Boudhanath Stupa (or Bodnath or Bodhnath Stupa) is the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet, located about 6.8 miles (11 km) northwest of Kathmandu. It is 36 meters high. The central part consists of a circular tumulus built of massive stone and rests on a large platform that serves as an ambulatory. On all four sides of the spire's square base are painted "Eternal Eyes" symbolizing Buddha's gaze towards the four cardinal points of the Universe. The spire is topped by a parasol, symbol of dignity. Today, pilgrims arrive from India, Sikkim, and Buthan, in the past also from China and Tibet. The Nepalese tradition attributes the construction of the temple to king Asivadeva between 590 and 604 CE. A UNESCO world heritage site along with the Kathmandu valley (1979). The gilded spire of the stupa has been destroyed during the earthquake of April 25, 2015. The Nepalese people say that "the eyes have been shut."
© Gilles Mermet / Art Resource, NY
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