Swayambhunath Stupa, perched atop a hill just west of Kathmandu, is the oldest shrine complex in the entire Kathmandu Valley. As you approach the ancient stupa from the city, you can see it’s golden spires, white domed ceilings and eerie painted eyes from a distance. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a pack of monkeys who’ve led locals to refer to the complex as the Monkey Temple.

The exact origins of the sight, one of the most important pilgrimage sights for Tibetan Buddhists, are unclear. Local legend says the Stupa was originally a lotus flower that emerged from a great lake that once occupied the Kathmandu Valley. History tells us the complex was commissioned by an early fifth century AD king, making it one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal.

For the best views of Kathmandu bellow the temple complex, visit in the early evening as the sun begins to set. If time permits, you can walk down the hill from Swayambhunath all the way back to Durbar Square in less than an hour.

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Cultural Walking Tour of Kathmandu: Swayambhunath and Durbar Square with Nepalese Cooking Lesson

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Experience Kathmandu like a local on this small-group cultural walking tour. Visit the oldest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Swayambhunath, and explore one of the ...  Read more

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Duration: 5-6 hours

From USD $80.00

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