A fascinating place to experience and catch the sights of the rich Tibetan culture and practice.
"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." -Buddha
Well-known for peace and tranquility, the practice of Buddhism; a place to seek liberation from everyday hustling life, there lies a monastery on the hills of the Druk Amitabha Mountain, serving an astonishing view of the Kathmandu valley below. Also referred to as Druk Amitabha Mountain Monastery, the place is famously known for different names – White Gumba, White Monastery, or Seto Gumba. It lies in the northern part of Swayambhu in Nagarjun Municipality, Kathmandu.
It is a fascinating place to experience and catch the sights of the rich Tibetan culture and practice. As a Buddhist monastery, the surrounding has a remarkable aura of calmness. People visit here for meditation purposes and even to learn the Buddhist teaching. The spacious garden with murals, statues, fountains, paintings, small monasteries around, all designed and constructed in the Tibetan architectural style, are the major attractions of this place. All these beautiful structures give an insight into the richness of the culture.
The location of this place is perfect for the monastery giving the ultimate breathtaking view of the Kathmandu valley. It is surrounded by a lush green forest, the nature enhancing the beauty of the gumba. On a clear day, one can even have a glimpse of the mountains adding to the already spectacular view. After Nagarkot, the White Gumba is another best spot to take an astonishing view of the sunrise and sunset.
Reaching here gives a different sense of serenity to seek oneself from within amidst the beautiful natural and cultural atmosphere. The smell of the place, sounds of prayers, and flags spreading the peace message is another mesmerizing feature. Visitors love to capture the scenic views and the cultural aspects of the place, while some like to feel solitude in a peaceful environment.
In 2015, during the major earthquake hit in Nepal, The Tibetan Monastery also faced a huge loss and was closed for construction purposes for a few years. The monastery had issued a notice about the construction for the convenience of the visitors. Also, to avoid any disturbance in the process.
REACHING WHITE GUMBA
Since public vehicles are not allowed there, one can first reach Halchowk or Sitapaila from any public transport from the Ring Road or personal vehicle. From there, one can either take a cab up or continue moving on with the private transport to White Gumba. It is just a 20-30 mins ride, and any local can guide the direction from there.
Another best and preferred alternative is an easy hike of about an hour from the monkey temple – Swayanbhunath. The panoramic view of beautiful villages, paddy fields accompanies the hiking blending you with the calming nature.
The place is not open every day for the visitors, so it is always best to know if it is open or not before you go.