Buddhism in Nepal China Relations

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The various events and historians explain that the relations between Nepal and China has the greatly defined with the cultural exchange and the religion- Buddhism, and has existed for the last two thousand years (Pant, 2017).

Related: What is True Buddhism?
Related: Buddhism in Nepal
Related: Life Story of Lord Buddha

Nepal-China Relation

There is a very high concentration of religion and cultural exchange between Nepal and China and has shown a positive relation in exchange of the culture and artistic heritage of Nepal. Buddhism’s religious flow has also developed the culture of two different countries positively.

With the increase in the followers of Buddhism in China, Buddhist followers felt it is necessary to own Buddhist scriptures. Therefore, they constantly visit the western world to obtain authentic Buddhist texts. Among that, there was also a great significant event that took place in the introduction of the Buddhism of Nepal in the history of China and the development and relation between Nepal and China.

Nepal China Connectivity

There are some of the important events that took place between Nepal and China and the development of the relation between Nepal and China.

Related: What is True Buddhism?
Related: Buddhism in Nepal
Related: Life Story of Lord Buddha

Seng Tsai- A Buddhist monk from Tsin Dynasty (256-420 CE) visited Nepal and wrote the account entitle “Wuo Kuo-Shin (Matters concerning the foreign Kingdoms).” Some portions of his work are incorporated in the Shu Ching-Chu (The commentary on Water Classic).

Source: International Buddhist Society

Fa-Xian- Another great Buddhist monk of the Jin Dynasty also came to Nepal and visited Nepal; birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, Kapilvastu-Lumbini, and also Travelled Ramagruma, Nepal. He wrote the book “Record of Buddhist Kingdom.” He explains that Kapilvastu had neither King nor citizen and looked completely deserted with few monks and few families of the laity.

Ten Years after the visit of Fa-Xian in Nepal, Another Chinese Buddhist monk Zhi Mong visited Kapilvastu, Nepal.

Renowned monk of Nepal from Kapilvastu named Buddhabhadra went to china. According to Historian, he was born in the Shakya family of Kapilvastu and traveled to Chian-an, the capital of Tang China 406 C.E via Vietnam.

He traveled and preached Madhyamika philosophy of Nagarjuna and later on another famous Monk Huiyan invited him to visit Lushan- a beautiful mountain in Jiangxi province fro the translation of the number of Sutras and Sastras.

During 419 C.E, He collaborated with Fa-xian to conduct a translation project and annotation of Vinaya and translate Avtaeaska Sutra, Buddhabhadra successfully completed 107 Fascicles and his other works. His successful deeds on the promotion of Buddhism in Chinese culture maintain great relations between Nepal and China. his tomb is in the famous Tongling temple at Lushan Mountain which is presently the Chinese Buddhist Association.

In 633, Xuan Zang visited the holy places of Nepal such as Kapilvastu and Ramangrama. There he discovered the place is deserted. He also states that Buddhism during the time of Ansuverma, the valley was co-existence with Hinduism and Buddhism in a peaceful manner. There were about 2000 monks and nuns gathering in various monasteries. Some of them belonged to Mahayana Buddhism and Other to Hinayana Buddhism.

In the 17th century, the Buddhism religion and Nepal-China relations grew and flourish strongly and widely in Tibet-China. Stong Tsang Gampoo known as the king of Tibet tied nuptial knots with a Nepal Princess Bhirkuti and plays a vital role in introducing Mahayana Buddhism and Tantrism in Tibet-China. This only not promote a friendly relationship between two nations but also formed a new road from Changan Through Tibet to Kathmandu Valley (Tibet-Nepal Silk Road).

According to historians, a Large number of Indian monks came to Nepal after the decline of Buddhism in India and other countries like Afganistan in between 10th-13th centuries. Those monks used to deliver speeches on Tantrish in Nepal and Tibet.


Guru Padmasambhava, known as the Teacher of Tantrism, was born in the Uddayana of Swat Valley in Pakistan traveled Nepal and settled Pharping (25 KM south of Kathmandu) and Practice meditation.

A famous poet and a Buddhist practitioner Milarepa, who is considered as next to Guru Padmasambhava was born in the Dolakha district of Nepal plays a significant role in promoting Buddhism practice is Tibet-China.

During the Medival period, China and Nepal relations grew much stronger and also learn many things from Nepal. Especially Buddhist art and architecture. Many famous monasteries and temples and other famous Buddhist statues were built by Nepalese craftsmen in china during the medieval period.

Araniko- National Hero of Nepal
Araniko- National Hero of Nepal
Image Source: Nepal Traveller

Araniko- a well-known craftsman (National hero of Nepal) went to Tibet region as a member of a team of eighty craftsmen. According to Historians, King Jaya Bhima Deva Malla sent all these craftsmen on the request of the state protector and chief of the Shakya Monsastry to built known as Golden stupa there. Later he went to Beijing and appointed as the supervisor-in-chief of artisans of Yuan court by Emperor Kublai Khan.

The Legend of Araniko
Video Source: Edition Nepal
Disclaimer: I do not own the Video

In 1271, Kublai Khan asked him to build the white stupa in Beijing. This stupa completed in 1277 symbolizing the cultural relationship between Nepal and China.

In 1384, Emperor Taitzon Zhuyuanzang appointed Zhiguan- a Buddhist monk as the head of a mission of friendship to Nepal. Nepalese chieftain Madana Rama warmly receive him and sent to China with a golden Pagoda, Buddhist Scripture, and famous Horse, and later Emperor Chengzhu (1403- 1424) sent Rev. Zhiguan on the mission of friendship to Nepal.

Therefore, Fa-xian, Buddhabhadra, Xuan Zang, Stong Tsang Gampoo and Bhirkuti, and Aranika are few popular names that left a permanent imprint on BuddhisminNepal and China Relation.

Pant, K.P (1st December, 2017). Buddhism in Nepal-China Relations. From The Weekly Mirror.

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