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Swayambhunath (Devnagari: स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप sometimes romanized Swoyambhunath) is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in parts of the temple in the north-west. The Tibetan name for the site means 'Sublime Trees' (Wylie:Phags.pa Shing.kun), for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Newari name for the complex, Singgu, meaning 'self-sprung'.  For the Buddhist Newars in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice, Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it second only to Boudhanath.
The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The stupa has Buddha's eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, there is something painted which looks like the nose - but is the Nepali symbol of 'unity', in the main Nepali language dialect. There are also shops, restaurants and hostels. The site has two access points: a long stairway, claimed to have 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the southwest entrance. The first sight on reaching the top of the stairway is the Vajra. Tsultrim Allione describes the experience:
Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu
Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
A golden spire crowning a conical wooded hill, Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles and from all sides of the valley. Historical records found on a stone inscription give evidence that the stupa was already an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination by the 5th century AD. Its origins however, date to a much earlier time, long before the arrival of Buddhism into the valley. A collection of legends about the site, the 15th century Swayambhu Purana, tells of a miraculous lotus, planted by a past Buddha, which blossomed from the lake that once covered Kathmandu valley. The lotus mysteriously radiated a brilliant light, and the name of the place came to be Swayambhu, meaning 'Self-Created or Self-Existent'. Saints, sages and divinities traveled to the lake to venerate this miraculous light for its power in granting enlightenment. During this time, the Bodhisatva Manjushri was meditating at the sacred mountain of Wu Tai Shan and had a vision of the dazzling Swayambhu light. Manjushri flew across the mountains of China and Tibet upon his blue lion to worship the lotus. Deeply impressed by the power of the radiant light, Manjushri felt that if the water were drained out of the lake Swayambhu would become more easily accessible to human pilgrims. With a great sword Manjushri cut a gorge in the mountains surrounding the lake. The water, draining away, left the valley of present day Kathmandu. The lotus was then transformed into a hill and the light became the Swayabhunath Stupa.
Stairway to Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
Notice the monkeys sitting on Buddha's head
Swayambhunath's worshippers include Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, and the Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before dawn, hundreds of pilgrims will ascend the 365 steps that lead up the hill, file past the gilded Vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions guarding the entrance, and begin a series of clockwise circumambulations of the stupa (Newari Buddhists circle in the opposite, counterclockwise direction). On each of the four sides of the main stupa there are a pair of big eyes. These eyes are symbolic of God's all-seeing perspective. There is no nose between the eyes but rather a representation of the number one in the Nepali alphabet, signifying that the single way to enlightenment is through the Buddhist path. Above each pair of eyes is another eye, the third eye, signifying the wisdom of looking within. No ears are shown because it is said the Buddha is not interested in hearing prayers in praise of him.
Dorje at Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
The area surrounding the stupa is filled with chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. There are many small shrines with statues of Tantric and shamanistic deities, prayer wheels for the Tibetan Buddhists, Shiva lingams (now disguised as Buddhist chaityas and decorated with the faces of the the Dhyani Buddhas), and a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Harati, the Goddess of smallpox and other epidemics.The presence of the Harati Devi temple signifies the intermingling of the pantheons of Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of the religious trends of Nepal. As Buddhists had no deity in their own pantheon to protect against the dreaded smallpox, they adopted the Hindu deity for assistance.
Shantipur Shrine at Swayambhunath Stupa
Atop Swayambhunath hill is another fascinating, though smaller and less visited temple. This is Shantipur, the 'Place of Peace', inside of which, in a secret, always locked, underground chamber lives the 8th century Tantric master Shantikar Acharya. Practising meditation techniques which have preserved his life for uncounted centuries, he is a great esoteric magician who has complete power over the weather. When the valley of Kathmandu is threatened by drought, the King of Nepal must enter the underground chamber to get a secret mandala from Shantikar. Soon after the mandala is brought outside and shown to the sky, rain begins to fall. Frescoes painted on the inside temple walls depict when last this occurred in 1658. The small temple has a powerful atmosphere it is mysterious, stern and slightly ominous.
Inner Door, Shantipur Shrine at Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath stupa is also called the `Monkey Temple' because of the many hundreds of monkeys who scamper about the temple at night after the pilgrims and priests have departed. Nearby the Swayambhunath hill are other important temples such as the Shiva Jyotir Linga temple of Pashupatinath, Boudhanath stupa, Changu Narayan, Dakshinkali, and Budhanilkantha. Readers interested in studying the sacred sites of the Kathmandu valley in detail are referred to the works of Bubriski, Majupuria and Moran listed in the bibliography.
