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On a hilltop north of Bodhnath, Kopan Monastery was founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe, who died in 1984, leading to a worldwide search for his reincarnation. A young Spanish boy, Osel Torres, was declared to be the reincarnated lama, providing the inspiration for Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Little Buddha. Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche no longer resides at Kopan (he recently renounced his vows to become a cinematographer in Ibiza!), but visitors are welcome to explore the monastery and many people come here to study Buddhist psychology and philosophy. The complex was damaged in the 2015 earthquake but repairs are underway.

You can visit Kopan on the pleasant walk between Bodhnath and the Gokarna Mahadev Temple or even from Nagi Gompa in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. A taxi here from Kathmandu costs around Rs 600.