Gunla

Gunla

The monsoon has arrived, and the fields have been planted. It is time for Kathmandu Valley Buddhists to observe Gunla. The month-long festivities celebrate a “rains retreat” initiated twenty-five centuries ago by the Buddha. It is a time for prayer, fasting, meditation and religious music.

Worshippers climb past jungles, stone animals, great statues of the Buddha and begging monkeys to Swayarobhu’s hilltop where daily prayers begin before dawn. Oil lamps, prayer flags, religious statues, and scroll paintings adorn the monasteries as temple bells chime and powerful aroma fill the air. Important Buddhist statues and monasteries are on display at the monasteries and the teachings of Lord Buddha are remembered as the rains nurture the rice fields.

The festival is celebrated by the Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley during July-August. The month-long festivities celebrate the ‘rains retreat’ initiated by 25 centuries ago by Lord Buddha. This occasion is a time for prayer, fasting, meditation and religious music. On this day, important Buddhist statues and monasteries are on display. The teachings of Lord Buddha, which are still relevant, are remembered as the rains nurture the paddy in the farm.

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