Destinations

Must Visit: The Monkey Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal

January 17, 2012 by

Swayambhunath is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal, second only to the great Boudhanath stupa to the east of Kathmandu, and a major tourist attraction.
Much of the iconography of Swayambhunath comes from the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. However, the complex is also an important site for Buddhists of many schools, and is also revered by Hindus.

Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in parts of the temple in the north-west. They are holy because Majusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swayambhunath Temple stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice had transformed into these monkeys.



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