This is one of the largest Buddhist stupa on earth and is today the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal.
When refugees arrived from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. The Tibetan community in the neighborhood represents today more than 12000 people.
So "Little Tibet" is the best place in the Kathmandu Valley to have an idea of Tibetan lifestyle : many Tibetans circumambulate the stupa, spinning the prayer wheels, which speeds the transmigration of souls in their path toward enlightenment. And around the stupa, many Tibetans shops can be found offering colorful thangkas, Tibetan jewelry, hand-woven carpets, etc.
According to many people, Bouddhanath was constructed in the fifth century,
but definite proof is still lacking.
The stupa is said to entomb the remains of a sage (Kasyap), who is venerated by both Buddhists and Hindus.
Built on a flat surface, the white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead.
There are various levels of terraces, some painted with saffron garlands and adorned with prayer flags.
Altogether 108 Buddha images and 147 insets of prayer wheels can be found at the base of the huge circular edifice, set up in a mandala (mystical circle) design..