Sacred hill and stupa of Swayambhunath, Kathmandu, Nepal
Swayambhunath Photo GalleryMartin Gray is a cultural anthropologist, writer and photographer specializing in the study and documentation of pilgrimage places around the world. During a 38 year period he has visited more than 1500 sacred sites in 165 countries. The World Pilgrimage Guide web site is the most comprehensive source of information on this subject.
Why Swayambhunath is called the monkey temple
The nickname “Monkey Temple” is said to have come about when Manjushree, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning, was creating the hill on which the temple stands when he decided to grow his hair long. From his hair came lice which transformed into monkeys that have inhabited the temple to this day.
*caution: the monkeys of Swayambhunath should not be touched or fed. They can be aggressive and are used to tourists so are anything but afraid. Shiny objects should be hidden and bags closed. I’ve come across many a tourist that’s lost a camera, watch or mobile phone to a monkey!
The monkeys of the monkey temple enjoying some sunshine
Everything You Want to Know About Swayambhunath Temple – Major Attractions in Monkey Temple of Kathmandu Nepal
Everything You Want to Know About Swayambhunath Temple – Major Attractions in Monkey Temple of Kathmandu Nepal: – Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal is known as monkey Temple of Nepal. Swayambhunath is the most glorious Buddhist Stupa.
Swayambhunath is the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal and it is also known as monkey temple is the most ancient in this part of the world.
The Swayambhunath Temple, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a major tourist attraction in Kathmandu. The Swayambhunath Temple is located on a hill west of Kathmandu and offers excellent views of the city. The Swayambhunath Temple was named “Temple of the Monkeys” due to a large number of sacred monkeys that reside there throughout the temple.
The surrounding area of the Swayambhunath temple has a Tibetan name, which refers to raised trees due to the large number of trees on the hill. The Swayambhunath Temple is also one of the oldest and most sacred temples in Kathmandu. The Swayambhunath Temple was an important destination for Buddhist pilgrimages and today it is still a very important destination for religious adventurers.
Its worshippers are diverse from Newar nuns, Tibetan monks and Brahman priests to lay Buddhist and Hindus. Located on a lovely little rock hill, Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal is a World Heritage Site.
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Swoyambhu literally means ‘Self-Existent One.’ Swayambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swayambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site.
Painted on the four sides of the spire’s base are all seeing eyes of lord Buddha, keeping an eternal watch on the valley distinguishing between vice and virtue. Swayambhunath is a major landmark of the valley provides an outstanding view of the Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath Temple Kathmandu Nepal is popular places to visit in the world.
It takes 45 min of walk from city centre to get atop a green hillock west of Kathmandu stands the great stupa of Swayambhunath. It lies about 3k.m. west of down town Kathmandu. There are two different ways to reach this site.
One is from the west side which is relatively a short cut and the other is from the east side that leads to the main entrance with 360 steps all the way to the top, where the most venerated Swoyambhu Stupa stands-commanding a magnificent view of Kathmandu Valley and the breathtaking panorama of the north eastern Himalayan range.
The golden spire of Swayambhunath stupa crowns a wooded hillock and offers a commanding view of Kathmandu city. On clear days, one can even view a line of Himalayan peaks. The view is splendid at dusk as city lights flicker one by one, and even better when a full moon hangs in the sky. Visit Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal. Burning Deep light in Swayambhunath
History of Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal
The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the Stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati – the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the Stupa complex.
The establishment of Swayambhunath Stupa goes back to the legendary beginning of the Kathmandu Valley. The legend says that when the bodhisattva Manjushri drained the waters of the lake to reveal the Kathmandu valley, the lotus of the lake was transformed into the hillock and the blazing light became the Swoyambhu stupa. As the ancient legend goes Kathmandu Valley was a lake a long time ago.
Right in the centre of this lake was a full blown lotus with the divine light a top. When Maha Manjushri, a saint from China heard about this he came rushing all the way from China to the Valley. He cut through the southern wall hill of the valley with his divine sword. The cleft made by the sword immediately drained the entire lake water making the valley floor open for a close up view of the divine lotus light. Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal.
Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swayambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The Stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue. Peoples are riding ladders to the top of Swayambhunath Stupa
Generally a holy memorial site, the Stupa represents typical Buddhist architecture. Its main feature, the white dome, is identified with a spotless pure jewel of Nirvana and a thirteen tiered golden spire in conical shape surmounted on the dome. Underneath this towering structure is a pair of eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides of the Stupa. Swayambhunath Temple Kathmandu Nepal is popular Buddhist Stupa in the world.
The Stupa of Swayambhunath stands on a typically stylized lotus mandala base which a long time ago is believed to have originated from a legendary lake of Kathmandu Valley.
This holy site in fact is the massive stupa complex ever built in Nepal. Hundreds of votive shrines and other historical monuments built in and around this stupa speak a lot about the significance and antiquity of this famed stupa. Swayambhunath temple Kathmandu Nepal.
It lies about 3k.m. west of down town Kathmandu. There are two different ways to reach this site. One is from the west side which is relatively a short cut and the other is from the east side that leads to the main entrance with 360 steps all the way to the top, where the most venerated Swoyambhu Stupa stands-commanding a magnificent view of Kathmandu Valley and the breathtaking panorama of the north eastern Himalayan range. A tourist in Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhu, now a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, dates back to ancient times. The first written record of the Great Stupa of Swayambhu is an inscription from the fifth century. Honored by kings, monks and pilgrims alike, the stupa has been restored and repaired several times.
In 1349 it was damaged by an invading Muslim army and then repaired by King Saktimalle Bhalloka. In 1505, yogi Sangye Gyaltsen added the wheel and tower to the dome of the stupa. In 1614, the sixth Shamarpa had sanctuaries built in the stupa in four directions.
Some important lamas of Kagyu held a dedication ceremony in 1750 after a major renovation. The Swayambhunath stupa is also called the “temple of the monkeys” because hundreds of monkeys sneak through the temple at night after the pilgrims and priests leave.
Near Swayambhunath Hill there are other important temples such as the Shiva Jyotir Linga Temple in Pashupatinath, the Boudhanath Stupa, Changu Narayan, Dakshinkali and Budhanilkantha.
Every morning, before dawn, hundreds of pilgrims will climb the 365 steps that lead to the hill, passing the golden vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions that guard the entrance, and begin a series of circular rounds clockwise of the stupa (circle of Newari Buddhists) counterclockwise). On each of the four sides of the main stupa there are two large eyes.
These eyes are a symbol of the all-seeing perspective of God. There is no nose between the eyes, but a representation of the number one in the Nepalese alphabet, which means that the only path to enlightenment is the Buddhist path, which indicates the wisdom of looking inward.
No ears are shown because the Buddha is supposedly not interested in hearing prayers that praise him. On Swayambhunath Hill there is another fascinating temple, although smaller and less visited. This is Shantipur, the “place of peace”, in which the Tantric master Shantikar Acharya of the eighth century lives in a secret chamber, always closed and underground.
He practices meditation techniques that have preserved his life for countless centuries, and he is a great esoteric magician who has full power over the climate. If the Kathmandu valley is threatened by drought, the King of Nepal must enter the underground chamber to receive a secret Shantikar mandala.
Shortly after the mandala is taken outside and shown to heaven, it begins to rain. The frescoes on the interior walls of the temple show when this last happened in 1658. The small temple has a strong atmosphere It is mysterious, severe and slightly threatening.
The famous Bhutanese master Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche (1918-2003), the last abbot of the Drugpa Kagyu Bhutan monastery on the western side of the Stupa, came to Nepal to help his uncle, the Drukpa Lama Sherab Dorje, restore and maintain Help to the stupa in the early twentieth century. The last renovation of Swayambhu Stupa was completed in May 2010.
Swayambhunath commands great view of Kathmandu valley and the Himalayas and a visit around sunset time will be highly enjoyed.
What is there to see at the Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu?
While the Swayambhunath Temple is a Buddhist temple, Hindus are also frequent visitors to the sacred sanctuary. The Harati Devi Temple is very popular among Hindu pilgrims and there are many other sacred temples and shrines around the Swayambhunath Temple.
The Shantipur Temple is not far from the Swayambhunath Temple and has an interesting feature: a holy man has been in meditation in the temple for approximately 1500 years.
When should you visit the Swayambhunath Temple?
