Kopan Monastery is significantly different from the previous two places of pilgrimage. While in the previous two places the stupa with a long history and rich legends is in the center, here it is the relatively newly founded monastery.
The monastery was founded in 1969 by two monks, Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who bought the land from the Royal Astrologer of Nepal. The monastery got its name from the mountain surrounded by the fantastic landscape, which rises from the terraced areas of the Kathmandu valley and is clearly visible from afar.
Beautiful gardens dedicated to Buddha surround the building complex, where the wind plays with prayer flags among the flowers, hedges, fountains and trees and scatters the prayers to the surrounding countryside.
Smaller and bigger stupas rise at several points in the garden, the surroundings of which are meditation and
place for social gatherings. In the early evening, there are many students and senior monks around the stupas who go around the stupas according to tradition.
The monastery is home to 360 monks, lamas, teachers and workers. The monks come from all over Nepal and Tibet, their ages vary from 7 to 70 years and they dedicate their lives to the Buddha's teachings.
From the beginning, the Kopan Monastery has been operating as a meditation and training center, which is available to both Himalayan and foreign visitors and students. Studying the mind is one of the guiding principles of Buddhism that determines the quality of our lives and relationships.
Tibetan Buddhism helps us understand the root cause of our problems and find the cure that helps us change and live a happier, more fulfilling and meaningful life. Kopan is dedicated to helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion. That is why courses are regularly organized in the monastery, which help those interested to get to know the
their own minds, thereby helping them to a better life.
The monastery has recently become a popular excursion destination for Kathmandu residents and tourists. It regularly receives hundreds of visitors on Saturdays, but the monastery is not open to outsiders on other days of the week.
The intention of the founders is preserved by the monks who manage the monastery to this day, so Kopan is a unique place, a meeting place between East and West, religious and secular life.
Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery
The monastery is located in a small town called Namo Buddha, 40 kilometers from Kathmandu. It is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Nepal because of the legend associated with it, which tells of the Buddha's act of saving the life of a mother tiger.
The monastery was founded in memory of this sacrifice, in the place where, according to legend, the tiger's cave stood.
The landscape surrounding the monastery is an ideal place for meditation, the surrounding area
hills form an eight-petalled lotus, and according to the locals, the cool south wind blows in summer, and the warm, gentle sun in winter is like the clear and bright face of the youth.
The monastery is relatively new, founded in 1978 by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. The conditions were very simple in the beginning, because the roads in the area were not built and there was neither water nor electricity. In the course of time, however, it was possible to create three main units: a school focused on the study of Buddhist philosophy, a school dedicated to meditation
meeting rooms and buildings for service activities.
The purpose of founding the monastery is to lead people to the path of peace and non-violence.
The main building of the monastery, located on the top of the hill, is six stories high, which is closed by a two-level golden roof in the curved Indian style. This building contains the communal areas where you can pray, eat and rest. The main temple hall is on the fourth floor, which has thirty-six pillars, each topped with a gilded bronze Buddha statue. The ceiling is decorated with fifteen mandalas and behind the main shrine there is a smaller shrine and in front of the shrine is a large terrace overlooking the surrounding mountains.
The golden roof of the building can be seen from miles away, the building is mostly decorated in red, orange and yellow with gold decorations. The library and classrooms are also located here, in the main building, since the relatively newly founded monastery also houses a major Buddhist school. A clinic is also part of the monastery complex
which not only provides medical assistance to the monks and visitors to the monastery, but also provides basic health care for the surrounding settlements.
To the south of the main church there are several beautiful multi-storey buildings, which are the residence of the monks.
The complex is home to more than 250 monks, but they also welcome visitors who can use the monastery's guest house.
Lumbini is also a very important pilgrimage site. Its importance is due to the fact that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni) was born in this place. Here, however, not only an outstanding monastery or stupa is the destination of pilgrimages. Lumbini is actually a garden, a well-defined area with a length of 4.8 km and a width of 1.6 km.
The sacred site of Lumbini is bordered by a huge monastic zone where only monasteries can be built, no shops, hotels or restaurants. It follows that the area is surrounded by many monasteries. On the east side are the Theravada monasteries and on the west side are the Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries.
In addition to the monasteries of various Buddhist traditions, here you can also find the sacred Bodhi tree, the Mayadevi temple, the Ashokan pillar and an ancient bath garden, as well as a beautiful archaeological site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, Lumbini, with its breathtaking panorama, attracts pilgrims and nature lovers alike like a strong magnet.
Many countries have built Buddhist places of worship and monasteries in the area, such as China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Germany. It is interesting to observe the different architectural solutions. The Mayadevi temple is located in the garden, the history of which goes back 2,200 years, and the archaeological findings found here testify that this is the birthplace of Buddha, which used to belong to the territory of India, now Nepal.
It is worth walking through the garden and finding a peaceful, meditative spot.