Religions of Nepal

Hinduism and Buddhism constitute the two major religions of Nepal. A remarkable feature of this country is the religious tolerance and even blending that exists between these, the main religious communities. The exquisite medieval art & architecture of the Kathmandu Valley vividly reflect the artistic ingenuity and religious tradition of the people. In many places you will see a Buddhist shrine or sacred symbols in a Hindu temple and vice versa. In the hills you will often find a blurring between Hinduism, Buddhism and the more ancient pagan religions of the hills. It’s fascinating!

 

Hinduism

Roughly 85% of the population are Hindu, worshiping millions of gods and goddesses that make up the Hindu pantheon. Each god has His/Her own steed which is often seen kneeling faithfully at the feet of the deity or sometimes outside that god’s temple. Symbolic objects are carried by the multiple hands of each deity which empowers them to perform great feats.

 

Buddhism

Sakyamuni Buddha is the founder of Buddhism who lived and taught in this part of the world during the sixth century BC after his birth at Lumbini in Southern Nepal. The great stupas of Swayambhunath and Bouddanath are among the oldest and most beautiful worship sites in the Kathmandu Valley. With almost 10% of Nepalese and all Tibetan refugees here following this religious path, the spinning of prayer wheels, prostrating pilgrims, collective chants and burning butter lamps are but some Buddhist practices encountered by visitors.