Bodnath to Boudha Stupa ( 1854 -2020 ) Photo Feature
Written by: Dorjee Khanda | Hira Lama
Boudha Stupa that has been in metamorphosis in these two centuries
The Great Boudha Stupa
The splendid dome of great Boudha Stupa is 100 ft in diameter, 1 hector in width and 141.16 ft. in height. The area of the stupa is approximately 6,756 square meters.
It is believed that this great stupa was built during the Kashyapa Buddha’s end period and the beginning period of Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddhist people believe that the relics of Kashyapa Buddha, the third Buddha of Bhadrakalpa was enshrined in the dome of this stupa. This great stupa is known as the mind nature of Buddhas of three times-past, present, and the future. This Great Stupa is also called the Stupa of enlightenment or Bodhi Stupa It is also known as Jhyarung Khashyor.
This Stupa is also one of the largest and most significant Buddhist monument in the world. This Stupa is religious, cultural and archeologically very important. This great stupa was enlisted on world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979 and has become the common monument of the people all over the world. Today it is a major destination for pilgrims from the Himalayas, Tibet, and South- East and Eastern Asia.
Brief History of the Great Boudha Stupa
There are many stories and legends concerning the origin and history of the great stupa. According to “Hidden Treasure of the Guru Padmasambhava” a widow named Ma Jhyazima aspired to make a great offering of Boudha, using her hard-earned savings as a poultry keeper, she approached the local king for permission and it was granted on condition that she used an area of the land measuring the size of a single ox skin. However, Jhyazima cut the skin into thin strips and claimed the land enclosed from the strips which laid end to end. This woman’s mere ambition to build such a magnificent monument offering to the Buddha caused much jealousy among the rich and powerful at the time. The jealous lord petitioned the king to stop the construction but the king who had allowed it to happen replied – “Since permission to build has been given, it shall not be rescinded.” Thus, the stupa was named Jhyaning Khashyor. The remaining work of the constructions of Boudha stupa was completed by the four sons of Jhyazima. They were Trisong Deuchen, Shanta Rakshita, Guru Padmasambhava and Bami Thiser. This legend is very popular in the Himalayan and Buddhist society.
The earliest historical references of Boudha Stupa are found in the Chronicles of the Newar society. Firstly, Boudha is mentioned as one of the four stupas found by the Licchavi king Vrisadeva (ca.AD 400) or Vikramjit Secondly, to Newars legend, the stupa’s origin is attributed to king Dham adeva’s son, Manadeva. Manadeva was the great Licchavi king military conqueror and the patron of arts who reigned ca.AD 464-505 Manadeva is also linked with the Swayambhu Chaiya of Gum Bahal. Thirdly, another great Licchhavi king. Shivadeva (AD 590-604) is associated with Buddha by an inscription; he may have restored the Stupa.
Finally, the archeologist report of the 16th century Tibetan restorer, Sakya zangpo, there is an assertion that he discovered the Lichhavi king Amsuvarma’s relics in the Stupa. There is no Lichhavi stone remaining in the vicinity of Buddha. Although in the eastern enclave of the Stupa there are several updatable but undoubted ancient stones inscribed with the mantra, and in the south, there are small Chaityas in the Lichhavi style, which could perhaps be dated as early as the 13th century. In conclusion, although there is no epigraphical archeological or literary evidence of the Stupa’s early history is entirely based upon legend.
Today Boudha Stupa is managed under the management of Shree Boudhanath Development Committee. This Committee is formed by the Government of Nepal for Social, economical, religious and cultural development of Boudha Stupa and its area. It was formed in B.S.2053 under the development committee Act 2013.
Great Boudhanath Stupa since 1850s to till today
Boudha Stupa was know as Bodnath in 18th Century
“Bouddha is the largest stupa of the valley situated along what used to be a trade route to Tibet. Watercolor of Boudhanath Stupa
in around 1854 Oldfield, Henry Ambrose”
Photograph of the stupa of Boudha near Kathmandu, Nepal, taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the 1870s, from the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views.