An Amazing Swayambhunath Stupa Temple

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Swayambhunath Temple, which is also known as Monkey Temple has the original name which is known as “Maha Chaitya” derived from Nepal Bhasa (Newar language) which means “The Great Stupa.”

Swayambhunath is one important sacred temple for Buddhism and Hinduism in Nepal and is one most ancient shrines in Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath is located atop a hill in Kathmandu valley (3 Km West part of Kathmandu District). Swayambhu means ‘Self-Created or Self-Existence’ as the Stupa emerged from the lotus after Kathmandu valley water was drained.

When You travel to Swayambhunath temple you can see monkey around temple areas so the temple is called Monkey Temple. But it has its own Mythological Story. According to Myth, Bodhisattva Manjushree, Bodhisattva of wisdom stayed to the temple after creating the Kathmandu valley. He grew hair and grew Lice which later transformed into the monkey and start living around the temple.

History of Swayambhunath Temple

History of Swayambhunath Stupa
History of Swayambhunath Temple
Swayambhunath Temple is connected to the creating of Kathmandu valley and Bodhisattva Manjushree. According to Swayambhu Purana, Swayambhu was a miraculous Lotus which was planted by past buddha. The lotus was mysteriously radiated a brilliant light which was seen by Bodhisattva Manjushree during meditation. Therefore, to worship the Holy mysterious Lotus he traveled to Kathmandu from Wu Tai Shan China with his Blue Lion. As the Kathmandu valley was a lake, he cut the gorge at Chovar with his sword and let water drain so a human can easily worship to Lotus. The Lotus was transformed into a hill and the light transformed to Swayambhunath Stupa.

Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the oldest stupa and religious site in Nepal.The stupa emerged during the time of travel of Lord Majushree in Nepal when drained water and Lotus formed into hill and light transformed into a stupa and is believed Lotus was planted by Past Buddha in Kathmandu valley. According to Gopalarajavamsavali, it was founded by Lichchiivi King Mandev in the early 5th century and King Vrsadeva ordered to complete the construction during 640 CE.

According to Historian, the Great Emperor Ashoka visited the hill as well during the third century BCE and build a temple that later got Destroyed.

What is Meant By Buddha Eyes?

When traveling to Swayambhunath temple or any Stupa, you might observe Buddha’s eyes. So what does it means? Very few people know the meaning of the eyes. On each side of Stupa, there are a pair of eyes which means Buddha is an all-seeing perspective. You cannot see the nose but you can see number 1 in the Nepali alphabet which means the single way to enlightenment is moving towards the Buddha’s path. You can also view the third eye which is an eye of wisdom. There are no ears shown in Stupa because it is said that Buddha is not interested in hearing prayers in order to praise him.

Swayambhunath Temple is a sacred place Buddhism followers all over the world. Various Buddhist teachings such as Vajrayana Buddhists, Mahayana Buddhism, Newar Buddhism, Tibet Buddhism, and Hindu followers travel to worship Swayambhunath temple. Various Buddhist Followers and other pilgrims ascend toward 365 Steps to reach to Stupa with two lions guarding the entrance (ascend to Counterclockwise Direction). But Newar Buddhist travel to the opposite direction (Anti-clockwise Direction).

Places to View when Travel Swayambhunath Temple

Places to View when Travel Swayambhunath Temple
Places to View when Travel Swayambhunath Temple
When traveling to Swayambhunath temple or any Stupa, you might observe Buddha’s eyes. So what does it means? Very few people know the meaning of the eyes. On each side of Stupa, there are a pair of eyes which means Buddha is an all-seeing perspective. You cannot see the nose but you can see number 1 in the Nepali alphabet which means the single way to enlightenment is moving towards the Buddha’s path. You can also view the third eye which is an eye of wisdom. There are no ears shown in Stupa because it is said that Buddha is not interested in hearing prayers in order to praise him.

Swayambhunath Temple is a sacred place Buddhism followers all over the world. Various Buddhist teachings such as Vajrayana Buddhists, Mahayana Buddhism, Newar Buddhism, Tibet Buddhism, and Hindu followers travel to worship Swayambhunath temple. Various Buddhist Followers and other pilgrims ascend toward 365 Steps to reach to Stupa with two lions guarding the entrance (ascend to Counterclockwise Direction). But Newar Buddhist travel to the opposite direction (Anti-clockwise Direction).

Places to View when Travel Swayambhunath Temple

When you travel to Swayambhunath Temple, the first you can view is atop hill Stupa (Swayambhunath Stupa). The stupa is the major attraction of Swayambhunath Temple.

You can also view gold plated Vajra ” Thunderbolt” located in the east of the Stupa.

Statue of Buddha on the west of Swayambhunath Temple.

Sleeping Buddha Statue

Hirati Temple

Hirati Temple: When traveling to Swayambhunath temple another temple you should not miss is Harati Temple. It is believed that Harati was an Ogress and was transformed into the caretaker of all children.

Various Ghumbas and Vihars

Around Swayambhunath Stupa areas you can view various Tibetan and Newar Ghumbas and Viharas where various Buddhist come and worship Buddhist Dieties.

Kathmandu Valley Views

Swayambhunath Stupa lies on the top hill therefore you can view a beautiful scene of Kathmandu valley.

Nepal Products

Travelling to Swayambhunath Temple you can also view some High Quality handmade Nepal Products. You can also see Nepal products inside Near Temple aswel.
Swayambhunath Temple is also known as Monkey Temple
Swayambhunath Temple is also known as Monkey Temple

References:

Swayambhunath Stupa, (n.d). Swayambhunat Stupa. From: sacredsites.com. Retrieved from: https://sacredsites.com/asia/nepal/swayambhunath_stupa.html



Swayambhunath Monkey Temple, (n.d). Swayambhunath Monkey Temple. From: thelongestwayhome.com. Retrieved from: https://www.thelongestwayhome.com/travel-guides/nepal/swayambhunath-monkey-temple.html


Swayambhunath, (n.d). Swayambhunath. From: wikipedia. Retrieved from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swayambhunath



Swayambhunath, (n.d). Swayambhunath. From: welcomenepal. Retrieved from:https://www.welcomenepal.com/places-to-see/swayambhunath.html

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