14 October 2010


Sorry for the long delay between blog posts. Between work and coaching, I can hardly find the time to do anything these days. To make things worse, the wife is still off in Africa with no internet access, so I'm on blog duty by myself. I'll try and get a few posts down and scheduled and stay ahead of the game.

Back to Nepal....lets see...oh yes, Swayambhunath.

Swayambhunath is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu valley west of Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temple, as there are monkeys running and jumping all over the place.The Tibetan name translates to "Sublime Trees"...its a peaceful wooded place....with lots of monkeys.

To say this temple is on top of a hill is a bit of an understatement.

There are a series of long sets of steps that get steeper and steeper....we were drenched in sweat, but the scenery was so amazing we didn't care.

You start off at the bottom of the hill and go through a bunch of gates.

Large statues are always fun, especially when your traveling companion agrees to sit for dorky photos.

The color enhancing setting on my camera got used quite a bit. Here is yellow.

Thank Buddha! The climb is almost over!

Once up top, there are great views from all sides. There are troupes of monkeys hanging out here and there, and quite a few mangy dogs laying about, but somehow it all works.

You can look over all of Kathmandu...and on a clear day (not this day) you get a good view of the Himalayas.

According to Swayambhu Purana, the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning "Self-Created."
The Bodhisatva Manjushri had a vision of the lotus at Swayambhu and traveled there to worship it. Seeing that the valley can be good settlement and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, Manjushri cut a gorge at Chovar. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower become the Swayambhunath stupa.

On top of the hill, besides the stupa, there a variety of temples, a small monastery and of course some small shops.

Kathmandu is a great place to visit, and Swayambhunath was well worth the climb. A great day indeed.

More to come from India & Nepal soon.

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