Hi dear Hive community,
One of the must see temples when visiting Kathmandu is the biggest Buddhist stupa called Swayambhunath monkey temple. It’s located a little bit on the outskirts of the city on a big hill. To reach the top you need to conquer around 365 steps, but you have also a shortcut which saves you this steep hill.
We took a main entrance to make some exercise as well. On top, due to standing out from Nepali and Indian look, we were fast approached by a security guard showing us the location where we needed to buy an entrance ticket. For foreigners it costs 200 NPR to enter the area.
As it was Saturday, the place was crowded and full of people. Due to that and additionally countless monkeys running around, we felt that we could not fully enjoy and explore the place.
Tourist were gathering on top of the hill and taking pictures or buying souvenirs or snacks there. Surprisingly, even though the temple is a place of sacred and peace, selling people got a place there. We maybe saw a handful of older people that came to pray and worship.
Consequently, many food is made there, offered to gods or thrown away, which is perfect opportunity for many street dogs and monkeys to get some snacks. Dogs are looking healthy here, but some monkeys that we spot were not looking very well. Tamara was quite scared of them, always jumping and passing you, and sometimes even get into small fights. Another things regarding the animals living there is a very strong, stinky smell. This was another factor that we moved faster around. Luckily, on some areas the smell was gone and was replaced by a very good smelling incense.
Stupa itself has many elements that are surrounding it, from many smaller temples, different statues in all sizes, ancient stone sculptures and carvings. There was so much to see and the area is very big. It consists of many layers and sections.
On the stairs we were all the time talked to and asked for money by young women each of them having a small baby. Besides that many small children were running around from tourist to tourist. Witnessing this always leaves you with a strange feeling. On one hand you would like to help, but then again, it’s difficult to differentiate between the ones who are really in need and the ones who are just scamming tourists.
We enjoyed seeing the temple and main attraction everyone talks about when visiting Kathmandu. With us we also had a new friend which led us to this interesting place. He was happy to take us there and eager to show us more, therefore we got a feeling that we are in a hurry to go around. Maybe also due to the fact that the locals visit this place a lot and for them it’s just another round of walking around.
Thank you for reading. Wish you a nice rest of the day!