On most weekends, the Swayambhunath Temple is full of people. During the Losar Festival between February and March and the Jayanti Buddha Festival in April and May and the Gunla Festival from August to September, there will be large crowds in and around the Swayambhunath Temple. Since these are great festivals, the Swayambhunath Temple will be quite crowded. Swayambhunath Stupa
The legend of Swayambhu.
Legend has it that the Kathmandu valley was once a lake where Swayambhu hill existed as an island. A natural crystal stupa stood on this hill. When the Buddha visited the place, he explained that it was a stupa that fulfilled the wishes, and that anyone who was touched by the wind blowing on the stupa received the seed of the liberation of the cycle of existence.
Swayambhunath Stupa is a golden tower that crowns a conical tree-lined hill and the oldest and most enigmatic sacred sanctuary in the Kathmandu Valley. The high white dome and the bright golden tower are miles away and are visible from all sides of the valley. Historical records on a stone inscription show that the stupa was an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination as early as the 5th century AD. C.
However, its origins are found long before, long before the arrival of Buddhism in the valley. A collection of legends about the site, the 15th century Swayambhu Purana, tells of a wonderful lotus planted by an ancient Buddha and flourishing of the lake that once covered the Kathmandu valley.
During this time, Bodhisattva Manjushri meditated on the sacred mountain Wu Tai Shan and had a vision of the blinding light of Swayambhu. Manjushri flew with his blue lion over the mountains of China and Tibet to worship the lotus.
Manjushri was deeply impressed by the power of radiant light and felt that the water of Lake Swayambhu would be more accessible to human pilgrims. With a great sword, Manjushri cut a ravine in the mountains surrounding the lake.
Wastewater left the Kathmandu valley today. The lotus became a hill and the light became the Stupa Swayabhunath. A baby is watching Buddha Pokhari at Swayambhunath Stupa Kathmandu Nepal
The Stupa functions
The stupa represents the mind of the Buddha. Visiting a stupa is meeting a Buddha in person. It offers peace, freedom and joy to everyone and, ultimately, helps us achieve perfect enlightenment.
Just seeing, listening, thinking or touching a stupa promotes peace and even spiritual liberation. The stupa relieves physical and mental difficulties, such as illness, famine and conflict in all areas and directions.
Spiritual exercises are more powerful when performed near stupas than in other powerful places. Visitors and pilgrims walk around the stupa clockwise, recite mantras, make offerings, turn prayer wheels and make wishes for the benefit of all beings. a couple selfie at Swayambhunath Stupa Kathmandu Nepal
The area around the stupa
The Swayambhu Stupa or Chaitya is located at the highest point of the twin summit, which rises in the middle of the Kathmandu Valley. If you go up the long staircase on the east side of the hill and go up the last section of the stairs, you will directly see the Buddha’s eyes painted on the top of the stupa.
The fifth Arocena Buddha is located next to the sanctuary of Akshobya. The sanctuaries among them contain various forms of female bodhisattva tare. The surroundings of the Stupa are full of chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects.
There are many small shrines with statues of tantric deities and shamans, Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels, Shiva Lingams (now dressed as Buddhist Chaityas and adorned with the faces of Dhyani Buddhas) and a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Harati, the Holy Spirit. Goddess of smallpox and other epidemics.
The presence of the Harati Devi temple means mixing the pantheons of Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of Nepal’s religious tendencies. Since the Buddhists did not have a deity in their own pantheon to protect themselves from the dreaded smallpox, they accepted the Hindu deity as support. Statue of Lord Buddha in Swayambhunath Temples
The Karma Raja Maha Vihara Monastery
The Shri Karma Raja Maha Vihara Monastery is located on the north side of the Stupa and is the headquarters of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in Nepal, led by Abbot Sabchu Rinpoche. The current monastery has been continuously improved since its foundation with the support of many Buddhist donors.
In the early 1970s, the 16th Karmapa stayed here for several months to practice special teachings, teach and give audience to hundreds of disciples. Thereafter, the monastery continued the traditional monastery curriculum and meditation practices under his direction.
