Monkey Temple – Place To Visit In Kathmandu
Swayambhunath or more commonly known as the monkey temple is constructed on the hills that are located on the western side of the Kathmandu city, the capital of Nepal. The monkey temple is a Buddhist temple and is more that 2500 years old. It is one of the most mysterious and ancient temple of the Kathmandu valley and a great place to visit in the early morning. It is also believed that the temple was a significant Buddhist pilgrimage destination in the 5th century, but the history of the temple starts much earlier, prior to the arrival of the Buddhist in the valley.
The name of this temple has been derived from the innumerable monkeys residing in it. The believers consider these monkeys to be saints. As it is forbidden to cause have to these monkeys, with times they turned out to be all the more fearless. For instance, these monkeys don’t feel scared when it comes to snatching something from the visitors.
The Tibetan name of the site implies “ sublime trees” chiefly because of the different trees present on the hill. The monkey temple holds a central position and is considered to be the sacred of all Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For the followers of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the Tibetans it ranks second to the Boudhanath.
Similar to the other Buddhism temples, here too you will find Tibetan praying wheels known as Mani wheels. It is believed that these wheels spread positive spiritual energy. the act of praying is accomplished by a turn if the wheel on its pivot. Inside these wheels you will find paper rolls with mantra “om Mani Padme Hum” written a number of times in ancient Tibetan or Indian writing. You will find the paper rolls wrapped around the pivot in a metal cover that acts as a shield. In several praying wheels you will find the mantra inscribed on the external cover of the wheel.
The monkey temple comprises of a stupa, multiple shrines as well as temples that dates back to the Licchavi age. The recent additions out here are a Tibetan museum, monastery and library. The stupa gas has Buddha’s eyebrows and eyes painted on it. In between them there is something that resembles a nose, but instead is the Nepali symbol of unity. This has been inscribed in Nepali language dialect. The money temple is also surrounded by hotels, shops and restaurants. The site comes with dual access points, i.e. a long stairway that leads to the main platform of the temple and a car road that leads to the southwest entrance of the temple. The first thing that you will notice when you climb up the staircase is the Vajra.
As per the words of Swayambhu Purana, the valley was once surrounded by a huge lake, where lotus was grown. The valley derived the name Swayambhu, implying "Self-Created." The monkey temple is one of the oldest religious sites here. It is believed that king Ashoka had paid a visit to this site somewhere around the third century. The best part is that this place is revered by the Hindus as well as the Buddhists.
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