Stupas and Gardens
Kopan Monastery is well known for its beautiful gardens and landscaping. The buildings are surrounded by a profusion of lawns, flowers, shrubs, flowering trees, potted plants, sculpted hedges, fountains and more. In between prayer flags are fluttering in the wind, taking prayers to all corners of the country and the world. Several gardeners are taking care of them, clipping, weeding and planting throughout the year.
The gardens are an offering to the Buddhas, so we request you not to pick any flowers or break branches from the trees to take home.
Several stupas are placed in various parts of the gardens. Stupas symbolize the body of an enlightened being, and contain countless mantras, texts, tsatsas, and other precious things. Circumambulating a stupa brings great merit. Read more about stupas and the benefit of practice at the stupa.
They are places for practice and meditation, as well as social gatherings while doing kora, as circumambulation is called in Tibetan. It is great way to do something virtuous, with so little effort. You will find many of the senior monks and students doing kora around the stupas in the evenings, or offering candles. Read more about the practice of Kora here. The main stupa is the memorial stupa to the great yogi, Geshe Lama Konchok. It has an unusual feature in the form of the the four gate, like in a mandala, and the vajra fire surrounding it. Read more about Geshe Lama Konchok here.
Close to it is the stupa commemorating Khensur Lama Lhundrup. Lama Lhundrup was abbot of Kopan from the late seventies, when Lama Yeshe gave him responsibility to look after Kopan and developeit, till his death in 2011. Read more the life of Khensur Lama Lhundrup here.
In front of the large stupa is a fountain with large Statue of Chenrezig, the buddha of compassion, in it. Up the steps a feature garden depicts the Buddha's life story and deeds. The shrubs in this garden are all bonsai.
In front of the main gompa you see the Dzambala fountain with a large number of small and large Dzambala statues under the waterfall.
Near the Tantric College are the Eight Enlightenment stupas. They commemorate the eight great deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha, with a row of prayer wheels beneath. They were the first stupas at Kopan, built in the 1990's.
In the lower court yard near the reception building a very large prayer wheel contains millions of Om Mani Padme Hum mantras. The tinkling of the bell can be heard till late at night as the prayer wheel keeps turning.
There are many things to do at Kopan to accumulate merit – circumambulating the stupas, attending pujas of the monks in the morning, using our extensive library, or just sitting still and enjoying the peaceful place.
All the flowers, shrubs, trees and features in the gardens are an offering to the Buddhas. Please refrain from taking anything from the gardens.