Swayambhunath aka The Monkey Temple
Swayambhunath is an ancient Buddhist stupa, located at the top of a hill on the western flank of Kathmandu valley. The temple was found by ancient king in between 464-505 CE but has a different folklore that dates way back in the time. The periphery is considered holy by Buddhist monk and the followers of Buddhist religion.
The hill top of the stupa is accessible from 2 ways; north and south. The northern side has 365 steps that leads right into the landmark of Swayambhunath, whereas the southern side allows vehicles until the halfway. The top of the hill is where the complex of stupa and monasteries exists. Whereas the southern end consists of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, bakery café’s and taxi stands. The rest of the hill is basically a forest and homes monkeys in abundance. The monkeys in dominant numbers in the periphery is how it got its name as monkey temple.
The temple is located around 4 kilometers from the city center. The Temple requires an entrance fee for foreigners, as well as SAARC nations, whereas it remains free for Nepalese nationals. Since it is the highest knoll in the Kathmandu valley, it offers an excellent view of Kathmandu valley. The place is also well known as a vantage point for sunrise and sunsets.