Nepal Travel Guide
Swayambhunath - Swoyambhunath: Heritage Tour
Swoyambhu Nath Stupa (Swoyambhunath)

Located in a lovely little hill rock Swoyambhu Nath Stupa is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. This great Stoup is said to have been built around 250 B.C.

This is believed to be 25 centuries old and stands as one of the world's oldest Buddhist Chaityas (Stupa). The great Stupa of Swayambhu is the wonder that was Nepal, the glory that was Nepal. It is indeed listed a world Heritage site of Culture to prove that it serves as the nerve centre of faithful worship for all the devout Buddhists of the universe. Swayambhu embraces the authentic philosophy of Bajrayan in Particular and honour Lord Adi Buddha. It is dedicated to self-originating flame god.

The Stupa, which forms the salient structure, is well composed of a solid hemisphere of terra-cotta bricks and soil supporting a cornice of copper and gilt. Painted in the four-sided base of the spare are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha, keeping an eternal watch on the valley distinguishing between vice and virtue. It is some 2 miles west of Kathmandu City, proper across the holy Bishnumati River (Bagmati). Situated on the top of a hillock, it is about 77m above the level of the valley.

The whole hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda Temples possessing great dignity plus beauty. There also exist six big Buddhist monasteries in all - 5 Mahayan (Lamaist) and one Hinyan (Therbadist). On the hind hill is located another important Buddhist shrine; it is called Manjushree. This coMapssionate Chinese Buddha is the god of Knowledge.

Generally a holy memorial site Stupa represents a typical Buddhist architecture. Its main feature the white dome is identified with a spotless pure jewel of Nirvana and a thirteen tiered golden spire in conical shape surmounted on the dome. Underneath this towering structure are a pair of all seeing eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides of the Stupa.

The Stupa of Swoyambhunath stands on a typically stylized lotus mandala base-a long time ago believed to have originated from a legendary lake of Kathmandu Valley.

As the ancient legend goes Kathmandu Valley was a lake a long time ago. Right in the centre of this lake was a full blown lotus with the divine light a top. When Maha Manjushri a saint from China heard about this he came rushing all the way from China to the Valley. He cut through the southern wall hill of the valley with his divine sword. The cleft made by the sword immediately drained the entire lake water making the valley floor open for a close up view of the divine lotus light.

This holy site in fact is the massive stupa complex ever built in Nepal. Hundreds of votive shrines and other historical monuments built in and around this stupa speak a lot about the significance and antiquity of this famed stupa.

The Stupa of Swoyambhunath (Swayambunath) lies about 3km west of down town Kathmandu.

There are two different ways to reach for this site. One is from the west side which is relatively a short cut and another is from the east side where it leads to the main entrance with 360 steps leading all the way to the top, where the most venerated Swayambhu Stupa stands-commanding a magnificent view of Kathmandu Valley and the breathtaking panorama of the north eastern Himalayan range.

Other important things to be seen here include a magnificent two tiered golden temple dedicated to Harati. She is the grand mother deity of children and small pox who was said to be the Ogress until Lord Buddha converted her to be the great caretaker of the children.

Not to far from this temple is Dewa Dharma monastery - noted for a bronze icon of Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings.

The huge gold plated vajra, the priestly symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism, set on the Dharmadhatu mandala at the side of the stupa is worth a close look.

Important days to visit this holy site:

1. Buddha Purnima, the birth day of Lord Buddha which fails on the full moon day of Baishak (April-May)
2. Gunla the holy Buddhist month according to Newari calendar (Aug.-Sept., early Morning).
3. Kojagrath Purni (Sept.-Oct.)
4. Samyak day of the Magh (Jan.Feb.) (every twelve years)

Earthquake in Nepal
25 April 2015 M 7.8 Earthquake in Nepal