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Swayambhunath!

Written on: Tuesday June 19th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

The Monkey Temple - does what it says on the tin. A temple, with plenty of monkeys! Sounds simple, but it's hard to describe how amazing this place was!! When we first arrived, we paid 100 r/s to enter ('foreigners' have to pay everywhere, haha!) and walked through an ornate gate into the first courtyard. There were a couple of statues here, all with the painted 'Buddha' eyes - 2 slanted eyes, with the Nepali number 1 (which looks like a 9) as a nose - supposedly to represent the unity of life. The World Peace Pond, with a golden statue also had a place at this point. Surrounding the courtyard were the bog standard stalls, selling bags, khukuri knives, small wooden carvings etc etc. Avoiding the sellers who were trying their best to persuade us that actually, yes we did want 8 silver bangles (really, no, we're not interested!), we made our way up the stairs to see the main temple!  Even this was not simple, as beggars lined the sides of the staircases, pleading for money. It can be hard to ignore them, but everywhere in Kathmandu there are signs saying to discourage begging, so we have not donated any cash!

Once we got to the top, we were treated with the main temple - a large golden peak, with huge painted eyes. It is really difficult to describe what the temple looked like, but I do have lots of pictures that I will try to add eventually! From the very top of the tower, coloured flags are strung all across the sky. I have no idea how they managed to get them there, but they look pretty impressive! 

Now if you're wondering about the monkeys, they weren't really hanging around at the top of the temple today, but we did manage to see them when we walked to another area! They aren't shy at all, and you can get really close to them before they disappear! We got loads of great pictures, and one particularly amusing video of a group of monkeys (Shannon you should know the collective term?) playing near some miniature statues, including a couple of babies! It was great!

WE walked back down the hill, and came across another place that we had spotted on the taxi ride up - Amideba Buddha park. It has 3 huge statues, one of which is Lord Buddha. We saw quite a few Buddhist monks in this area, some praying, others just walking around, but it was amazing. 

On Thursday we are going to Chitwan National Park, so should have loads to write about then!

 

xxxx 

 

 

From shanni on Jun 20th, 2007

Troop. :D

From kim on Jun 22nd, 2007

Ha! I knew you'd know Shanni! :) xx