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July 16, 2019

Major Kathmandu based Buddhist Monasteries

  • HB Kham

Nepal is a gorgeous virgin and holy land cradled in the lap of high Himalayan Mountains that gave birth to Lord Gautam Buddha, who preached to the world about nirvana, panchsheel, and samyakdristi.

Being the Buddhaland, the abundance of Buddhist monasteries around Kathmandu and across the country are no exceptions. In Kathmandu, only several monasteries are located to lure the attention of all travelers.

Foreigners have even started volunteerism in some of these monasteries, which are architecturally marvelous to look at.  Major famous monasteries are mentioned below:

seto gumbaSeto Gumba (White Monastery)

One of the most gigantic, stunning and popular monasteries in Kathmandu is also known as ‘white monastery’ or ‘Druk Amitabh Mountain’. The monastery around 3km far from Kathmandu lies to the north hill near Swayambhunath stupa. Hundreds and thousands of travelers visit this monastery every day.

The walls of the monastery display exotic Tibetan murals, statues and fine arts depicting the teachings of Lord Buddha. It’s great fun to walk around the monastery.

Kopan Monastery

kopan monasteryThis is a Tibetan monastery located on a hilltop close to Boudhanath, which lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Tenets of Tibetan Buddhism are taught to the foreigners at this monastery through meditation, retreats, and three month’s long course.

The monastery is open on the day from 9 a.m to 5 p.m and daily Dharma talk can be attended at 10:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday.

Shechen Monastery

Shechen monastery also known as Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling monastery in Boudhanath, was originally one of the six Nyingma monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism. The Nyingma is one of the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The schooling of Nyingma believes in six ‘mother’ Monasteries. For instance, Kathok monastery founded in 1659, Palyul monastery (1665), Mindroling monastery (1665), Dzogchen monastery (1685) and Shechen monastery (1735).

These Tibetan monasteries were located to the east side of Tibet of which the most influential monastery in the 17th and 18th centuries was Shechen monastery. It was destroyed during the cultural revolution of China in the 1950s. It was rebuilt in Nepal in 1985.

300 monks are currently living in this monastery. The monastery has an art school, retreat center, a nunnery and a philosophical college where aspiring students can earn a nine-year course in Buddhist teachings.

Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery

khagar monasteryThrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery is only 45km far from Kathmandu. It is one of the sacred sites of Buddhism for Tibetan as well as Nepali Buddhists. Surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags and perched on pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha, the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery looks majestic. It is also known as Tagmo Lujin (or the place where the future Buddha sacrificed his body to a tigress).

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