The Buddhist temple Swayambhunath is part of the World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, Nepal. It lies on a hill above Kathmandu, and offers splendid views over the capital. A large tribe of monkeys guards the temple, which brought it the name “Monkey Temple”. 365 steps lead up to the temple, representing the 365 days in a year.
Swayambhunath is the oldest and one of the most sacred shrines in Kathmandu valley. Its golden spire has the seeing eyes of Buddha overlooking the valley in all directions. These eyes area a well-known symbol for Nepal. The white dome underneath represents the world. The spire with thirteen tiers symbolizes the way to enlightenment humans have to go, once they freed themselves from the world.
Legend of the holy man
Along dozens of small prayer wheels, there is a nearly 12 feet tall prayer wheel, that needs two people to turn it. The stupa itself is richly decorated with Buddhist symbols. Near the main stupa stands Shantipur, a small, plain temple with fascinating history. According to legend a holy man has been meditating in the vaults of this temple for 1500 years and remains there to help the people of Kathmandu valley when needed.
A highlight of Nepal
Interested in visiting Swayambhunath? Contact us to start planning your trip, we’re here to help.