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Swayambhunath

Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015. Travelers are strongly advised to seek information before traveling to Nepal until further notice.

The Monkey Temple is a spectacular Buddhist shrine that is home to gilded statues, prayer wheels, mani stones and dozens of mischievous monkeys. 

A journey to the hilltop stupa at Swayambhunath is one of the most fascinating experiences in Kathmandu. Centuries-old statues, carved icons, hundreds of butter lamps and the sweet scent of incense create a magical atmosphere at this ancient religious complex. 

Swayambhunath dates back to the fifth century and is a sacred destination for both Buddhists and Hindus. It is often called the Monkey Temple because of the hordes of monkeys that live here. 

Approach the temple site from the eastern stairway. At the foot of the stairs are gleaming Buddha statues, a 12-feet (3.7-meter) tall prayer wheel and sets of smaller prayer wheels. Join pilgrims in climbing the 365 steps, which travel up a forest-clad hillside. Keep an eye out for Buddhist shrines known as chaityas and look for mani stones engraved with “Om Mani Padme Hum”, a traditional Buddhist mantra. 

Welcoming you at the top of the staircase is Swayambhunath’s huge whitewashed dome stupa. Gaze up at its 13-tiered tower, which symbolizes the stages to enlightenment and has Buddha’s eyes painted on all four sides. See the shrines dedicated to the Five Dhyani Buddhas and the large statue of a thunderbolt, an important symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. Circle the stupa with the hordes of devotees and spin the prayer wheels as you go. 

Surrounding the stupa is a collection of sacred monuments. Visit the Harati Temple, where a rooftop platform provides sweeping views of the Kathmandu Valley. Watch daily prayers at the Shree Karmaraja Mahavihar and look for statues around the hilltop that symbolize air, earth, ether, fire and water. 

Swayambhunath is a 10-minute drive or taxi ride from Kathmandu’s Thamel district and Kathmandu Durbar Square. 

The temple is open daily and there is an admission fee. If you don’t want to climb the stairs, use the other entrance on the temple’s western side. Remember to walk in a clockwise direction around the stupa. 


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Lodging Near Swayambhunath

See all 872 Properties near Swayambhunath
Hotel Shanker $56
Reviewed on May 24, 2019
See details
 
Hotel Shanker

Hotel Shanker

Lazimpat, Kathmandu
     
    4.1 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Good place to stay

    Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu $96
    Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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    Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu

    Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu

    Tridevi Marg, KMC- 29, Kathmandu
       
      4.4 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      The staff is the best i have seen from other hotels. The front vdesk Ms. Pooja. Staff Ms Roshi was very friendly and always so great at taking care of all the guest. Chef Mr.Deepak always interacted with guests to make sure food is fine. Manager Mr.Sujit always checked in with the guests fur their ...

      Karma Suites
      Karma Suites

      Karma Suites

      Swayambhu, Kathmandu
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Kathmandu, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Swayambhunath and Chhauni Museum. Garden of Dreams and Boudhanath are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Kumari Boutique Hotel $34
        Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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        Kumari Boutique Hotel

        Kumari Boutique Hotel

        Chhusya Galli, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
           
          4.8 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Clean and modern. The staffs are friendly. The location of the hotel is in the main city which is easier to find foods and other entertainment

          Super-host 3 Bedroom Private Apartment With Balcony Beautiful Tibetan Themed
          Super-host 3 Bedroom Private Apartment With Balcony Beautiful Tibetan Themed

          Super-host 3 Bedroom Private Apartment With Balcony Beautiful Tibetan Themed

          Kathmandu, Bagmati
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Kathmandu, this apartment building is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Swayambhunath and within 3 mi (5 km) of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Garden of Dreams. Chhauni Museum and Freak Street are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Yatri Suites and Spa, Kathmandu $58
            Reviewed on May 27, 2019
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            Yatri Suites and Spa, Kathmandu

            Yatri Suites and Spa, Kathmandu

            Amrit Marg, Thamel (Manang Plaza), Kathmandu, Bagmati
               
              4.4 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Clean and well located very friendly staff good brekfast

              Hotel Mulberry $105
              Reviewed on May 19, 2019
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              Hotel Mulberry

              Hotel Mulberry

              Jyatha, Thamel, Kathmandu
                 
                4.7 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Great location in the midst of Thamel, beautiful rooftop bar and pool with a great view over Kathmandu, Service and food quality could be better

                Be Here Now Guest House $14
                Be Here Now Guest House

                Be Here Now Guest House

                Ropeway Sadak, Kathmandu
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Kathmandu, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Swayambhunath, Garden of Dreams, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Chhauni Museum and Durbar Marg are also within 2 mi (3 km).