Holy Monkeys of Swayambhunath, Kathmandu, Nepal

swayambhunath, nepal
It takes 365 steps to reach the top but for those like me who had a day trip agreement with a taxi driver to bring me places around Kathmandu, I think I only climbed less than a 100 steps.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

Reaching the topmost part, I was greeted by the watchful Stupa’s eye, the monkeys residing at the temple and a panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

Swayambhunath is one of the many ancient religious sites in Nepal. Popularly known as the Monkey temple, though revered as a Buddhists temple, it is also a place of pilgrimage for Hindus relating to the historical visits of the Hindu king of Kathmandu back in 17th century.

It is also acceptable to say that Swayambhunath is the most popular temple across the valley. Ask any local about the places to visit in the city, the monkey temple will be the first one they will mention.

I guess it is because of the presume fascination of people towards monkeys, to see them freely scattered and playing around the temple grounds, never minding the pilgrims and observers around them.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

The monkeys are quite behave, obviously one must kept his distance and avoid disturbing the holy monkeys as they climbed the walls, dangled across the prayer flags or when they are at the ground searching for food.

They are an added fascination and beauty to the already magnificent and colorful architecture of the temple.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

Surrounding the white dome of the stupa are prayer wheels that one can turn when circulating clockwise around the stupa.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

Speaking of stupa, it is the most significant icon of Buddhist faith.
It consists of a dome at the base said to represent the entire world, above the dome is a cubical structure painted with the eyes of Buddha looking in all four directions.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

Apart from the stupa and the monkeys, Swayambhunath is a compound of small temples, schools and shops.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

The feeling of relaxation is one that I will associate with Swayambhunath.

After a night of limited tossing and turning inside my sleeping bag while waiting for the electricity to be back on at the hotel, I am looking forward to this day trip in the city despite the lack of sleep.

All I wanted to do is to revitalize myself by simply sitting beside the Nepalese man, borrow his newspaper and just even for a few minutes quietly enjoy the fascinating unfamiliarity of this journey.
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath
swayambhunath

An early morning visit to the temple is highly recommended.

10 thoughts on “Holy Monkeys of Swayambhunath, Kathmandu, Nepal

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