BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE

Perhaps the urban residents of Kathmandu, in their cosmopolitan and west ward-looking straitjacket, would be more willing to preserve some of what they still have if they stopped and considered the sanctity that permeates their Valley´s past and present, its soil, rocks and rivers. While most educated Nepalis are conversant with Kalhmandu Valley´s artistic heritage, the legacy of the Lichhavi and Malla periods, they have yet to fully comprehend that the Valley is valued as a spiritual centre by believers across the Himalayan region.

There is ample scriptural reference to show that the Valley occupies an all-important place in the traditions and myths of Mahayana Buddhist culture, which encompasses Tibet and the high Bhotia valleys from Ladakh eastwards through Nepal, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. Lumbini was where the Sakyamuni Buddha was born, and the sites associated with his life are scattered around Bihar. But numerous "intermediary Buddhas" have links to the Valley, including the most-revered Padma Sambhava.

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