Attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath Stupa

The Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the crowning glories of Kathmandu Valley architecture. This perfectly proportioned monument rises through a whitewashed dome to a gilded spire, from where four iconic faces of the B…
Buddhist Monument in Swayambhunath

Stupa Platform

The great stupa is surrounded on all sides by a veritable sculpture garden of religious monuments. Several buildings were destroyed by the earthquake and rebuilding will continue for some years, but it's still a cha…
Museum in Swayambhunath

National Museum

Around 800m south of Swayambhunath at Chhauni, this sprawling museum set in a walled compound looks a little moth-eaten and overgrown, but there are some fabulous treasures on dusty display and it never gets crowded…
Buddhist Monument in Swayambhunath

Eastern Stairway

There are two ways to approach Swayambhunath Temple, but by far the most atmospheric is the stone pilgrim stairway that climbs the eastern end of the hill. Constructed by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century, this …
Buddhist Monument in Swayambhunath

Great Thunderbolt

At the top of the eastern stairway is an enormous, brass-plated dorje (thunderbolt), one of the core symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. Known as a vajra in Sanskrit, the thunderbolt is a Tantric symbol of the power of enl…
Buddhist Stupa in Swayambhunath

Western Stupa

If you follow either path leading west from the main stupa, you will reach a smaller stupa near the tourist parking. Just behind is a gompa surrounded by rest houses for pilgrims and an important shrine to Saraswati…
Buddhist Statue in Swayambhunath

Buddha Amideva Park

This compound frequented by Tibetan pilgrims contains three enormous shining golden statues of Sakyamuni Buddha, a four-armed Chenresig and Guru Rinpoche, constructed in 2003.
Museum in Swayambhunath

Military Museum

Opposite the National Museum in an army compound, this will likely appeal only to fans of military history. Lined up on parade outside the museum are a two-person tank, Nepal’s first ever Rolls-Royce, gifted by Quee…
Museum in Swayambhunath

Natural History Museum

Below Swayambhunath, on the road to the tourist parking, this neglected museum offers a faded but quirky collection of exhibits, including varnished crocodiles, model dinosaurs and mounted animal heads that look sus…