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Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha and Buddhist philosophy

06.08.2017 - 09:20

Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha and Buddhist philosophy

For thousands of years, Himalayan serenity and stimulating nature have attracted sages from far and wide to meditate and practice spiritualism in this land. The meditation caves used by spiritual masters and their dwellings became famous as power places with high concentration of positive vibration. Last two millennium, different form of Buddhism nourished in the Himalayan safe heaven untouched by strife and chaos in its neighbors. Visiting such an auspicious places and understanding Buddhism and its development is what Buddhist pilgrimage tour of Nepal is about.

Some 2,600 years ago, Buddha was born in a Lumbini garden bordering kingdoms of Devdaha and Kapilavastu. He left the palace at the age of 29 in search of truth beyond existence. At the age of 35 he understood the cause of suffering and the ultimate happiness. He then travelled through the region peaching nonviolence and karma. The places of his dwellings Lumbini – the birth place of Buddha, Bodh Gaya – where he got enlightenment, Sarnath – where he gave first sermon and Kusinagar – where he attended Mahaparinivana were revered as four power places and great stupas and monasteries were built.

However internal strife and feuding brought Buddhism almost to the end in the land of its origin by the middle of first millennium A.D. In search of peace, nonviolent Buddhists travelled north to the Himalayas in exodus and started to build monasteries. Kathmandu valley became one of such Buddhist hubs. Reminiscence of the early Buddhist settlements are still seen in over 400 early monasteries of Kathmandu valley. An esoteric Tantric Buddhism is still practiced in Kathmandu valley especially in Patan making it the oldest existing Buddhist city in the world. Great stupas and world renowned temples of Tara (Female Bodhisattva) and Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of compassion) were built. There are evidences of Tibetan Buddhist devotees travelling to Kathmandu valley to translate scriptures and bring Dharma teachings (righteousness) back to Tibet.

The 8th century Tantric Buddhist master ‘Padmashambhava’ travelled to Tibet via Nepal. He spent significant amount of time in Nepal meditating and attending different level of wisdom. Halesi (Maratika) is one of the site where he received the teachings of longevity from Buddha Amitayus. Yangleso and Asura cave north of Kathmandu are where he attended enlightenment.

Similarly Siddha Nagarjuna from 150 – 250 AD is believed to have spent his last 20 years in ‘Nagarjuna hill’. Siddha Nagarjuna is founder of Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism and is credited of development of ‘Pragya Paramita Sutra’. He was also a chancellor of Nalanda University. His meditation caves are still used by Buddhist followers.

Many other Tantric Buddhist Masters like Milarepa, Naropa and Tilopa visited Nepal in different occasion and there meditation caves are still a place of great bliss.

Buddhist pilgrimage tour of Nepal is visit of archaeological sites related with Buddha, historical meditation caves and Stupas. The tour is visual aid to life of Buddha and his teachings. Lumbini of which 6 have emerged as important pilgrimage site at present. Ramgram Stupa ruin is the only existing Buddha relic stupa among the first 8 built after Buddha’s cremation. Kunda monastery ruin is the first monastery, where Buddha and his followers were accommodated by King Suddhodhana after the enlightenment. Kapilavastu palace ruin is where Buddha spent 29 years as prince.

iTourNepal.com P Ltd. Organizes the most meritorious Buddhist pilgrimage tour in the region. We are pioneer to discover and organize such tour in Nepal. The pilgrimage tour could be customized within your timeframe and budget. Options of flight, overland transportation, group size and accommodation effects the cost. Guides leading the Buddhist pilgrimage tours are learned and experienced to organize everyday sightseeing for you to be in right place at right time for prayers.