After the death of the sixteenth Karmapa, the fourteenth Kunmar Shamar Rinpoche (the second highest lama of the Karma Kagyu lineage, whose duties include the identification of the reincarnations of Karmapa) took over the monastery and then handed it over to SH on 17. Gyalwa Karmapa continues. Trinley Thaye Dorje. There are currently 60 monks in the monastery. BuddhaPark at Swayambhunath Stupa Kathmandu Nepal
Swayambhunath’s lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles from all sides of the valley. The local Nepal Bhasa name for the site is ‘Singgu’, meaning ‘Self-sprung’. Much of Swayambhunath’s iconography comes from the Vajrayana Sampradaya of Newar Buddhism. However, the complex is also the significant site for Buddhists of many schools and is also revered by Hindus.
An Essay on Architecture, Mythology, History, and Symbolism of Swayambhunath
The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Lichhavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum, and library are recent additions. The Stupa consists of a dome at the base, above which is a cubical structure painted with Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows praised on. There are also shops, restaurants, and hostels. The site has two access points: a long stairway with 365 steps, leading directly to the dominant platform of the temple which is from the top of the hill to the east and the car road around the south hill from the south leading to the south-west entrance. The earliest vision on reaching to the apex of the stairway is the largest Vajra
(Thunderbolt Scepter). Behind this Vajra is the immense, circular, white dome of the stupa, atop of which were two giant Buddha eyes wisely looking out over the peaceful valley which was just dawning to come alive. There is pentagonal Torana present above each of the four sides with statues engraved on them. Behind and above the Torana there are thirteen tiers. Above all the tiers there is a small space above which Gajur is present. The stupa has many artifacts inside it.
An Essay on Architecture, Mythology, History, and Symbolism of Swayambhunath
There is a collection of legends about Swayambhunath. A 15 th century Purana, Swayambhu Purana is a Buddhist scripture about the origin and development of Kathmandu valley, provides detail of all the Buddhas who came to Kathmandu and also provides information about the 1 st and the 2 nd Buddha in Buddhism. According to Swayambhu Purana, the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a miraculous lotus, planted by a past Buddha. The lotus mysteriously radiated a brilliant light, and the name of the place came to be Swaymbhu, meaning “Self-created” or “Self-existent”. Swayambhu, the name comes from an eternal self-existent flame over which a stupa was later built.
Saints, sages, and divinities traveled to the lake to venerate this miraculous light for its power in granting enlightenment. During this time, the Bodhisattva Manjushree was meditating the sacred mountain of Wu Tai Shan and had a vision of the dazzling Swayambhu light. Manjushree flew across the mountains of China and Tibet upon his blue lion to worship the lotus. Deeply impressed by the power of the radiant light, Manjushree felt that if the water were drained out of the lake, the valley can be a good settlement and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, he cut a gorge at Chovar. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The Lotus was transferred into a hill and the flower became the Swayambhu stupa. Swaymbhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. They are holly because Manjushree, the Bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swaymbhu Stupa stands on. He was supposed to do leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice transformed into these monkeys.
An Essay on Architecture, Mythology, History, and Symbolism of Swayambhunath
According to the Gopalrajvamsavali: Swaymbhu was founded by the Great-Grandfather of King Manadeva (464-505 CE), King Vasudeva, about the beginning of the 5 th century CE. This seems to be confirmed by a stone inscription found on the site which indicates that King Manadeva ordered work done in 640 CE. However, Emperor Ashoka is said to have visited the site in the 3 rd century BCE and built a temple on the hill which was later destroyed. Pratap Malla, also known as Kavindra the most powerful king of Kathmandu is responsible for the construction of the eastern stairway in the 17 th century. The stupa was completely renovated in May 2010, its major renovation since 1921 and its 15 th in the nearly 1,500 years since it was built. The dome was re-gilded utilizing the 20 kg of gold.
The dome at the base represents the entire world. When a person awakes, represented by a large pair of eyes, on each of the four sides of the main stupa, of wisdom and compassion, from the bonds of the world, the person reaches the state of enlightenment. Above each pair of eyes is another eye, the third eye, signifying the wisdom of looking within. No ears are clearly shown because it is said the Buddha is not interested in hearing prayers in praise in him. There is a curly symbol, symbolizing the nose, is depicted which looks like question mark between the eyes, which is a representation of the number one in fair Devanagari script, which is in the fashion of a rose, signifying that the unity of all things existing in the world as well as the single way to enlightenment i.e. through the Buddhist Path.
