Kathmandu - Swayambhu Stupa
Swayambhunath is an ancient Buddhists stupa, three km west of downtown Kathmandu, said to be 2,000 years old. On this Stupa, which is surrounded by over 200 pray wheels, are the famous all seeing eyes of Buddha, which are an easily recognizable.
What looks like a nose is the Nepali number one, which represents the unity of all things. Swayambhunath is on top of a 77m (240 feet) hill. It takes about 20 minutes to walk up the more than 350 stairs. There is an excellent view of the Kathmandu valley and the surrounding mountains from here. There are many monkeys here who may try to grab things that people are holding especially food. There is an entry fee of Rs 50 if you enter from the western side where the car park is located, but there is no entry fee if you climb the eastern stairs.
The Kathmandu Valley is believed by geologists to have been a huge lake and the Swayambhunath was an island in the lake. It is said that Emperor Ashok visited this place 2000 years ago. King Manadeva instructed that some work by done here in 460 AD. It has an important Buddhist site by the 13th century. Muslims invaders broke open the stupa in 1346. In the 17t century the stairway up to the stupa was constructed by King Pratap Malla. From the hill where Swayambhunath is located there on great views of the valley and Kathmandu. In the evening it is very interesting.