Global Treasures SWAYAMBHUNATH Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
On top of a hill, west of the town of Kathmandu, is one of the most important and fascinating Buddhist settlements in Nepal, Swayambhunath, ''Monkey Temple''. Numerous legends exist with regards to the construction of this sanctuary. The oldest written record of it discovered so far dates back to the 5th century.
Today, it is accepted that most of the present construction of Swayambhunath was ordered by a king in the 17th century. In the course of time, the monument was rebuilt several times, as the upper part of the Stupa was frequently damaged by storm and earthquake. Today, galleries of prayer wheels surround the sanctuary and, while the faithful walk around the Stupa, they move the prayer mills in order to augment their prayers.
Under the rule of Pratap Malla, it was not only numerous impressive buildings and religious works of art that were created. History records that the king was an instigator of many strange traditions and cults. In addition to the shrines that are dedicated to the four points of the compass, Pratap Malla also ordered the construction of a subterranean building, ‘The Hidden City’.
The impressive Stupa of Swayambhunath sits high above the throngs with timeless, peaceful and powerful grace, like the eyes of a Buddha who sees all!
Global Treasures - History''s Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa''s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world''s heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.