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Heritage walks in Swoyambhunath

Heritage walks in Swoyambhunath

Heritage walks in Swoyambhunath

One of the popular sightseeing destinations for all the visitor who visit Kathmandu and also a destination for people who like to observe the valley from little higher plate form, Swoyambhunath or monkey temple is the ultimate destination. There are various routes to go but for the foreigners, the route from the west is better as they have organized parking lot there. Most of the local people walk from the eastern route making about 365 steps which are quite steep on the upper part. The bottom part of the steps is quite easy as they are relatively flat. As the place is listed in the world heritage site by UNESCO it is equally important for everybody.

There are lots of things of great interest and lots of things to discover in and around this beautiful temple. Besides the main stupa complex there are numerous small temples, few monasteries and private houses on the hillock. At the beginning one can see the replica of the stupas and a small artificial water fountain with statue of Buddha where local people throw the coins. They even made the swimming pool for monkeys even monkeys don’t like much water. The plat forms which look like small stalls are stops for the Buddhist family to organize ceremony and giving foods to the invitees after worshipping the temple.

Looks like a family picnic but certain Newar family, all the newly married couples must worship at the temple of Harati Mata and organize the small feast for their nears and dears according to their financial status.

One can observe huge amount of prayer flags full of five different colors with prayers printed on it which are called Lungta and hang there during different occasion. The most popular occasion is the full moon day in May which is special date for all the local Buddhist. Full moon day in May is special because Buddha was born in this date, he got enlightened in this day and he even died in this day.

The temple of Swoyambhunath supposed to be constructed in between 5th and 6th century but was reconstructed few times and final reconstruction is done on 1902 and survived different episodes of the earthquake.

The oldest survived sculpture is the Buddha Dipankar located on the easter part of the Stupa complex.

At the circle of the stupa, the five meditation Buddha and Tara can be observed. Nearby the main shrine there is a temple of Harati mata who is even considered to cure small pox and also taken as a care taker of the kids. There are two monasteries on the top, both of them are reconstructed after the earthquake and accessible to foreigners but one must take out the shoes in one of them.

The white tower looking temples located on the eastern side are constructed as memorial of the king and queen who contributed for renovation of the main temple.

One must go clockwise while visiting this temple and may turn the prayer wheels if they wish.

In a clear day the view of the Langtang Himalayan range is visible from the temple. There are lots of souvenirs shop around the temple which sale regular souvenirs.  Besides the main temple complex, Shantipur located on the northern side of the main shrine, one must go down little bit is of great importance to Vajrayan sect of followers.

Manjushree hill on the left side of the entrance ticket counter houses a small shrine of Manjushree, a god of education in the Buddhism.

One can consult our expert team to organize a guided visit to this famous temple and you can also read our informative heritage walk series in Kathmandu. Please visit our day tours which includes many of the important sites of Kathmandu valley.

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