Sometimes the intense pace of Kathmandu city, with its constant traffic, horns, polluted and dusty air, make for a getaway in search of a healthy atmosphere and a quieter environment.
The location of Kathmandu, surrounded by mountains, offers several options for a day trip in search of nature, green landscapes, mountains, and clean air… a place where the birds chirping and singing overlap the noise caused by human beings, such as happens in the overpopulated Kathmandu. Namo Buddha is one of these discrete paradises situated a few kilometers from the capital where it dominates the Tibetan culture and religion, being one of the main places of Buddhist pilgrimage in Nepal, together with the stupas of Boudha and Swayambhunath.
The stupa houses the relics of a prince who, according to tradition, offered his blood and body as food to a starving tiger as an act of compassion. Apart from the religious significance, the modest stupa does not make a big impression, with the place being surrounded by small restaurants and souvenir shops.
But up the hill, through a dense grove of trees along a path decorated with prayer flags, you reach the top of the hill, from where you can see the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery.The monastery is of recent construction, and its architecture does not impress, but the interior of the vast temple, with ceiling and walls decorated with delicate Buddhist paintings create a sacred ambiance.
In the various buildings that are part of the monastery are other smaller temples, with elaborate statues of Buddha and the goddess Tara.
There is an atmosphere of calm and tranquility, promoted by the sacred environment of the monastery and the intense green forest that frames the place, crowned by the snow white that covers the mountains of the Annapurna range.
Note: photos inside the temple arte not allowed
Where to sleep in Namo Buddha:
Namo Buddha is located 40 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu, about two hours away, so it can be visited in one morning. It is advisable to get out of Kathmandu early, around 7 a.m., to avoid the traffic jam.
But in the area, within walking distance, there are a few resorts.
Where to eat in Namo Buddha:
Around the stupa of Namo Buddha, there are several restaurants aimed to pilgrims, who also sell religious articles and incense but that are not inviting for more than a chai.
Along the road where the bus stops, there are three eateries that serve tea and meals, but definitively Banepa offers better options in terms of food.
Transportation to Namo Buddha:
There are no direct buses from Kathmandu to Namo Buddha.
You need to catch a bus at Ratna Park to Banepa first (depart with high frequency).
At the bus terminal of Banepa (bus park), there are buses that pass through Namo Buddha; just ask for Namo Buddha from the various buses that are parked in the bus park.
The bus stops very close to the stupa. After the stupa is about 10 to 15 minutes walk to the monastery.
- bus Kathmandu to Banepa: 1 hour, 45 rupees
- Benepa to Namo Buddha bus: 1 hour, 60 rupees
The bus frequency from Namo Buddha to Banepa is not high, so you may have to wait an hour for the next bus… or get a ride from a truck, but pay attention: being faster is more expensive than the bus.
The road between Kathmandu and Banepa is in good condition and the trip is reasonably comfortable, on a flat route. But from Banepa to Namo Buddha the road is steep and winding, unpaved and very deteriorated, making this last stage uncomfortable and tiring.