It is a known fact that Gautama Buddha, the great founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini, Nepal, the Shakya Kingdom of Kapilvastu back then. It isn't possible to assign a specific year for the birth date of Prince Siddhartha, but experts place it at around 563 BCE. Nepal has evolved into an ideal spot for Buddhist pilgrimage, with Buddhism being integrated into Nepalese culture. In the hill and mountain regions of Nepal, Hinduism has absorbed Buddhist tents to the extent of having shared deities as well as temples, unlike other countries, the distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal is not always clear. It is reflected mainly in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, where famous Buddhist monasteries are highlighted throughout the Valley. They are ideal places for interested people to immerse themselves in the world of Buddhism. After visiting Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, one can visit several sites dedicated to the different branches of Buddhism.
Kopan Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, located near Boudhanath on the outskirts of Kathmandu, built on a hilltop. Kopan has become famous for teaching Buddhism to western students, the first of what became an annual month-long meditation course was conducted in 1971. The courses provided by the monastery combines Lam Rim teachings with informal discussion, periods of guided meditation and vegetarian diet. It has become a recreational destination for residents and tourists alike.
Kopan Monastery is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an organization founded by Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who began teaching Buddhism to Western students in Nepal. There are more than 360 monks, teachers, lamas, and other workers. The monastery is open to the public on Saturdays, where it receives hundreds of visitors. It is not open to the public on other days of the week. It's a great place to learn about Mahayana Buddhist tradition through teaching, community and meditation.
The history of Shechen Monastery is fascinating. It was one of the six main Nyingma monasteries of Tibet, destroyed in the late 1950s, also called "mother" monasteries of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche transported the culture of the original Shechen Monastery to a new place, near the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, Nepal. The monastery has over 150 Statues and one of the largest Tibetan Libraries in the East, with over 450 monks from across the Himalayan region studying and living in the monastery.
Aside from Buddhist philosophy, they teach music, dance and painting. They have an upper elementary school where boys from the age of five to fourteen are offered complete education combining traditional subjects with a modern curriculum.
3. Druk Amitabh Monastery
The Amitabh Monastery sits on top of Druk Amitabh Mountain overlooking Kathmandu Valley which is located on the northwestern hill near Soyambhunath Stupa. It is undoubtedly very famous for religious and recreational purposes alike among tourists and residents of Kathmandu. It is a center for spiritual practice and humanitarian causes, easily accessible on foot, bus or taxi. Architecturally, the monastery is breathtaking; the walls are decorated with Tibetan paintings, statues, murals depicting Buddhist teachings. The hiking trail leading up to the monastery is just as impressive, providing a beautiful view of the Himalayas on a clear and cloudless day to onlookers who have journeyed through.
Aside from these three, Kathmandu has many beautiful Stupas and monasteries. For example, NamoBuddha monastery, Seto Gumba, Tharlam Monastery, Shree Ghah Gumba etc. are all beautiful locations perfect for making your tour through Nepal a memorable experience.