June 2, 2011 – This is one of the largest stupas in the world.. and much more than that.
Andra has been drilling into my head to go and see this, ever since she discovered it on the Kathmandu’s map. I was a bit reluctant at first, but I shouldn’t have; it’s the best thing to see while in Nepal’s capital.
I’m afraid the photo doesn’t do it justice, especially since it was impossible to capture the puzzle of sounds that changed continuously while circling the structure (clockwise, as the rules require).
The immense courtyard invites you to breath deeply and take it really slow. I found it in every way as peaceful as sitting on rocks near a slow river and watching the flowing of water with its occasional reflection that manage to mesmerize you for a while. The circled path around the stupa has a similar sound flow with brief moments of silence that are shattered by short dings coming from bells touched by the devout, or by the wing flap like sound made by the spinning prayer wheels. The catalyst that smoothes these transitions is the “om mani padme hum” song that plays almost continuously in the background; its intensity varying with the distance from the several sound speakers spread around the structure. You can play it while watching the photos from bellow: