Swayambhunath is a famous Buddhist temple situated on top of a hill west of the Kathmandu city. Also known as the Monkey Temple, it is one of the most famous places in Nepal. It is known as the Monkey temple due to large number of monkeys guarding this hill and amusing the tourists.
The stupa itself is situated inside a large complex called Swayambhunath complex. It consists of a number of temples, shrines and stupas, apart from the great Swayambhunath Stupa itself. Recently, a Tibetan monastry, museum and a library have been added to this place's list of attractions. The stupa has a dome at the base and then three cubical structures with eyes of Lord Buddha looking in all four directions symbolizing Unity.
The place has great religious and historical value for both the Buddhists and the Hindus. It is also said that the great emperor Ashoka had visited this place 2000 years back.
When to go
Avoid excessive hot months of June and July and monsoon months of August and September.
How to reach
You can take an auto or hire a cab from Kathmandu. You can also chose to take a walk from Kathmandu to Swayambhunath. Safa tempo number 20 also heads to that destination regularly.
There are two enterances to the stupa on the hill. Eastern and western - western is easier and comfortable but boring as there is no scneic beauty. Eastern carries a steep long stairway but the scenic beauty washes away all the tiredness.