is actually on Thrangu Rinpoche’s property near the retreat center. There is a cave with statues of the prince, the tigress and the cubs on this site. Namo Buddha is otherwise known by Tibetans and people of the Himalayan regions as “Takmo Lu Jin”, which is literally “Tigress Body Generosity”.
Lumbinī (Sanskrit: लुम्बिनी, “the lovely”) is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Kapilvastu district of Nepal. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Buddha Gautama founded the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 BCE. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath.
Lumbini was where the Buddha lived until the age of 29. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple, and others under construction. Also located here is the Puskarini or Holy Pond where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath, as well as the remains of Kapilvastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form.
World Peace Pagoda – Pokhara
World Peace Pagoda, a massive Buddhist stupa is situated on the top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa Lake. Besides being a impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers the spectacular views of the Annapurna range, Phewa Lake, and the Pokhara city. We Climb the Raniban forest crossing the suspension bridge. After the 2 hours of walk we reach stupa and enjoy the spiritual and scenic beauty. Climbing down from Pagoda is more enjoyable with the view of Phewa Lake and the mountains. We cross he lake after the 20 minutes of boating with the visit to island temple (Barahi temple) in the middle of lake