SWAYAMBHUNATH STUPA - NEPAL
Swayambhunath means "The self created, Self-existent Buddha." The myth tells the story of the primordial Buddha's enlightenment and the spread of Buddhism in Nepal. Swayambhunath is often called the "monkey temple" because there are a great many monkeys roaming the temple grounds, locates on a large hill west of Kathmandu, believed to have once been an island in the Kathmandu valley when it was filled with water thousands of years ago. It is said that the emperor Asoka visited here over two thousand years ago. An inscription records that King Manadeva worked on the site in the year 460. The present stupa was rebuilt in the 14th century after Mughal invaders broke open the original in 1346 (they were searching for gold). The stupa was expanded in the 17th century by King Pratap Malla, who added a large stairway.