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3. At the Baudhnath stupa, the Buddhist shrine of Kathmandu, there is, in contrast, a sense of stillness. Its immense white dome is ringed by a road. Small shops stand on its outer edge: many of these are owned by Tibetan immigrants; felt bags, Tibetan prints and silver jewellery can be bought here. There are no crowds: this is a haven of quietness in the busy streets around.
Following his visit to Pasupatinath temple, Seth drops by the Baudhnath stupa. Baudhnath stupa is considered one of the holiest Buddhist shrines in Nepal, holding an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists & local Nepalis. Stupa, a mound-like or hemispherical spiritual/religious structure, is also one of Baudhnath's striking features. Its massive dome makes it one of the largest in the world.
However, Seth is rather impressed by the serene atmosphere at the shrine. He couldn't help but compare it with the "atmosphere of febrile confusion" found at Pasupatinath temple. 'There is a sense of stillness at Baudhinath stupa', claims Seth.
Seth notes that a road encircles the shrine, and to more specific, "its immense white dome". The line "its immense white dome is ringed by a road" can be further analysed. Here, the word dome stands for the entire temple. By saying that a road encircles the dome, it indeed means that a road encircles the temple. "Dome", here, is an example of synecdoche-- 'a figure of speech where a part of something is used to refer to the whole'.
Seth also observes that small shops are put up along the perimeter, many of which are run by Tibetan immigrants who sell felt bags, Tibetan prints, and silver jewellery.
Again, Seth notes that there are no crowds at the Stupa. Seth is amazed by its tranquillity. Seth notes that the place is 'a haven of quietness', referring to how serene and peaceful the place is, despite being in the midst of the bustling streets.
Baudhnath stupa*

Meanings of difficult words:
ShrineA holy place where a sacred relic or idol is placed and worshipped
In ContrastTo be opposite to an idea o a sentence previously presented.
The absence of movement or sound
ImmenseExtremely large or great, especially in scale or degree
A rounded vault forming the roof of a building or structure
To surround someone or something
ImmigrantA person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country
HavenA safe or peaceful place
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Kathmandu- Vikram Seth (pp.127 - 131). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.