Swayambhunath is a Buddhist site in Kathmandu located on the hill station from where we can see the entire Kathmandu valley. It is one of the cultural world heritage sites of Nepal out of 10 world heritage sites in Nepal. Swayambhunath is known as an open museum.
The Kathmandu valley was full of water at an earlier age, and Swayambhunath was an island. According to the Buddhist legend, Manjushree from Tibet came here, and he saw a natural gas flame on this hill station, then named Swayambhunath this place. Swayambhu has two meanings in the Sanskrit language. Swayam means itself, and Bhu means the earth. Because of the natural flame, Manjushree thought it was a power of the god and named this land the god itself. He wanted to go to the love and pray there but could not because the water was all around. Then he went to southern Kathmandu, cut a hill, and made a gorge from where the water from Kathmandu valley cleared out, and he went to Swayambhunath and made a little dome to protect the flame. Manjushree had not covered all the flame then. Later, Shantikaracharya covered it all.
The main stupa was in a small shape until 1406, when the Muslim king Samasuddin came and destroyed the stupa. King Jayasthiti Malla rebuilt the stupa, and in the 17th century, King Pratap Malla made a more significant and perfect stupa and made Pratappura and Anantapur times.
Why is Swayambhunath known as Monkey Temple?
Swayambhunath (The earth is god itself) is the actual name of this place; later, it became famous as a monkey temple. We can see a lot of monkeys in this place because the hill has an extensive forest where monkeys can stay, and with the monkeys, this place is more popular as a monkey temple. Pronouncing Swayambhunath could be difficult for the tourist, making the Monkey temple more accessible. This place is more popular as a monkey temple than Swyambhunath among tourists.
Things to See in Swayambhunath
- Colorful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags
- World peace pond (wishing pond)
- Monkeys and monkey’s swimming pool
- Giant white Stupa (Buddhist temple)
- Thunderbolt (Bajra)
- Harati Temple (Temple of pneumonia)
- View of Kathmandu valley
- Antic shops and more
This is general information about Swayambhunath; please get in touch with us if you want to visit this place. We provide a knowledgeable and helpful tour guide for detailed information about this place.