The Kathmandu Valley, historically known as Nepal Mandala, contains an almost uncountable number of shrines, temples, and monasteries which according to ancient chronicles, legends are arranged in a sacred design of divine realms. According to the text ‘Swoyabmbu Purana’ and scholars, during the time of Buddha Vipaswi (one of past Buddhas), a natural stupa arose from the lake as a symbol of paradise here and now.’
The texts mentions that later during the time of the Buddha Visvabhu (the third of the six Buddhas) Manjusri (bodhisattva of wisdom) came here from ‘Utaishan’ Five-Peaked Mountain in China and cut the Chovar George (at the south of Kathmandu valley) and drained the waters, making the sacred site habitable for the valley denizens. Then a stupa was built by Shantikar Acharya (circa 7th century) over the sacred base of the naturally arisen Swayambhu. It is said believed that here, the outer, inner and secret fields of synchronicity can be divined (Swayambhu Chronicles, Nas lung Ngag dbang rdo rje ).
Another holiest of sites in the valley is Pashupati, holist among Hindus, with a Shiva lingam at its center. Its believed that ‘the essential mark of a great power place is a spontaneously arisen ‘lingam and yoni’ (Swayambhu lingam and yoni), and since both Pasupati and Guhjeswori possess these self-manifest symbols, they are indeed the heart of the paradise that is the Kathmandu Valley (Dowman Keith, a Buddhist guide to the power places of Kathmandu)”
The next prominent site is Boudhanath stupa built during the rule of King Manadeva (reigned 464-506 AD), a site related to the propagation of Buddhism in Tibet and around the stupa, the diaspora of Tibetan speaking communities from the Himalayas and Tibet has formed a little Tibet in itself.
In addition, there are various such sites both natural and cultural dotted around the valley. In general, its noted that there are 24 major sacred sites located in the peripheries of the Kathmandu valley, and within this, each major cities has its own complete arrangement of the Mandala signified with Stupas and temples. Valley culture and spirituality functions along the sacred sites.
On this trip, we will take you into the aforementioned and corresponding sacred sites of the valley and their culture and traditions which made up the ancient Kingdom of Nepal until it was annexed into modern Nepal in 1769.
We will also explore the spiritual aspects of this landscape – to connect with the ancient wisdom through mindfulness, meditations – lead by meditation instructors and Lamas.
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