B is for Boudhanath Stupa: Ama Dablam Day 3

If you ask people what they remember most about Kathmandu, they will often remark on the free-ranging cows. It’s not uncommon to see cows sleeping in the middle of the road with cars veering around them.

Another memory is of the Tibetan chanting and singing bowls you hear played from various shops. Here, Matt is being introduced to Singing Bowl medicine with the shopkeeper giving him a vibration treatment. We said the singing bowl might make an fine climbing helmet.

When visiting Boudhanath Stupa, there are several thanka painting schools. We visited one this morning to see the artists at work. The woman below is painting a kalachankra mandala thanka. It will take nearly 30 days to complete.

Boudhnath Stupa is one of the oldest in Asia and it serves as the centre of the Tibetan Buddhist community here in Kathmandu. I always enjoy the energy that surrounds the stupa and I must have 100’s of pictures of it. This was a new view captured from a roof top restaurant with the foothills of Kathmandu behind.

Each piece of the stupa is symbolic. Under the umbrella top is a void representing emptiness. The 13 golden steps represent the 13 steps to enlightenment. If you look down on the stupa from above, you can see it is multi-level platforms form the shape of a lotus flower.

The prayer flags are hung in the four directions and are paid for by devotees. Today, Boudanath seemed quieter than usual because the tourist season is beginning to wind down while our adventure is just getting under way. We fly to Lukla first thing tomorrow morning to start the five day walk to Ama Dablam base camp. We’re all excited to get into the mountains and away from the polluted and dusty air of Kathmandu.

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