Casa Tíbet (Tibet House), located in Mexico City is one of the country’s main Buddhist organizations. Owing to Valle de Bravo’s location as one of the Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns) closest to the capital, it has become a center of spirituality for the megalopolis’s inhabitants. Asian philosophies are well represented here by Buddhist and Hindu meditation retreats, along with the “limpias” (cleansings) and sauna-like temazcales originated by the country’s Indigenous peoples.
Therefore it should be no surprise that this association chose the outskirts of the town as the location of Mexico’s main stupa. In Buddhism, stupas are reliquaries that also function as meditation hubs. The Gran Stupa Bön houses relics of the monks Gelupa, Kagyu, Nygma, and Sakia and is dedicated to the ideal of world peace.
Inaugurated in 2010, the stupa is a Chörten, a type of structure full of symbolism to represent the presence of the Buddha in the world. This made it one of the earliest in the Western hemisphere to have been fully consecrated. Monk Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was the driving force behind the establishment of the stupa in Valle de Bravo.
The structure’s total height is 36 meters and features a traditional Tibetan five-level design. Living quarters in its vicinity house practicing Buddhist monks, and the site regularly hosts prayer and meditation events for spiritual Vallenses and visitors. Due to the unfamiliarity of most Mexicans with Buddhism, plaques near the stupa inform of practices such as Kora walking, the architecture of the stupa, and the “om” chant.
Know Before You Go
Entrance to the Stupa site does require paid entry. Prices have ranged from $20 to $50 MXN per person, it is advised to check beforehand to get an idea of the actual price at the time.