Sunset at Swayambhunath

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No stay in Kathmandu is complete, without a visit to Swayambhunath, the oldest temple in the valley famously known as the Monkey Temple. Built high on a hilltop, which legend states arose from an ancient lake that once filled the valley, it is now surrounded by the modern city of Kathmandu. This beautiful temple, whose name literally means the self created monument, is one of the most holy sites for both Buddhists and Hindus, and provides stunning 360 degree views of Kathmandu and the surrounding valley. There is something extra special about being there at sunset as twilight reflects from the western foothills and the lights of Kathmandu emerge.

swayambhunath temple

Swayambhu is a short walk from Thamel. Experience the city as you walk through its diverse neighborhoods, ending up at the eastern steps of the temple. As you ascend the 360 steps (one for each day of the year), the grandeur of the Stupa will come into sight and you can hear the chants, om mani padme hum. Maybe you can join a kora circling the Stupa spinning the prayer wheels and releasing their prayers to the heavens. At the temple you will learn how it was built from the base elements of Air, Fire, Water, Gold and Earth and all of the symbolism embedded in the construction of this grand Stupa. After spending time enjoying the temple and its views, you will be safely delivered back to Thamel by bus. To make the evening complete, include the option of enjoying a traditional Nepali dinner of Daal Bhat or Momos afterwards.

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