Swyambhu, also known as the Monkey Temple (for good reason) was a spectacular place. It was one of the jewels in the Nepali crown.
These two monkeys were among the more comically cute monkeys we watched play on the pathway to the top.
We had the good fortune to visit this breathtaking place prior to the 2015 earthquakes.
The steps on the east side took you from the street level all the way to the top. It was quite a climb at an already high altitude.
365 steps later you get to see the amazing sight of Kathmandu from on high as Buddha’s eyes look out in all four directions of his sacred land.
Desperation is just as present here as in any other place of Nepal.
Some make their way here to capitalise on the passing tourism to make a living begging.
Once you made it to the top of the stairs the entry fee was to be paid at the ticket office in the left. This was a very small fee and we felt that it should have been more for what you got to see.
The view across Kathmandu was impressive. This sprawling city was truly a maze that even the most adventurous of Rogainers would find a challenge.
Prayer flags drifted on the winds as they slowly fell apart sending the prayers off into the universe on single threads.
Some brought finches and other birds to the top to set them free as a act of compassion that has been a part of the Buddhist philosophy for over 1,500 years.
Therapeutic treatments were available in the tiny nooks of the stalls and shops surrounding the stupa. One that caught my attention involved the use of singing bowls and moon bowls to balance the Chakras.
There was always something going on. Women carrying building materials from one place to another, banging of hammers, chanting, the sound of bells and screeching of monkeys.
On a later visit after the 2015 earthquakes we found that a lot of the complex had been destroyed.
The Monastery fell down the hill, the surrounding shops and cafes were uninhabitable, and the stupa was in disrepair.
The story was one that left me feeling cold as I could see people fleeing the top of the hill with crumbling structures falling down around them.
The path around the stupa was clear enough on our return for worshipers to fulfill their spiritual needs.
People worked away at fixing the damage and little by little you could see the site coming back to life.
It had been a while since the place was safe to visit. People had not been back to worship in a while and the debris had long settled.
One day soon the site would be back on the center of the stage.