Nepal Sights

Swayambhunath Temple

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 02/02/2016

Fodor's Review

Also known as the Monkey Temple in honor of its resident population of sacred simians, Swayambhunath is an ancient cluster of religious buildings that sits atop a small hill dominating the west of Kathmandu. This is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage places in Nepal—second only in importance to Bodnath—and is also revered by Hindus. Among the oldest religious sites in the country, it was said to have been founded about the beginning of the 5th century. Consisting of a central stupa, and numerous surrounding shrines and temples, the former was completely renovated in 2010—the 15th such makeover in its 1,500-year history, which saw the dome re-gilded with 40 lbs of gold. The most striking feature of the stupa is the square structure above the dome with Buddha's eyes painted on each face, gazing out in all four directions. The eyes are said to represent wisdom and compassion, while the 'nose' in between is actually the Nepali symbol of unity. The main access to the site is via a long stairway on the east side containing 365 steps. Devotees would not consider arriving any other way, but for the less eneregetic there is also a road leading up to the southwest entrance.

Sight Information


Kathmandu, Central Region, Nepal

Sight Details:

  • Rs.250

Published 02/02/2016


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Fodorite Reviews

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Apr 28, 2016

Great View Of kathmandu

From the peak of the Soyambhu, you can admire the whole kathmandu valley, a beautiful sight of nearby mountain, and the busy roads of the city. Peaceful forest, and different faces and totally different sculptors. Sometimes monkey may give you hurdles if you have foods in your hand.

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Oct 29, 2015

World Cultural Heritage Site of Kathmandu Valley

Swyambhunath Stupa is listed in world heritage cultural sites by UNESCO. It is a Buddhist temple visiting the travelers all over the world. The temple is also known as a monkey temple and situation at the center of Kathmandu city.

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