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Travel news article: Nepal,Tibet Wed 17-01-2018

Selected Article 523 Travel Nepal,Tibet: Latest Articles, trips, news, travel destinations - Nepal,Tibet - grhotels.com trips: Tour Article523
Nepal,Tibet
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Nepal: In Tibetan monasteries

Multitude of deities, mystical mandala, complex rituals, colorful murals, majestic Buddha statues emerge from the clouds of fragrant incense and candlelight, the monasteries of Tantric Buddhism in the Kathmandu valley, where the gathered faithful but Nepali and Tibetans refugees

When the time came to pass the Buddha in Nirvana, around 483 BC, the ashes divided into 8 parts and built eight stupas (as it is called the tomb), scattered in various parts of India. Later, Emperor Ashoka (262 BC) the greatest apostle of Buddhism-identified the seven stupas (the eighth was lost in the jungle) and redistribute the ash building 84,000 stupas across the territory.

The death of the Buddha gave the opportunity to express separatist tendencies among the monks, which resulted in four basic forms: the original Buddhism, the Chimagiana, the Mahayana and Tantric School. The major difference is the proclamation of Mahayana that every man has the ability to illuminate-be Buddha-and not just the elect as espoused by the Chimagiana. The Tantric School (Tantra: It extends the knowledge) is an evolution of Mahayana Buddhism and the industry followed in Tibet. The Magic has a significant role in Tantric Buddhism, and practiced by monks and characteristic element is the detailed description of complex rituals.

Nepal may be the official religion is Hinduism, but in practice there is a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist elements with a strong influence tantric deities who "passed" by the country through traders from the Himalayas, and the Tibetan refugees living in camps around the sacred stupas.

In the valley of Kathmandu are two important stupas: the Bodhnath and Swayambhunath. The Bodhnath is one of the largest stupas in the world and is located east of Kathmandu. It is said to have been built around 600 AD by King of Tibet Songsten Gompo, while its current form reputedly made after the Mongol invasion of the 14th century. Legend states that the body of "hiding" a sacred bone that belonged to Buddha. All traders coming from Tibet not skipped the pilgrimage for the good trip to Bodhnath, and so it was the first place that the Tibetans refugees chose to break after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. In sacred space are shops with items from Tibet, and several monasteries. There, one can obtain a picture of Tibetan culture and met many Tibetans with local costumes, mostly in the mornings and afternoons with the sun - the prayer times. Believers of all ages tend to meditate holding up either the wheel of prayer or the prayer that lists the favors of Buddha, walking around the stupa in the direction of clockwise.

The base of the stupa is located on a square "mandala" that symbolizes the earth (the mandala is an intricate plan that involves concentric circles which enclose a square divided into four triangles that include other circles, with figures of deities or their symbols). Above the base is the hemispherical dome symbolizing water, over The Built cube symbolizes fire, then the umbrella symbolizes the air reaching the culmination symbolizing ether. The staircase leads to the top consists of 13 levels, which symbolize the 13 stages of the road that leads to Nirvana.

To the west of the stupa is also the Sakyapa Gompa (monastery of the red cap), which distinguishes the large wheel of prayer. Tantric Buddhism is divided into four sects, encountered in Bodhnath: Nyigmapa, based on the original Buddhist texts, Kargyupa, with strong tantric elements, Sakyapa (red hats) created in the 11th century Gelugpa (yellow hats) introduced the system of reincarnated spiritual leaders and gave the title "Dalai Lama" (Ocean Wisdom) to the Head of changing its Tibet in a strictly theocratic country. The monasteries (Gompas) present in the area, belong to all streams and delivered many seminars on meditation strangers.

The Swayambhunath and the "Golden Temple"

The Swayambhunath situated on the top of the hill west of Kathmandu. The legend says that once the valley of Kathmandu was a lake and the hill a small island. Passing from there a holy man meditated and swept away and leaving the waters revealing the valley of Kathmandu. Countless colorful flags fluttering past ropes, attached to "Cikara" (turrets) that surround the stupa, spreading into the ether the magic words of "mantra" is written on them.

