Nepal – the land of thousand temples – is nestled in the Himalayas and boasts eight out of ten highest peaks of the world. Picturesque views of the valleys can be appreciated while sipping tea or enjoying delicacies at local diners. It is the ultimate spot for spirituality seekers, who come here to visit more than thousand years-old temples. There around seven large temple complexes in the valley of Kathmandu and each of them features 10 to 100 shrines within it. The seventh complex has made its way through the world heritage site list of UNESCO. One of these temples – Swayambhunath – is situated in the west of the Kathmandu city that can be visited during Nepal holidays. This place is often referred as the Monkey Temple as in the north-west part of this shrine, monkeys can be seen.
It is one of the most sacred shrines for people who follow Buddhism. Numerous varieties of trees can be seen at the top of the hill, where this shrine is located; hence, it was named Swayambhunath, which means sublime trees in Tibetan. There is a stupa and a few temples inside its complex that were built back in the Licchavi period, and it is said that Emperor Ashoka visited this place in the 3rd century. Afterwards, a Tibetan library and museum was also added here. It is said that the eyebrows and eyes of Lord Buddha is painted on the giant stupa and the nose looks like number one in the Devanagari script. Travellers can either climb more than 360 stairs or take a car ride to reach this holy place.
Apart from being a religious site for Buddhists, it is also an important place for Hindus. Travellers can pay homage at this site by choosing for all inclusive vacation packages to Nepal. As per Swayambhu Purana, the valley at which this shrine is located used to be a site for a huge lake. It is believed that there was an eternal flame (self-created) at this place, over which the stupa has been built. This is the reason that it has been named as swayambhu, which means self-created.