Miracle five: Buddhist stupas

Stupas are Buddhist places of worship often found in Asian countries. Initially, they were used as reliquaries, and later stupas were erected as monuments in honor of significant events. Each stupa seems to symbolize the universe in miniature. The base of the stupa means the earth, the giant dome is the element of water, and the upward spire is the air. The air is symbolized by a small umbrella, reminiscent of a weather vane, on the spire. The stupas are decorated with colorful flags inscribed with mantras, and around them are spinning prayer drums. They say that in order to achieve nirvana, you need to spin all the reels 108 times, walking around the stupa. In Kathmandu, we visited the Bodnath stupa, located in the middle of the eponymous square, full of souvenir shops and cafes, and the monkey temple – the Swayambhunath stupa. The highlights of Bodnath are beautiful viewpoints, many small Buddhist monasteries around the square, and an evening candlelight ceremony near temples like those held during the Hindu festival of Diwali in the fall. Swayambhunath is distinguished by the complexity of buildings, panoramic views of Kathmandu and many monkeys of all ages and sizes.

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