Swayambhunath temple of Kathmandu valley is often known as monkey temple specially among the tourist. The reason behind this is the number of monkeys living in that area. The monkeys living in swayambhunath temple are supposed to be holy. It is believed that manjushri, the god of wisdom and learning was taking care of the hill where swayambhunath stands. While taking care of the hill he was supposed to keep his hair short but it grew long to a point when he grew head louse. Those lice later turned into these monkeys. However, these days researches show that most of these monkeys living in Swayambhunath are infected with HIV aids and their one bite can infect humans as well.
The monkey temple in Nepal is also Free Tourist Destination in Nepal.
Religious value of Monkey Temple
Swayambhunath is a perfect example of religious tolerance. You will find the perfect blend of Buddhism and Hinduism at the same time in the temple premises. There are the stupa and the temple that marks the religious tolerance in Nepal. It is an ancient religious architecture on the top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley. It stands peacefully on the hill and is one of the oldest architecture of Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath has a special position in lives of newars of Kathmandu valley. And it is also a sacred pilgrimage of Buddhist all over the country. It is second to boudhha in terms of value in Buddhist people. Swayambhunath consists of a stupa, different monuments, and temples. It is believed to be originated in the licchavi period. The stupa has buddha’s eyes marking peace. The temple has a statue of god swayambhunath marking Hinduism. This marks the harmony between two religions.
Swayambhunath is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. The best thing about this site is that although the site is considered a place for Buddhist, the place is valued by both Buddhists and Hindus. It occupies a special position in the heart of numerous Hindu followers.
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You can reach the temple through two access points. A long staircase which directly leads to the main platform of a temple. You may be out of breath while climbing the stairs but believe me, the experience as soon as you reach the top is magical. You will get the view of entire Kathmandu valley and the positive energy you receive from the blend of Hinduism and Buddhism is out of this world. There is another car road through which you can explore the hill as it goes around the hill.
In recent years swayambhunath temple has gained popularity as a tourist destination. There are proper hotels, restaurant and street shops that will allow you to buy souvenirs for your loved ones.
Origin of Monkey temple in Nepal
According to myths, The entire Kathmandu valley was once filled with water and there was no human settlement there. A lotus grew out of the water and that valley was known as swayambhu. The name came after the self-existing flame over which the stupa was built later on. Manjushree the had a dream to make a settlement in this beautiful valley. He cut a gorge at chovar through which all the water drained out and Kathmandu valley got built. The lotus turned into the swambhunath hill and became stupa.
Swayambhunath is one of the hundreds of sites of a nation that sets Nepal apart from rest of the world. It has not only religious importance but tourism value as well. We all should work towards protecting and promoting such ancient architecture of the Nation.