Namo Buddha should be one of the places to visit when you are in Nepal. It is believed to be one of the holiest Tibetan places in South-East-Asia.
Usually you will be reaching Namo Buddha through Kathmandu. You will pass through beautiful landscape and shall see golden roofed temples between trees.
There’s a legend of a young Prince, who met with a hungry mother tigress and her five cubs. They were about to feed on a child but the Prince offered his own body in exchange of the child’s.
After this occurrence, it is believed that he was re-born in Lumbini. Many suppose that it was Buddha himself offering his body to the tigress.
You can take a taxi from Kathmandu or take a bus. A taxi cost around Nepalese Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000, while bus ride (a little bit stressful) is cheaper and costs around Rs. 150 (one way). You can get on a public bus near the crossroad of Ringroad and Arniko Highway to go to Banepa or Dhulikhel.
You will have to change buses once, to go to Namo Buddha. Unfortunately there are just a few buses. The waiting period can be long and buses are usually always crowded.
If you can’t find a seat inside the bus, or if it is too crowded to stand inside, some buses let you sit on the roof. The way leads from paved roads to unsecured dirt roads. While travelling on these dirt roads the buses will ride on a maximum speed of 20 km/h.
Due to waiting time as well as travelling time it took us 6 hours to reach Namo Buddha from Kathmandu. Namo Buddha was quite something though!
Beautiful architecture, wonderful wall paintings, impressive statues and thousands of prayer flags cover this place in a beautiful landscape full of trees and mountains. Even the small guesthouse nearby offering a bed for one night including evening meal and breakfast was lovely. After the long trip you could feel tired.
Once you get off the bus, you shall enter a very peaceful place with lots of energy and power. You are able to take a deep breath and just relax, without the usual cloth-facemask for pollution that some people are seen wearing around the streets of Kathmandu.
In the centre of Namo Buddha there is a huge temple. A red-brick building with beautiful wall paintings and a golden roof is the main eye-catcher. It is surrounded by lots of prayer wheels, large pillars and serene atmosphere. The morning ceremony takes place everyday at 6 a.m. The monks sit cross-legged on small wooden benches reading from their prayer books.
The main hall is very luxurious with carpets, gigantic chandeliers and huge Buddha statues. Even the inner walls have very precise and beautiful paintings. One can’t help but wonder that it must have taken a very long time to finish all these paintings of the main hall. Nearby the main hall, is a huge Buddha statue. On top of the area you have a beautiful view of the landscape. On a clear day, you could even see the snow capped mountains. The entire place is very lovely, peaceful and special.
So would you take the stressful trip to Namo Buddha and explore? I say it’s worth the effort.
Story & Photography: Christian Wilk
(Christian Wilk is a German citizen, currently working as a photography intern, under the guidance of professional photographer Mr. Kumar Ale at NepalSutra™).