A Guided Tour of kopan
Take a leisurly walk around the monastery compund, and you will not only have an incredible view of the Kathmandu valley, you will also see a large large number of stupas, statues, prayerwheels and other holy objects, all embedded into a landscapeof gardens and ponds.
- Coming from the main gate, walk up the steps and see on your right the Tara Shrine - this is the first statue that was offered to Kopan Monastery when it was established. Right next to it is the debate house with many beautiful statues of the eight Nalanda masters, as well as 21 emanations of Tara.
Going into the main temple stop in the entrance area and look at the paintings of the four Dharma Kings of Tibet, also considered the protectors of Tibet. A large painting of the Wheel of Life is on your left.
As you walk into the main temple, look at the 20-foot statue of the founder of the Gelug tradition, Lama Tsong Khapa. On either side of him are the statues of his two main disciples. To the far left is Lama Atisha, who brought Buddhism to Tibet. On the right side altar the center piece is the relic stupa of our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe. The center piece of the left side altar is Shakyamuni Buddha, with Maitreya Buddha (the future Buddha) on his left and Manjushri (Buddha of Wisdom) on his right. Look at the thangkas of the eight Indian masters who established the Buddhist philosophical system on the walls.
Coming out of the main temple, walk down the steps again and turn right onto the lower road to the Tantric College, where some sixty monks are being trained in Buddhist rituals and mandalas. Three times a year the tantric monks make sand-mandalas in this gompa.
- In the shrine on the top floor of the tantric college the relics of our great teacher Geshe Lama Konchok are displayed.
Outside the Tantric College walk around the eight stupas of enlightenment, representing the eight great deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Walking up the steps and turn left into a narrow lance and you will see the Chenrezig gompa - here our regular courses for visitors are held. Feel free to go in for a visit or a minute of reflection (only if there are no courses being held).
- On the uppermost floor of the Chenrezig gompa is the relic shrine of Khensur Lama Lhundrup, our previous abbot.
- Walk up the steps to the upper road and you will you see the Enlightenement Stupa in memory of the previous abbot, Khensur Lama Lhundrup as you come around the corner.
- Right next to it is the Thousand Buddha Relic Stupa, with a circular pond in front of it displaying a statue of the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig.
- Walk back towards the main gompa past the debate hall, and going down the side steps you come to the big prayer wheel. It contains many millions of mantras of the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. Turning it even once brings great benefit. See the beautiful paintings inside the prayer wheel house of the Buddha of Compassionand the the twenty one Taras.
- Please dedicate the merit you have accumulated through making this circumambulation of the holy objects at Kopan.