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  • Day14

    Kathmandu - Swayambunath

    October 31, 2019 in Nepal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    The journey back to Kathmandu was uneventful and we all parted company the morning after arrival. There has been a great group dynamic on this trip and we have had a wonderful time. Now we are on our own for a few extra days in Kathmandu to see more sites here and in the Kathmandu Valley.

    Today we visited the “Monkey Temple” – Swayambunath – which is situated on a lofty hilltop looking over Kathmandu and is a jumble of Buddhist and Hindu iconography; its nickname is due to the hundreds of rhesus macaque monkeys that seem to be everywhere. The Eastern Stairway is very steep and at the top you are greeted by a thunderbolt (dorje), the Buddhist symbol for enlightenment. The Swayambunath Stupa itself is huge, with its white dome representing the earth and its 13-tiered tower representing the 13 stages to Nirvana. The squiggle under the piercing eyes represents unity and the third eye represents all-seeing insight. There are thousands of prayer flags fluttering in the wind; there are many other religious monuments surrounding the Stupa. Further along, we descended slightly to the Buddha Amideva park and contributed to the Peace Pond by trying to throw coins into an aperture. Swayambunath is a must-see site in Kathmandu.
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