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Bodnath Stupa, Kathmandu
The largest stupa in Nepal, Bodnath is the center of Tibetan Buddhist faith and culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. From above, Bodnath Stupa looks like a giant mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. And as in all Tibetan mandalas, four of the Dhyani Buddhas mark the cardinal points, with the fifth, Vairocana, enshrined in the center (in the white hemisphere of the stupa). The five Buddhas also personify the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), which are represented in the stupa's architecture. There are other symbolic numbers here as well: the nine levels of Boudhanath Stupa represent the mythical Mt. Meru, center of the cosmos; and the 13 rings from the base to the pinnacle symbolize the path to enlightenment, or "Bodhi" - hence the stupa's name.
Copyright: Justin Imhoff
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8494x4247
Taken: 05/11/2007
Uploaded: 04/09/2008
Updated: 28/02/2015


Tags: mountain; people; temple; valley
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More About Kathmandu

Home to Mt. Everest and a wide range of ethnic groups speaking almost 100 languages and dialects, Nepal is a study in diversity. Climate ranges from sub-tropic to arctic, offering an unparalleled variety of ecosystems – humid plains, tropical jungles, forested hills, frozen valleys, and of course the Himalayas. Hinduism is the major religion although Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born in the south of the country and Buddhism has a strong tradition in Nepal as well.