The Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath, situated on a hilltop west of Kathmandu, is one of the most popular, holy and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. Colloquially known as the 'monkey temple' due to the large tribes of roving monkeys who guard the temple. The Swayambhunath complex has been in use since the 5th century A.D. and consists of a magnificent domed stupa, as well as a variety of stunning shrines and temples. Each temple is extremely ornate and richly decorated with gold and vibrant prayer flags, though it is not only the vibrant spiritual decor that draws visitors. This temple is also a sacred pilgrimage site that draws many faithful each year. In addition, it is also home to hundreds of monkeys which are considered holy to both Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus. The Swayambhunath Stupa is an impressive golden spire crowning a wooded hill. It has a lofty white dome with a glittering golden spire that is visible from all sides of the valley. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library have been added in recent years to attract more visitors and educate people. The stupa consists of a dome at the base and a cubical structure with the eyes of Buddha looking in all the four directions. There are pentagonal Torans present above each of the four sides of the Buddha with statues engraved in each of them. Most of Swayambhunath's iconography comes from the Vajrayana tradition of Newar Buddhism.
Opening Hours: whole day
Entrance Ticket: 200 rupees
Address: Kathmandu, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal