Nepal Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites
As the birthplace of the historical Buddha, Nepal is one of the main centres of Mahayana Buddhism. Over a long period of time it has been a meeting place for Buddhist teachers and scholars. The Emperor Ashoka visited Nepal during the 2nd century BC and later sent missionaries there to spread the teachings of the Buddha. He had a pillar erected at the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini and constructed several stupas at Patan. Nepal played an important part in the expansion of Buddhism and in the preservation of various ancientBuddhist traditions and texts. Many manuscripts relating to Buddhist philosophy, sutras, rituals, art and architecture are still kept in National Archives in Kathmandu and various monastic libraries. Nepal was also renowned for its production of fine quality Buddhist art. Newari craftsmen produced a wide variety of objects, including stone carved architectural elements, wood carving, casting and metalwork incorporating the use of precious metals and gems, painted manuscripts, frescoes and banners and the production of papier mache and textiles.
Lumbini is the birth place of the Buddha. It is one of the four main places of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world. Located in Rupahdehi district in Nepal, Lumbini is the place where the Buddha spent the first 29 years of his life. The current day Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. It is visited by thousands of Buddhist pilgrims every year and is among the most visited places in Nepal.
Swayambhunath is one of the holiest places for Buddhism outside of India. It is an ancient religious complex built on the top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. The complex consists of a stupa, known as the Swayambhunath stupa, and has many temples and shrines from different dates in history. It is also home to a library and a Tibetan monastery. Swayambhunath is one of the oldest Buddhist places of worship in Nepal and is believed to have been commissioned in the 5th century AD. The place holds religious followers of Hinduism, too, as thousands of Hindus visit this hallowed place annually.
The Boudhanath stupa is a holy place of worship for Buddhists all over the world. Located around 20 kms from the city of Kathmandu in Nepal, the Boudhanath stupa is one of the tallest Buddhist stupas. Boudhanath is one of the holiest places for Buddhists in Nepal and the world, and it is also among the top tourist attractions of the country.
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