In the afternoon we explore the ancient city of Bhaktapur. It is also known as Badgaon, or «holy city.» It is the third largest city in the Kathmandu valley, the cluster of unique historical and aesthetic value monuments of ancient architecture.
It is difficult to list all the masterpieces of art awaiting in Bhaktapur. The Lion Gate and the Palace of the 17th century with its 55 windows, the Bell of the Barking Dogs, made in 1737, erotic scenes on the bas-reliefs of the temples, are just some of them.
In the center of the complex is a large Buddhist stupa, around which there are dozens of Tibetan monasteries of different schools and directions.
Bodnath is considered the main center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The stupa was built in the 6th century and is often mentioned in historical documents. In the ancient times the path from Tibet to India layed through Bodnathand many pilgrims stayed here.
The stupa represents a spatial mandala, the base symbolizes the earth, a hemispherical arch — water, a spire of 13 steps (according to the number of steps to Nirvana) — fire, an umbrella — air, and the crowning belvedere — the sky.
The stupa descends from top to bottom with terraces, on each of which there are also small stupas. The stupa is surrounded by a fence on which prayer drums are located around the entire circumference. Thus, the stupa can be bypassed around the fence, rotating the drums, and along the terraces of each level.
Around the stupa in a circle are four-storey houses accommodating souvenir shops and restaurants.
In the famous B. Bertolucci’s movie “Little Buddha” one of the central scenes takes place near the Bodnath stupa.
Leisure time can be used to purchase products of traditional handicrafts, which the Nepalese capital abounds in.