Explore The UNESCO World Heritage Site - Swayambhunath Stupa
Resting on a hillock in the Kathmandu Valley, Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal for the Buddhist Newars and followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Part of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property, this ancient religious architecture is said to date back to 460 A.D., and have been built by King Manadeva, then soon become an important center of Buddhism, though today the site is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. Swayambhunath occupies another name as the Monkey Temple as it is home to hundreds of monkeys frolicking in the sacred area. The stupa consists of a whitewashed dome at the base representing the earth, above which is the 13-tiered, tower-like structure symbolizing the 13 stages to nirvana. There is an iconic face of the Buddha on each of the four sides of the main stupa, in which the third eye signifies the all-seeing insight of the Buddha. Most visitors to Swayambhunath choose to climb up 365 steep steps from the eastern side to temple complex, and the sights atop the hill are worth the hike.