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June 13, 2019

Swayambhunath: Where Buddha Meets…

Swoyambhunath Stupa, world heritage site in Nepal
Swoyambhunath Stupa, world heritage site in Nepal

“Self-Sprung, Self-Manifested or Self-Existent” is the virtual meaning of the word Swayambhu as the legend has that in the ancient time Swayambu looked like an island that budded on a lotus flower, grown in the middle of a lake which spread across the Kathmandu valley.

It is said that when Buddha visited this place, he pronounced that it was a wish-fulfilling stupa and anyone touched by the wind that blows after touching the stupa would be emancipated from the cycle of life.

The pond is related to another legend which says that a Chinese Buddhist monk named Manjushree arrived at the edge of the lake and drained off the water towards Chobar by cutting the edge of the pond with his magical sword.

The place where the lotus settled is said to be the original place of Swayambhu. Several Chaityas, Shrines, and monasteries are also be seen in the vicinity and a panoramic view of Kathmandu can be seen through a telescope.

Swayanbhunath stupa-one of the world heritages recognized by UNESCO in Nepal was built by King Manadeva in the 13th Century, 460 AD over 2000 years ago.

It is 3 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Astray monkeys are found in plenty around this stupa. That’s why this temple is also known as “Monkey Temple” These monkeys are not at all scary about the movement of the people around.

Even if the stupa is built on a hilltop, you need not worry as your vehicle can reach up to the base of the Swayambhu stupa and then can walk for hardly 3-4 minutes to reach on the top.

Devotees are seen circumambulating the stupa all the time by touching the prayer wheels installed at the base. It is believed that circumambulating around the stupa along with prayer wheels would exonerate individual sins. Swayambhu is a center of purity and reverence for all believers of Buddhism as well as non-believers.

It is one of the hubs of tourist destinations for all tourists who happen to visit Kathmandu before they go for any other sightseeing, trekking, hiking or expeditions in Nepal.

Both Buddhists, Hindus and lovers of a scenic view of nature and Kathmandu valley prefer to spare some time and walk up to this stupa to be free from hustle and bustle of life in Kathmandu town.

Be cautious to carry edible things with you as any hungry monkeys loitering around the staircases that lead you up to stupa might jump up from some corners and snatch away the eatable things from your hands.

The Importance of the Stupa

To see or visit stupa is believed to be the same as meeting Buddha in person because the stupa epitomizes Buddha’s mind. It is also said that just touching a stupa, seeing, hearing about, ruminating upon upholds peace and even spiritual release and can relieve an individual of his or her mental problems, sickness, and conflicts.

Buddha’s Eye

Buddha’s eye is painted on the top of the stupa which can be seen straightforward in front while walking up the long row of steps.

Buddha’s Eye keeps starring at the visitors who stroll around the stupa. The eye does not discriminate you, whether you have come here for fun for religious intent.

Five shrines representing Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasidhi, and Vairocana are seen side by side.

Manjushri Shrine

Manjushri shrine erected very close to Swayambhu, where Buddhist monk Manjushri stood to drain the lake water. His footprints on the sacred ground are tangible. This spot marks the birthplace of Kathmandu valley that later turned into the capital of modern Nepal.

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