The Himalayan Kingdom, Nepal is located in South East Asia and is bordered by Tibet in the north and India in the south, east and west. With an area of 147, 181 sq km, Nepal happens to be the 93rd largest country in the world.
A majority of population in Nepal are the followers of Hinduism and only 11% of them adhere to the philosophy of Buddhism. Despite this low percentage, Nepal figures high on the list of Buddhist tourists. The reason for this is that the country is home to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha himself. Lumbini is counted amongst the top four holy sites for Buddhists. Apart from this, Buddhist tourists will also find a number of other worthvisiting destinations, temples, monasteries and stupas in the country.
Buddhism is one of the religions deeply embedded in Nepalese culture and custom. Swayambhu Purana mentions previous Buddhas like Vipassi visited and meditated in Nepal. According to the Asoka pillar found on various sites, Kakusandha and Konagama Buddhas were also born in Kapilavastu in Southern Nepal, hometown of historical Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha.
It is generally believed that The Buddha and his follower visited Nepal on several occasions during his life time. 300 years after his passing away , Emperor Asoka of India visited Nepal and built pillars in various sacred Buddhist sites like Lumbini (the Buddha’s birth place), and Kapilavastu (the Buddha’s hometown). He also built four stupas on four corners of perimeters of Patan which are still well preserved to commemorate his visit to Kathmandu valley in 250 BC (Holy Places of Buddhism in Nepal & India by Majupurias).
One of the Emperor’s daughters Charumati Bhikshuni visited Nepal and propagated the Buddha’s teaching. She also built the Charumati monastery where she spent the rest of her life. Buddhism flourished in Nepal during this period.
In modern day Nepal we can find various type of Buddhism practised. Such as: