Swayambhunath

This is an ancient temple found on top of a little hill built in the 5th century AD. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal with temples scattered around the complex as well as a monastery. Holy monkeys also live in the area that’s why it is also known as Monkey Temple.

There are two ways to get to the temple. You can climb up the 360 steps to the top OR drive towards the parking lot and enter at the other side. I opted for option number 2. 🙂 The driver dropped us off the entry way and after paying the entrance fee, Dinesh (my tour guide) and I went in the complex.

WC_Buddha w bowl

There’s a pond with the statue of the Buddha and a golden bowl at it’s feet. Some people would throw coins for good luck and they try to shoot it in the bowl for better luck i presume. The monkeys also do get to enjoy the pond, not for swimming but for drinking the water.

I saw some stupas with the eyes painted on all 4 sides and I said to myself, “Is this it?!” We continued to walk and I listened to Dinesh while he explained the history of the place then we went up a flight of stairs. I saw shops and cafes and I thought we are just going to look at the view of Kathmandu. I was in for a surprise!

There it was! The huge Swayambhunath stupa and a huge grin spread across my face. I must have looked funny so I told Dinesh that I thought it was the stupa by the entrance gate and he laughed.

We went around the stupa and I saw the most breathtaking view. It’s the panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley. I heard that sunset is really beautiful here, now that’s something that can make me come back and visit again. 🙂

_______

I booked my tour with Alpine Club of Himalaya. Thanks to Sujan for all the help and for allowing me to personalise my tour.

Advertisements

Photo of the Day – Laotian Smile

I was walking towards the Pha That Luang temple and the sun was shining so bright at 4pm in the afternoon. I am just staying in Vientiane for 6 hours (check out my post here – Backpacking Laos: Vientiane) and I took the time to check out the famous sights. When I was taking a photograph of the temple, a lady vendor approached me speaking in Lao and I just smiled coz I can only say sabaidee and khawp jai. She was selling ice cream and it was pretty tempting because it was very hot and I was just resting under the shade of a tree. So I bought 1 stick of local ice cream (it was yummy) and I asked permission if I can take her picture. She agreed and gave a shy laugh when she saw her picture on the camera screen. To the lady vendor, khawp jai for the tasty ice cream and for the photo! 🙂

Photo of the Day – Saying A Little Prayer

Exploring the streets of Singapore, I came across this temple with colorful and intricate designs. I stopped to admire the place when I noticed a man sitting silently in one corner with his head slightly bowed. I looked at him more closely and noticed that he was actually praying. I walked around the temple taking photos and he continued to pray without opening his eyes. This was the last shot I took before leaving the temple. I do hope his prayers will be answered.