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Bodnath est l'un des principaux sanctuaires bouddhistes de la région de Katmandou
Son stûpa du xive siècle qui domine l'horizon est l'un des plus grands au monde. La base du stûpa se compose de trois terrasses, représentant un mandala géant que les fidèles peuvent parcourir. On peut y voir 108 niches contenant chacune une statue de bouddha. Cette base représentent la terre, la coupole l'eau, la tour surmontant la coupole le feu, la couronne l'air et le pinnacle l'éther. La base de la tour, carrée, constitue le harmika qui porte les yeux du Bouddha ; la partie supérieure en forme de pyramide allongée se compose de 13 degrés qui représentent le chemin vers l'éveil.

Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu
Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa's massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.
From above, Bodnath Stupa looks like a giant mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. And as in all Tibetan mandalas, four of the Dhyani Buddhas mark the cardinal points, with the fifth, Vairocana, enshrined in the center. The five Buddhas also personify the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), which are represented in the stupa's architecture.
The base of the stupa consists of three large platforms, decreasing in size. These platforms symbolize Earth, and here you can look out at the mountains while listening to the chants of the devout doing kora, walking around the stupa praying.
Next come two circular plinths supporting the hemisphere of the stupa, symbolizing water. As at Swayabunath, Bodnath is topped with a square tower bearing the omnipresent Buddha eyes on all four sides.
Instead of a nose is a question-mark-type symbol that is actually the Nepali character for the number 1, symbolizing unity and the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is the third eye, symbolizing the wisdom of the Buddha.

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Additional Photos by Patrick HUBERT (yquem46) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1892 W: 5 N: 4842] (38752)
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