Swayambhunath is a Buddhist site in Kathmandu which is located on the hill station from where we can see the entire Kathmandu valley. It is one of the cultural world heritage site of Nepal from out of 10 world heritage sites in Nepal. Swayambhunath is known as an open museum.
The Kathmandu valley was full of water in 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 he named as Swayambhunath to this place. Swayambhu has two meaning 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 as this land is the god itself. He wanted to go to the flame and pray there but he could not go there because there was water all around then he went to the southern Kathmandu and cut a hill and make 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 has not covered all the flame then latter Shankaracharya 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 rebuild the stupa and in the 17th century, King Pratap Malla made a bigger and perfect stupa as well as he made Pratappura and Anantapura times.
Why Swayambhunath is known as Monkey Temple?
Swayambhunath (The earth is god itself) is the real name of this place then later it is popular as a monkey temple. We can see a lot of monkeys in this place because the hill has a big forest where monkeys can stay and with the monkeys, this place is more popular as monkey temple. Pronouncing Swayambhunath could be a bit difficult to the tourist so Monkey temple is easier then this place is more popular as monkey temple then Swyambhunath among the tourist.
Things to See in Swayambhunath
- Colourful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags
- World peace pond (wishing pond)
- Monkeys and monkey’s swimming pool
- Big 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 contact us if you would like to visit this place. We provide a knowledgeable and helpful tour guide for the detail information about this place.