An Essay on Architecture, Mythology, History, and Symbolism of Swayambhunath
There are carvings of the Pancha Buddhas on each of the four sides of the stupa. There are also statues of Buddhas at the base of the statues. Five Buddhas are Buddha in a metaphorical sense in Tantrayana. They are:
- Vairochana: He occupies the center and is the master of the temple.
- Akshobhya: He faces the east and represents the cosmic elements of consciousness.
- Ratna Sambhava: He faces the south and represents the cosmic element of sensation.
- Amitabha: He represents cosmic elements of Sanjna (name) and always faces the West.
At the top of Swayambhunath hill, there is another fascinating, though smaller and less visited the temple. This is Shantipur, the ‘Place for Peace’. Swayambhunath’s worshippers include Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, and the Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before dawn hundreds of Vajrayana Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims ascend the 365 steps from the eastern side that lead up the hill, passing the gilded Vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions guarding the entrance, and begin a series of clockwise circumambulations of the stupa (Newari Buddhists circle in the opposite, counterclockwise direction).
Must see attractions in Swayambhunath
The Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the crowning glories of Kathmandu Valley architecture. This perfectly proportioned monument rises through a whitewashed dome to a gilded spire, from where four iconic faces of.
Buddhist Monument in Swayambhunath
History [ edit ]
Swayambhunath is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. According to the Gopālarājavaṃśāvalī, it was founded by the great-grandfather of King Mānadeva (464-505 CE), King Vṛsadeva, about the beginning of the 5th century CE. This seems to be confirmed by a damaged stone inscription found at the site, which indicates that King Mānadeva ordered work done in 640 CE. 
However, Emperor Ashoka is said to have visited the site in the third century BCE and built a temple on the hill which was later destroyed.
Although the site is considered Buddhist, the place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. Numerous Hindu monarch followers are known to have paid their homage to the temple, including Pratap Malla, the powerful king of Kathmandu, who is responsible for the construction of the eastern stairway in the 17th century. 
The stupa was completely renovated in May 2010, its first major renovation since 1921   and its 15th in the nearly 1,500 years since it was built. The dome was re-gilded using 20 kg of gold. The renovation was funded by the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center of California, and began in June 2008. 
Pratapur Temple in the Swayambhu Monument Zone of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site, Nepal suffered damage from a lightning strike at around 5 a.m. on 14 February 2011, during a sudden thunderstorm.
The temple complex suffered damage in the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. 
According to the Gopalarajavamsavali, it was founded by the great-grandfather of King Manadeva, King Vrsadeva in the early 5th century CE. However, Emperor Ashoka is said to have visited the site in the third century BCE and built a temple on the hill which is believed to be destroyed later. After the main stupa was constructed, other shrines and temples were constructed one by one in different dynasties. The eastern stairway of the Swayambhunath in the 17th century is constructed during the reign of Pratap Malla.
Even though the site is considered Buddhist, the place is visited by both Buddhists and Hindus.
Swayambhunath Temple, Nepal
Swayambhunath Temple in Nepal is one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist temple in the whole world. The Swayambhunath Temple is located in the famous Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, a little bit to the west of the city of Kathmandu at a hilltop. The Swayambhunath Temple is known as the Singgu Temple, both of these mean the same - self sprung or something that emerged out by itself. The temple is indeed one of the ancient Tibetan religious establishments in Nepal and its construction date is not very clear but from a certain stone tablet it may be confirmed that the Swayambhunath Temple was erected by the order of King Mana Deva sometime in the 7th century of the Common Era.
The Swayambhunath Temple is one of the most attractive monuments of Nepal. There is a legend that the man of wisdom Majushsri was on carving the hill when he had a vision of the divine lotus. On removing the lotus of Lord Swayambhu the whole water of the land was drained out and hence the present valley of Kathmandu appeared.
The Swayambhunath Temple is basically a gleaming stupa with small stupas surrounding it. Atop the main stupa there is a towering spire which is the manifestation of the eye of the Buddha. The spire is gilded with gold and the white and golden colour combination brings forth the tranquillity of this temple. The temple is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist temple but it is also revered by the Hindu pilgrims. The position of the Swayambhunath Temple and the structure of the temple manifest the feel that the eyes of the great Buddha are watching over the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is also called the Monkey Temple because of the huge hoard of monkeys living in the premises. The Swayambhunath Temple is a great crowd puller. The panoramic sunset from the Swayambhunath Temple is the USP of this tourist spot.