The awesome structure of Bouddhanath is indeed inspiring. The 36-meter-high stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. With countless monasteries surrounding it, Bouddhanath is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Built in the shape of a mandala designed to replicate the Gyangtse of Tibet, the stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the 8th Century. The location of the stupa is interesting as it once lay on the ancient trade route to Tibet and it was here that Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for centuries. Boudha even today has a strong Tibetan presence as countless Tibetan refugees found a home around the stupa. On top is the harmika and on each side are painted the all seeing eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness. The canopy has thirteen stages. At ground level there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditational buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels.