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Swayambhunath stupa

sunny 22 °C

Today as we had been working for 9 days in a trot I decided to take the kids to the monkey temple otherwise known as swayanbunath… It is located in the north west of Kathmandu about 20 minutes drive from Thamel…. We took a micro to Thamel and then a taxi to the temple… There were a few guides trying to take us round and we took one that looked nice and for 300 rupees you get an hour tour…. You go through a lovely gate and look up to at least 100 steps up in the sky, at the top of which the oldest stupa in Nepal….
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The steps were hard and borded by craftmen and souvenir shops and snacks shops .. This seemed crazy as monkeys are everywhere and if you come with a plastic bag they will try to grab it off you and if you come with food same thing they will try to steal it from you. There was a very funny monkey that was trying to drink out of a plastic bottle which had a hole at the bottom… he was so so funny…
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We walked the steps very very slowly and came up to the temple area. There were originally 2 twin towers on each side of the stupa, both built by the king, one he gave to his wife. Unfortunately there was a thunder that crushed one of the tower and it is now in bits. The oldest stupa stands in the middle of the complex… surrounded by other temples and Buddhists monasteries.
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We went to the monastery the closest to the temple and spoke with the monk inside. He told us that at the age of 12 he was sold to the temple by his parents who could not feed him. He was hardly educated and was now 26. Makes you wonder about the good of the religious orders sometimes. Similarly we saw some kids making bow and arrows and we went to see them to see if we could do some with them.. Again we asked them about their lives and they were all 8 or 9 years old and were in year 2 and one of them was 15 and was in year 5. The kids were sweet and showed us how to make a bow and arrow and Teo and Hayden had a go at shooting with those the apprentice monks had made. Next to the stupa was a temple dedicated to children and a priest was making offerings for a family. The guide told us that if you had a poorly child you would come here and pay the priest to do a prayer for you.
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There was a lot of other temples behind the stupas and the guide explained that they were tombs for the riches… We walked to the side of the stupa and went to the golden temple which is in fact a golden statue in the middle of a little pond. At the bottom of the statue is a urn where you throw some money in it … if you reach the middle of the urn you are very lucky. So Harry our guide went to get some coins and gave some to the kids. Hayden threw the first coin which fell in the water. He threw the second coin without looking and it fell in the urn!... Teo tried but did not manage to throw it in the urn. Harry threw some coins and he managed to get his second coin in.
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We walked to the third temple called the education temple where the kids give rice and some pencils a specific day a year to be good at their grades…. We then walked back to the temple where Harry left us and we went wandering around a little longer. On the way down we bought some craft material which are used for embroidery. I thought we could use this to embroider the bags made by the Dallu mothers in the orphanage. We bought 2 sets of embroidery kits as well as the colours of the logo. We then walked back and went to Thamel to get the laundry and change the camera.

Posted by ealonso 00:13 Archived in Nepal Tagged swayambhunath

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