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Nepal > Pictures and travelogues > Pictures from Kathmandu, Nepal

Pictures from Kathmandu, Nepal: Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu, Prayer Wheels and Statue of the Buddha in Swayambhunath (Kathmandu), Durbar Square and Kala Bhairava in Kathmandu.     

Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu in Nepal
Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu in Nepal.                   ©

Swayambhunath is one of the the oldest religious sites in Nepal. It is located atop a hill west of Kathmandu city (Kathmandu Valley). The place is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus.

The Swayambhunath complex consists of the ancient stupa, a variety of shrines and temples (incl. the Anantapur Temple and the Sitala Pagoda), and a much more recent Tibetan monastery. Like the Boudhanath stupa which is located in northeastern Kathmandu, the Swayambhunath stupa is a major tourist destination in Kathmandu. It is also commonly known as the Monkey Temple as there are many monkeys living in the area.

See the big gilded vajra in front of the stupa. 

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest urban agglomeration of Nepal. Kathmandu is situated in the Kathmandu Valley in the Himalayas, at about 1400 metres amsl. The historical sites of the Katmandu Valley (incl. Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, and Changu Narayan) have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by Unesco.

Prayer Wheels  in Swayambunath in Kathmandu, Nepal
Prayer Wheels in Swayambunath in Kathmandu, Nepal.                                       ©

Statue of the Buddha in Swayambhunath (Kathmandu)
One of the 3 statues of the Buddha at the foot of the Swayambhunath hill in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Durbar square and Kala Bhairava in Kathmandu, Nepal
Durbar square and Kala Bhairava in Kathmandu, Nepal.         ©

The Durbar Square (the square of the former Royal Palace) of Kathmandu is located in the old city and has many heritage buildings, including the Kasthamandap, the Kumari Ghar, the Shiva-Parvati Temple, the Taleju Temple, the Mahendreshvara Mandir, and the Hanuman Dhoka.


Bhairava, the god of destruction, is the fierce manifestation of Shiva and an important deity of the Newars in Nepal. Kala Bhairava in the Durbar Square of Kathmandu is a massive stone statue of Shiva in his frightening aspect. It was believed that people die if they speak false in front of this sculpture of Kala Bhairava.

The Kumari Ghar located just near Durbar Square is home to the Kumari of Kathmandu. The Kumari is a very young pre-pubescent girl who has been selected usually from the Shakya caste. She must meet 32 strict criteria, including a test of being in a room with dead sacrificed buffalo and not crying.  


The Kumari is revered as living goddess. She is believed to be the reincarnation of the Goddess Taleju until she menstruates. A serious loss of blood from an injury may also cause her to revert to common status and return to the family. Although Nepal is now a Maoist republic, the centuries-old tradition of worshipping a young virgin as living goddess has survived. It is also a major tourist attraction of Kathmandu.


Kathmandu city
official site of kathmandu metropolitan city with information about the city, the festivals and the world heritage sites.

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Pictures from Kathmandu, Nepal: Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu, Prayer Wheels and Statue of the Buddha in Swayambhunath (Kathmandu), Durbar Square and Kala Bhairava in Kathmandu, Nepal travel guide.