I was working on some slides recently and I came across some wonderful images of Bodhnath, the wondrous Buddhist temple near Kathmandu in the valley of the same name. When I lived in Nepal’s biggest city I frequently rode my bike to Bodhnath, to become part of the endless procession of people walking around the stupa. I lovedto watch the rural Tibetans make the pilgrimage and generally to soak in the vibes of such an ancient and holy place.
1) Bodhnath from above
The temple’s history is obscure but the site is very, very old, dating to the early centuries of the first millennium.
2) Close by
During my very first visit I was puzzled. I knew there was one certain way a person was supposed to walk around a Buddhist temple, from my reading of the TinTin book, Tintin au Tibet while a boy. But which was the correct way? Clockwise or counterclockwise? I couldn’t for the life of me remember. Like the young idiot traveler I was, I started in the wrong direction (clockwise) to the horrified looks of the throngs who were circling the stupa. I quickly stopped and turned in the opposite direction. The story sounds humorous now, but at the time I was mortified by my own insensitive behavior.