The stupa was built by order of King Manadeva in 460 AD and around 1200 was a major Buddhist center. The ascent to the stupa starts from the eastern staircase, designed by King Pratap Malla (17th c.), Where dozens of cute monkeys eagerly welcome visitors. The statues of the Hindu god Ganesha and Goddess Koumari supervise the area at the entrance of the stairs.

Going observe sacred carvings on the stairs and countless stalls street vendors trying to sell souvenirs to tourists! At the top of the ladder stand the "Cikara" with the pair of stone lions guard and «dorje», the Tibetan male symbol of lightning, along with the bell symbolizes the female wisdom.

Around the stupa there are 5 «Dhyani Buddhas» - Buddha statues in various poses of meditation. Each statue is placed at a certain point of the horizon and identified by color, posture, hands and the vehicle or "Shakti" (partner or feminine aspect) or "bodhisattva" (spiritual following). The grounds of the complex include a small temple dedicated to Hindu deities, small stupas containing the ashes of monks, shed host of believers to commit functions, while behind the stupa is the International Buddhist Library. To the right lies the Gompa which is running with the sun. Inside the monastery is pervasive smell of candles burned in yak butter and there are huge candelabra which lay believers tenders: rice, fruit, candy, lotus flowers.

We could not mention the "Golden Temple" located in the "Great City" (Patan). Created in the 12th century by wealthy merchants who passing through the Himalayas wanted a temple to pray to Buddha for a good trip. The entrance to the temple is guarded by a pair of statuesque lions and three floors of the building was made of pure gold (currently just gilded), a sign of prosperity benefactors. In the hollow interior there is a courtyard with an altar in the center and in the background the well-guarded (by strong iron bars) golden statue of Buddha. Round and round "patrolling" the courtyard small turtles, which are the "guardians" of the temple. Upstairs is the monastery which was created by a vow merchant of Patan who grew rich from trade with Tibet. Impressed by the colorful murals and statues of the Buddha, while the hospitable monks gladly welcome visitors.

HOW TO GET THERE

Most flights to Kathmandu are usually made through Delhi. Browse offers from companies that are on the Internet. Lately good prices given by the Gulf Air and Qatar Airlines. Within Kathmandu will move by taxi and rickshaw (traditional tricycles), after bargain price.

 

WHERE TO STAY

At the luxurious Everest (tel: 9771 4780099) will enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas, while equally luxurious Soaltee Crowne Plaza (tel: 9771 4272555), amazing food at 3 restaurants. The Hotel d'Annapurna is located in Durbar Marg, (tel: 9771 4221711), in the heart of Kathmandu, is very economical, and has a theater where performances of traditional dances. If you are interested in meditation, you can sleep in hostels monasteries free, making just a little tender.


WHAT TO EAT

The daily food for Nepali is dhal bhat tarkari (lentil puree served separately in small bowls with rice, vegetables and curry or xinoglykes pickles). Very dear are the Tibetan "Momo" pasta like ravioli, stuffed with vegetables or yak meat. Try even "slut" (fried yak meat) and "soukouti" (salted grilled meat). The "tsatamari" is thin dough of flour and over several small pieces of meat or vegetables and like pizza. Sweetened with "skiarni" green pistachio and spices and drink, rice wine "raksi" local beer "tsangk" Lassi yogurt and water and natural tea variety ntarzilingk produced in the country, as the locals prefer: hot milk and a lot of sugar. One of the best restaurants Nepali cuisine is Bhojan Griha (tel: 9771 416423, 411063) housed in a renovated historic building 150 years belonged to the royal family, and Banchha Ghar (tel: 9771 419798, 423128) .

 

What to Buy

The Kathmandu is a real shopping paradise at very low prices, of course after a hard bargain! Very nice silver jewelry and gold with various precious stones-yellow or blue topaz and ruby ​​star, handicrafts, statues, wood carvings, paintings, scarves and cashmere sweaters, embroidery, statuettes made of bone, recycled paper products from communities in Nepal and teas are some of the countless species that deserves to get. Do not miss the tables emblazoned Thangkas are Tibetan Buddhist monks with themes from the life of Buddha, mystical mandala or tantric deities on cotton fabric, with a hair brush. Why not take a look at shops around the monasteries that have very good items at low prices.






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