The stairs do not seem to cease but when it does, you are elevated to witness an amazing ancient Buddhist shrine.
Not very far to the west of the old palace and temples of Kathmandu, beyond the Vishnumati River and perched on top of a hill is the majestic stupa of Swayambhunath.
Considered the most ancient and baffling pilgrim site, historical evidences suggest that the Monkey Temple was established during the 5th century BC. Legends have it that Kathmandu was once a gigantic lake in which a lotus blossomed and miraculously radiated a bright light and the name of the place came to be Swayambhu which means self – created or self existent. The valley is believed to be drained by Manjushree, a Bodhisattva, who had the vision of the light. Later, the lotus was transformed into a hill and Swayambhunath was established on its top.
Swayambhunath is a white dome shaped monument with a golden square pillar sprouting from the middle. Its elevated white arch and sparkling brilliant pillar are noticeable from miles and from all sides of the valley. Painted on it are the celebrated pair of Buddha eyes that watchfully overlook the valley below. The range encompassing the stupa is loaded with chaityas, sanctuaries, painted pictures of gods and various different religious articles.
Often called the “Monkey Temple” by tourists due to the large population of rhesus monkeys living in the surrounding forest, be careful not to eat anything as you approach the stupa, or you may be attacked by otherwise friendly animals. Swayambhu is also one of the contemporary center centers for Tibetan Buddhist culture in the area, so this is the ideal spot to visit monasteries and meet monk and nuns
Fair enough, the view from this hilltop presents the whole of Kathmandu Valley as never before. It is also the spinning of prayer wheels, counting of prayer beads and colorful player flags that whiff a blissful air.