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    Centuries Old Swayambhunath Temple

    Tue, Dec 15, 2009

    Nepal

    By the name itself you can understand that this place has link with the religious matters. It is a religious intricate situated on the top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu valley is in the west of Kathmandu city. An ancient temple named as Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as you could see the monkeys around the temple. You will get a number of different trees on the hill. Swayambhunath is a sacred place for the Buddhist pilgrimage and engage a central point for the Buddhist Newars whose origin is from the myths and continues their religious practices.

    swayambhunath temple kathmandu

    The Swayambhunath complex comprises of various shrines and temples which is called as a stupa named during the Licchavi period. Today, the complex comprises of a Tibetan monastery, museum and library as well. You will find Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on the stupa. Even you will find shops, restaurants and hostels here. You can enter at this site by two distinct ways. One is the stairway to the east where you will have to climb 365 steps and the other is through the car road around the hill entering through the southwest direction. Once you reached at the top of the stairway the first sight could be seen is of the Vajra.

    swayambhunath eyes

    Vajra is from the Vajrayana tradition of Newar Buddhism. Most of the iconography of Swambhunath came from the same tradition.

    If you go through the mythology, you will get to know the creation of this temple and also the valley. As per the Swayambhu Purana, the valley was entirely filled with a lake from which a lotus was grown. After that the valley was named as the Swayambhu which means ‘Self created’. The monkey’s roaming around is called as the holy monkeys because the Manjushree called as the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was actually raising the hill. His hair was supposed to be left tiny but he developed his hair long out of which head lice was grown and that head lice was converted into these monkeys. There is much more things in depth that will lead you to the mythological facts.

    In Nepal, Swayambhunath is one of the oldest religious sites. It was said that the Swayambhunath was found by the great-grandfather of king Manadeva during the 464-505 CE and at the early 5th century CE by the king Vrsadeva. King Manadeva made the temple through a damaged stone found at the location in 640 CE.

    Later, Emperor Ashoka visited this location during the third century BCE and built a temple on the hill but was further destroyed. It was also said that the Buddha visited Swayambhunath and gave teachings at the same place for prior to two hundred years.

    Even if the location is considered Buddhist, it is still worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus. Many king Hindu followers paid respects here that includes Pratap Malla who was the influential king of kathmandu. This king was built the eastern stairway during the 17th century.

    The stupa is actually comprised of a dome down the bottom and this dome symbolizes the complete world. You will find the carving of five Buddhas on every sides of stupa. Along with this, you will also find statue of the Buddhas at the bottom of the stupas.

    If you want to experience this ancient temple then try to climb the stairway where at the entrance you will find two lions are guarding there. Once you reach at the top of the hill you can have a magnificent sight of Kathmandu. This hill could be seen from the miles away in Kathmandu. A fantactic viewpoint worth visiting where holy monkeys could be found on the top of the hill! To reach at this great place you have to climb or travel by car to the top of the green hill and worship the Deity in the Swayambhunath temple. You can click photographs of this temple and hill and also click for the best site from the top of the hill where you will get fantastic scenery of Kathmandu.

    You will get hotels, restaurants and much more places where you can book your accommodations. As it is a religious site you will have plenty of options to stay and rest. Here you can reach by flight to the nearest airport named Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. So if you are a religious king of person or love to visit the holy places then think for this wonderful location where you can visit the temple and also enjoy your trip to the hill and sight seeing as well.




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