Monkey Temple in Kathmandu

monkey temple in kathmandu

One place I was a little apprehensive about going to was Monkey Temple, more formally known as Swayambhunath. I’m not a huge fan of monkeys to be honest. They’re beyond cute but in our travels we’ve come across one two many aggressive ones and seen one too many tourist get chased (which I’ll admit is secretly a little entertaining to watch, as long as it’s not us!). But while I’m not a huge fan of monkeys the monkeys here had more personality than I’ve seen before. They were running around playing with cd’s and my favorite was when one young monkey decided to make a nearby puppy his play-thing while he tugged on his tail and chased him around.

Monkey Temple is located at the top of a hill near the center of Kathmandu and offers incomparable views of the city below. On a clear day you can even see the Himalayas from the top. The main attraction is the giant white stupa in the center of the temple with prayer wheels, prayer flags and the infamous eyes of Nepal painted near the top. It actually got it’s name from an old legend that Majusri, the bodhisattva (an enlightened being) of wisdom and learning was raised on this hill. He grew his hair long, had lice and the lice then turned into all of the monkeys found on top of the hill. Hence, Monkey Temple. Makes you think twice about the cute little creatures doesn’t it?

monkey temple

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  • http://www.scatteredseashells.com/ Chantal

    I don’t like monkeys!

  • http://www.gutenblogyall.com/ Margo

    Such an interesting place.. and story. I’m a bit so-so about monkeys ever since visiting Miyajima Island in Japan. I was warned perhaps too many times not to look at them directly otherwise they’ll get angry.

  • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene Spence

    I vote cute, but I have heard some stories of monkeys being mean so I would be a bit nervous about that.

  • http://www.hopeengaged.blogspot.com/ Katie Cook

    Haha the first time I saw them at Swaymbou, I thought cute, the next time I thought creepy hahha!!! You guys are seriously TOO CUTE!!

  • Mar

    Um, is that a monkey and a dog? So cute! But, monkeys are so smart sometimes they do scare me. I would love to visit this place though.

  • Brittny McLeod

    We visited the Monkey Forest in Bali. The monkeys were adorable! But we were def warned before we entered that the monkeys will steal anything they can from you and give it to a shopkeeper who you then have to pay to get your stuff back. Unfortunately it was pouring the day we went so we didn’t get to explore that much.

    Brittny
    http://www.awrittenjourney.com

  • http://www.pinchoflyss.blogspot.com/ Alyssa Dillon

    I went here when I was in Nepal! A monkey literally stole a Diet Coke from my hand. Its ok, I’m not bitter…

  • Casey

    So funny because I love monkeys and we wanted to bad to play with them all that we saw in India.

  • http://chemgradboom.com/ Caitlyn @ ChemGradBoom

    I could see where monkeys would not be cute chasing you. But seemed that the pics you shared they are adorable!

  • http://luyoutravel.blogspot.com/ Elizabeth Georgian

    The photo of the monkey petting (i think it is petting) the dog is just adorable!

  • http://electricplumage.oceanofstreams.org/ Lila

    I loved visiting the Monkey Temple when I was in Kathmandu but I agree, monkeys are annoying little creatures. Nepal was my first trip outside of the US and it started a lifelong hatred of all things monkey-like :)

  • Julie

    In general, I think monkeys aren’t cute, and a little gross, eating each other’s body bugs. lol I’ve heard stories of the monkeys here in Rio getting aggressive, but we’ve only had fun, tame interactions with them (feeding them fruit). Actually they’ve been a little timid and shy. But they mostly stick to the trees. But I think I’d be like you – a little wary of walking around that temple with the monkeys on the ground everywhere…

  • Casey C

    Cute AND creepy. It depends on how you run into them…or at least it does for me. We saw monkeys on leashes in Marrakech and they totally freaked me out. Probably because there were teenagers walking them around a busy square, but nevertheless, creepy. I love those prayer flags, though! Very cool!