Saturday, October 22, 2011

Look Down, Look Up

Hailing a cab we head out to Swayambhunath, one of world’s most glorious, ancient, enigmatic and the holiest of Buddhist Chaityas. (a shrine that includes a stupa)

Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a soaring compound which according to legend rose spontaneously out of the lake that was in the Kathmandu Valley. There are two ways to approach the temple: the steep stone pilgrim stairway constructed in the 1600's with approximately 365 steps, mobbed by troops of rhesus macaques, or the bus park near the top of the hill.

Look Down

Look Up

"This perfectly proportioned monument seems to hint of some celestial perfection with its gleaming gilded spire and white washed dome. "
 All four sides display the eyes of Buddha. Ek, the Nepali number for one appears as the squiggle below the eyes, signifying unity. Between the eyebrows the circular protuberance is the third eye symbolizing the insight of Buddha.

Look Up Some More

Look Way Up

Now Look Down

And Around

And finally not to forget the true residents of the Monkey Temple. The only primates with a broader geographic distribution than rhesus macaques are humans. The Hindus regard these monkeys as holy. 
PS - these holy monkeys can bite! 


  1. Wonderful pictures, Mom! I'm really getting a flavor of the places - what an adventure!!

  2. You are such a good photographer and blogger. It's "almost" like being there. What a wonderful adventure!