"Swayambhu, meaning the “Self-Created”" Swayambhunath by josephescu
Swayambhunath Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 91 photos
Although often referred to by the foreigners as the Monkey Temple, this given name does not mean that the temple is dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey-god. This is the result of the many monkeys taking refuge around the complex and in its surrounding park.
According to Nepalese mythology, while the entire Kathmandu valley was once an enormous lake, a lotus flower grew on this singular hill who was rising above the waters. In order to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims worshiping the holy place where the lotus flower appeared, a gorge has been cut through the mountains surrounding the valley. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower become the stupa. Hence, the place is called Swayambhu, meaning the “Self-Created”.
On of the most known landmarks of Nepal, the Swayambhunath temple complex is not to be missed: temples full of Buddhist symbols, responding even to the western imaginary on exotic hidden temples surrounded by vegetation and monkeys. Besides, the visitor will be also rewarded by the panoramic views over the Valley and a religious ceremony at the Buddhist monastery or gompa.
- Pros:the monkeys, the myth and the monument altogether
- Cons:more tourists than monkeys
- In a nutshell:Buddhist philosophy
I arrived in Swayambhunath directly from Bodhnath stupa on the other side of Kathmandu, on a cab that was 220 rupees... more travel advice
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