Both Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal have been strongly influenced by the beliefs and practices of Tantrism. " Tantra" is a Sanskrit word referring to the basic warp of threads in weaving. Difficult to define due to its varying types and forms, Trantrism is a religion of moral percepts, meditation, yoga, mantras and a philosophy that believes in interwovenness of all things.
Tantrism has greatly influenced Nepalese Buddhism by creating the path of Vajrayana, the Path of the Thunderbolt. The main object used in Vajrayana Buddhist rituals is a small thunderbolt-like sceptre that is said to represent the infinite in three dimensions. A large thunderbolt, or Vajra as it is commonly referred to, can be seen at the entrance of Swayambhu temple at Katmandu on the top of a long flight steps.
There are basically two types of Tantric gods and goddesses: Dharmapalas and Yidams. The former is often depicted with flaming red hair, several arms, legs or heads and three eyes. Yidams are tutelary deities often found depicted in thangkas; like their Dharmapala counterparts, they are ferocious deities with many hands and fiercesome weapons.
Nepal has been the place of origin for the Hindu religion and the holy place of Lord Pashupatinath. For centuries, tradition and mystique has swept the land and there are numerous temples, mosques and monasteries. Hindu pilgrimage tours or 'Tirtha Yatras' are considered an important way of attaining salvation. However, people of all faiths and religions have dreams of visiting these revered spots as a pilgrim to invoke the blessings of their Gods and obtain forgiveness for all their sins and escape the divine wrath.
Pilgrimage Tour in Nepal with Green Valley Nepal Treks for Buddhist tourists around the world, a pilgrimage to a holy Buddhist destination is perhaps, the one that gives the most satisfaction. It is a journey that brings them closer to their religion by enhancing their appreciation for its principles, beliefs and philosophies.
Nepal is home to two of the most holy of places connected with Buddhism. These places are directly related with Lord Gautam Buddha. Lumbini, the first and most important of the two, is the birth place of Gautam Buddha while Kapilavastu is the place where he grew up, witnessed pain and sorrow of life and ultimately decided to give up everything in search of enlightenment.