This is one of the landmarks of Kathmandu. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to climb up the temple. The climb is steep towards the end. There is statue of Buddha inside a water body where people throw coins aiming at the feet of Buddha. There are many monkeys on the way and at the top. Hence the nickname of the temple - monkey temple!
You could also go by car or bike to the temple but have to climb the last leg by foot.
There is a cafe at the top called Nirvana. There is nothing much below. No good restaurants or shopping options in this area.
One of Kathmandu's most famous sites, Swayambhunath is often called the Monkey Temple because there are monkeys running all over it (and because it is much easier to say that Swayambhunath). The stupa, probably more than 1500 years old, is impressive and the area very pretty. There are also a lot of temples and figures on the hill that are well worth seeing.
SWAYAMBUNATH is a pleasant walk from the Thamel area, shouldn't take longer than 2 hours or better still, rent a bike. Beggars congregate on the 365 steps leading up to the temple so have a few small notes ready if you feel that way inclined. Once you reach the temple itself you will be greeted by a horde of scavenging dogs and monkeys ( also known as monkey temple ), probably best to avoid them as they can be dangerous. You can purchase nuts and other items to feed the monkeys, while the worshippers on their pilgrimage perform their prayers.
We walked here from Thamel. Entrance fee was, I think, NPR250. This ancient stupa sits on top of a green hill. This has been a religious site for more than 2500 years.
To get to the temple you must climb up 300 stone steps past various sculptures, shrines , beggars and souvenir sellers. The ticket desk is around half-way up.
The shrine itself is a peaceful and beautiful place dominated by a large stupa with four faces of Buddha painted on it to show he sees all things. Walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction spinning the prayer wheels. The air will be filled with the very peaceful Om Mane Padme Hum chant. It took me days to get this chant out of my head.
The monkey temple welcomes all forms of life people, monkeys, pigeons, dogs all interspersed together.
There are beautiful views over Kathmandu from here, though it was hazy during our visit.
We had a pleasant meal in the Cafe de Stupa - very good food, but a bit over-optimistic on their toilet claims.
I really loved this shrine and would happily visit it again.
This is a large stupa, highly revered in Nepal, and one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. It offers great views over the city, and has plenty monkeys.
I took a taxi from Thamel, 250Rs (December 2008). Pay Rs 100 to enter.
It is quite a climb (steps) to get to the stupa. But, you will be rewarded with not just a visit to the stupa, but also great views of Kathmandu.
The main gate of the stupa leads to the steep stairs. It's really wonderful to climb up the worn stone steps, 365 in all that leads straight up to the top, where Swayambhunath's painted eyes peer down at you.
Once one is in the site of Swayambhunath, spend some time watching the goings on and enjoy the wonderful views of Kathmandu.
Swayambhu Stupa, known colloquially as "The Monkey Temple" is the oldest stupa in the valley, lying approximately 2km from Kathmandu across the Vishnumati River. The effort of climbing the 365 steps to the temple's hilltop perch is well rewarded with wonderful views over the city and across the valley. At night the Durbar Marg's golden glow radiates below, and the stupa shines with a thousand small flames. The atmosphere can be intoxicating. Beware of the cheeky monkeys who give the temple its nickname. A delightfully roguish bunch they fight for the fruits and food offered by the faithful. One can easily walk along the banks of the Vishnumati to the stupa's gates.
This place is so fascinating that we visited the place twice for hours. Once on 9th Sept then again on 15th Sept. We also offered our prayers. There is also a Hindu temple next to the eyes of Lord Buddha, Harti Mata. This shows the co-existance of Buddism and Hiduism. Infact, Buddha was a born Hindu and after attainment of knowledge, his teachings were spread. Later with time both the religions separated. Hindus remain with idol worship and Buddhism with separate form of worshipping God. But in my view Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and both the religions are same. My name is after Buddha's name Goutam.
This is one of the world's glorious Buddhist Chaityas. It is said to be 2000 years old. The Chaitya which forms the main structure is made of a solid hemisphere of brich and clay supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gift. Painted on the four-sides of the spire bases are the all- seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It is three kilometers west of Kathmandu city, and is situated on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Valley. The hills ls is a mosaic of small Chaityas and pagoda temple.
We walked from Thamel to here and there are great sights along the way. Once you have managed to climb the many many steps you have a great feeling of satisfaction that you have made it. There are great views of Kathmandu from here. There is so much to see up here, you can see how the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs combine. And you have the monkeys to entertain you. Shame that there are stalls set up on some of the shrines. If you follow the road back by the car park you will see many stupas. The road leads you back towards Durbar Square.
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, an afternoon visit will be rewarded by panoramic views over the Valley and a religious ceremony at the Buddhist monastery (aka gompa).
According to Nepalese mythology, while the entire Kathmandu valley was once with an enormous lake, a lotus flower grew on this singular hill who rising above the waters. in time, the waters 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 Swayambhunath stupa. Hence, the place is called Swayambhu, meaning the “Self-Created”.
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.
More information and pictures on my Swayambhunath page.
Swayambhunath, the monkey temple :
Dominating a hill overlooking Kathmandu's western section, this stupa is revered by Newari Buddhists and is a pilgrimage site for believers from all over Nepal. You will see many pilgrims, some having walked for days to arrive here. Around the base of the hill, still being built after many years work, are thousands of prayer wheels. The faithful walk for over 2 kms around the hill and then proceed up the staircase to the stupa itself. A R50 donation is asked for to enter. From here you will have a bird's eye view of the whole Kathmandu valley. This site has been a sacred spot for over 2000 years. It is also called the monkey temple for the huge number of monkeys that inhabit the area. Take care! They are not necessarily friendly because the locals taunt them
This was a very interesting Buddist temple to visit. There are goats racing up and down the steps that nearly knock you down. Monks worshipping. Monkeys absolutely everywhere. People everywhere. Incense burning and chanting.
As the temple is built on a hill you get a great view of Kathmandu and the surrounding area.
Definately worth a visit.
On top of a hill to the west of Kathmandu the Buddhist temple is situated. This was the first temple we visited and the prayer flags, prayer wheels, people, monkies and atmosphere made it an unforgetable place.
I wasn't crazy about this one. It's situated in a squre full of ridiculously priced touristy stuff.. all the stores carry the same junk. The stupa itself is mildly interesting. A big white dome with eyes on top. You can walk around it in the interior walls, you can climb on top of it, but we couldn't find a way to get inside... don't think you can. Driving by this would suffice... pause for a moment to look through the gate.. not worth getting out of the car for.
Or by the official name; Swayambhunath Stupa. You will need some condition to climb the stairs of this Stupa. Monkey families are living in and around the temple. They are now part of this tourist attraction.
Also have a look at the travelogue of the Monkey Temple for more pictures.
Inside one of the temples you can find a photo of the Dalai Lama.
The Swayambhunath stupa is one of the oldest in the world (VI centrury BC), decorated on all sides with the Buddha eyes.
Originally Swayambhunath was destined to gather the Buddha remains.
Swayambhunath is one of the seven world heritage sites all over the Kathmandu valley.