The Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
We know it as the Monkey Temple.
It is a religious complex and major tourist attraction sitting on a hilltop in the capital of what was once a Hindu kingdom. It is home to one of the holiest Buddhist stupas in Nepal. But the Buddhist stupa (or place of meditation) is surrounded by Hindu temples. Not to mention hundreds of what are considered “holy” monkeys.
Swayambhunath – the Monkey Temple’s real name – is a place of worship for Buddhist and Hindu, alike. “There are some similar Hindu gods and Buddhist, too,” said brother Megh Gurung, our co-worker in Nepal.
Many Buddhists and Hindus visit Swayambhunath each day. They celebrate this as a symbol of religious harmony in a place where Christians are persecuted.
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