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Visit meditation halls, take ritual walks around stupas, relax in lush gardens and enjoy views of Kathmandu Valley at this Tibetan Buddhist monastery.
A visit to the Kopan Monastery is an opportunity to meditate, listen to the teachings of Tibetan monks and learn more about the Buddhist faith. Attend a morning prayer ritual, known as a puja, take part in courses and retreats, see striking looking stupas and tour shrines and temples.
The monastery commands a spectacular location in the foothills of the Himalayas, and was founded in the early 1970s by the late Lama Yeshe. Its mission is to preserve and spread centuries of Buddhist traditions and teachings and there are more than 300 monks, lamas, teachers and workers here.
Stroll around the complex to appreciate its charm and natural and architectural beauty. See paintings of the four Dharma Kings of Tibet when you visit the main temple. Inspect the 20-feet (6-meter) tall statue of Lama Tsong Khapa, the teacher who founded the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Spin prayer wheels as you circle the eight stupas of enlightenment.
Admire the Tibetan architecture of the monastery’s meditation halls, where daily teachings take place. Listen to a morning puja at the Lama Tsong Khapa Gompa and visit the Tantric College where monks are studying. On the top floor is a shrine containing the relics of an important teacher. Turn the monastery's big prayer wheel, then step inside the prayer wheel house to view its paintings.
Attend a daily Dharma talk where Buddhist topics are discussed. Relax, reflect and meditate while sitting in the picturesque gardens. Gaze across the breathtaking Kathmandu Valley and try and spot the spectacular Boudhanath stupa in the distance.
Kopan Monastery is about a 20-minute drive from Kathmandu’s city center. The most convenient way to get here is by taxi. Public buses travel between Ratna Square and the village of Kapan, from where it’s a 10-minute walk.
The monastery is open daily, although it closes from mid-November to mid-December. It is an active place of worship, so visitors are reminded to dress appropriately. In addition to day visits, there are a number of courses, including a 7-day Buddhism discovery course. Retreats are also available, although these are for Buddhist practitioners. Visit the monastery’s official website for more information about the various ways to experience the monastic complex and community.