A visit to Swayambhunath temple
07.03.2016 - 07.03.2016 24 °C
I am certain there is no such thing as too much celebration, but I was warned to expect some kind of festival every other week in Nepal. My first full day in Kathmandu – in Nepal, in fact – happened to coincide with Maha Shivaratri, a day to worship the Hindu god, Shiva. This meant some rescheduling of sightseeing activities, but on the upside it gave me unexpected free time to go to Swayambhunath temple, one of Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.
A key piece of advice to anyone planning to visit ‘the monkey temple’ is to hold on to all your possessions, because the monkeys are opportunistic little creatures, and they enjoy a bit of thievery. So with my camera strapped on tight, I climbed the steep stone stairway to the top of the hill.
Along the way, plenty of monkeys sat beside the stairs, playing, grooming each other, and generally doing their own thing. They took no interest in me at all.
Before exploring the temple complex, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the views of Kathmandu were quite spectacular.
The crowning glory of the temple complex is the big white stupa with it’s golden spire. It was damaged in the April 2015 earthquake, but is still intact. Other structures in the complex were not so lucky.