Photo-Essay: Breathtaking Evening Skyline Views from Swayambhunath Temple

Categories Asia, Destinations, Kathmandu, Nepal, Photoblogs

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The Swayambhunath Temple or the ‘Monkey Temple’ is believed to have self-manifested from a lotus flower which formed a part of the lake that spread across the erstwhile Kathmandu valley. Placed on top of a hill, the visit to Swayambhunath Temple blesses one with spectacular panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley.

A Warm Welcome by the Monkeys at the Entrance


Swayambhunath Temple is among the most auspicious and important spiritual center for the Buddhist people of Nepal. We visited the Swayambhunath Temple in the evening, when the twilight was just setting in. Here’s a photo journey of the spell-binding moments of the Kathmandu valley.

Entrance Fees: NRs. 50/- (SAARC Countries)

NRs. 200/- (Non SAARC Countries)

The Buddha Idol at the Entrance
Walking up the Swayambhunath Temple Stairs

At the entrance of the Swayambhunath Temple is this serene idol of Buddha in his meditative posture. At one corner of the entrance you will also find a water fountain where the monkeys flock, making it almost impossible for the travelers to stand and take pictures.

The evening views captured on the way

There are two different staircases to climb up the temple and the one to the right of the entrance or the West side is rather gradual. It also has occasional pit stops if you want to rest for a while and enjoy the views.

SwayambhunathIt is a nice idea to halt for a moment, turn around and catch the skyline behind, as the sun prepares to set on the town.

The Swayambhunath Stupa on Top

The ornate carvings on the temple. My daughter Sharbani poses her everlasting smile

Once you are there, you can witness the Swayambhunath Stupa placed compact, with other structures. The walls and doors reflect intricate carvings, showcasing the diligent and dexterous work of the ancient artists.


Om Mane Padme Hum – the prayer wheels rotate to maintain peace and harmony in the universe

The prayer wheels run all around the periphery of the stupa. A set of five small temples called the Dhyani Buddha are placed along the periphery, with golden gilt doors and netted facade gate in front of these temples. Inside these small temples, the priests light up the evening oil lamps as a part of their daily evening rituals. All the while, the monkeys are busy rejoicing and creating ruckus, although they do not attack the visitors here.

The 13 spires to enlightenment

At the top of the monumental stupa, the meditative eyes of the Buddha gleams back on its visitors. The sun makes way for the evening to set in and the moon gently orients itself at the crown of the Stupa. Numerous colour flags hang down from the top of the crown. From the top of the Stupa is a metal spire made of 13 discs that represent the 13 steps to enlightenment.

What else you see here

SwayambhunathWith the onset of the day end, it is time for the priests at the Harati Devi Temple to light up the butter lamps whose fragrance fills up the surroundings.

Shri Karma Raj Mahavihar Monastery

This giant effigy of Buddha under reconstruction and restoration work a part of the Shri Karma Raj Mahavihar Monastery. Wrapped in saffron robe, it is a massive idol made of shining gilded copper drawn to perfect symmetry.

The 365 stairs entry gate

The entry to the Stupa is through this near vertical stairs from the Eastern side. Sitting on the stairs, it feels as if you are almost about to lose your steps to stumble down. Right in front of this entry is a giant size metal vajra. 

Panoramic Kathmandu Valley

The top of the temple gives a panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley and the numerous lights glitter up with the evening setting in. Stop here for a moment and let the beauty fill in your inner soul.

The night sets in

Finally, the night sets in. But the dusk still remains at a distance. At a distance, the ridge lines are clearly visible, and the Kathmandu valley prepares for the night.

Hi, I am Rajat, and I travel. It started as a hobby and soon became an addiction. Now, it is a compulsion. I travel to learn, to explore, to click and to dream. Join my journey as I take you along the roads less ventured.. and create memorable experiences.

4 thoughts on “Photo-Essay: Breathtaking Evening Skyline Views from Swayambhunath Temple

    1. No, not as much. They were busy playing on their own. But they do jump on the monuments, in between the walking spaces, on the temple tops and some times step in the way. Only thing is that no one accidentally steps on them. It was similar in the Pashupatinath Temple too…. 🙂

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