Swayambhunath (Devanagari: स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप; sometimes romanized Swoyambhunath) is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. The Tibetan name for the site means ‘Sublime Trees’ (Wylie:Phags.pa Shing.kun), for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Newari name for the complex, Singgu, meaning ‘self-sprung’. For the Buddhist Newars in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice, Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudhanath.
The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, there is something painted which looks like the nose – but is the Nepali symbol of ‘unity’, in the main Nepali language dialect. There are also shops, restaurants and hostels. The site has two access points: a long stairway, claimed to have 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the southwest entrance. The first sight on reaching the top of the stairway is the Vajra.
Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. They are holy because Manjushree, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swayambhunath Temple stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice transformed into these monkeys.
( Source : Wikipedia )
Alhamdulillah, saya telah kembali dari “Tanah Himalaya” dan ia ternyata menjadi salah satu pengembaraan yang meninggalkan banyak kenangan manis. Saya telah berhajat untuk pergi ke sana sejak 2010 selepas berbincang dengan kawan saya, Wazari Wazir (dia merupakan seorang jurugambar rasmi kerajaan di Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia). Sejak daripada itu, saya telah merancang untuk pergi ke sana tetapi ia agak sukar kerana beberapa sebab. Untuk pergi ke Nepal sebelum 2012, kita perlu mengambil penerbangan transit ke Bangkok atau Singapura, dan kemudian terus ke Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Tribhuvan, Kathmandu. Nasib baik, pada tahun 2012, kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan Malaysia iaitu MAS dan AirAsia telah menawarkan penerbangan terus ke Kathmandu.
Sebenarnya banyak juga halangan dan cabaran yang saya tempuhi untuk pergi ke Kathmandu ni. Dua hari sebelum saya nak ke sana, saya telah ditimpa demam yang teruk selama seminggu. Nasib baik sempat sembuh dan persiapan untuk ke sana dibuat secara tangkap muat sahaja. Bayangkan lah, nak trekking ke hutan, lampu suluh pun tak dibawa bersama :-). Itu belum lagi difikirkan pasal meninggalkan anak-anak yang ketiadaan ibunya kerana berkursus panjang. Namun, demi keinginan yang kuat untuk melihat banjaran Himalaya serta merasai sendiri keadaan kehidupan di sana secara lebih dekat, saya terpaksa mengetepikan emosi itu. Alhamdulillah, hasrat saya dipermudahkan dan anak-anak pun sihat walafiat ketika saya sampai di Malaysia, tanahair yang tercinta.
Alhamdulillah, I just came back from the “Land of Himalayas” and it turned out to be one of the most memorable travel ever. I have been dreaming to go there since 2010 after discussing with my friend, Wazari Wazir (he is an official government photographer at Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia). Since then, i was planning to go there but it’s quite difficult due to the some reasons. To go to Nepal before 2012, we have to take a transit flight to Bangkok or Singapore, and then direct to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Luckily, from 2012, both major Malaysian airplanes operator offer a direct flight to Kathmandu.
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
– Jon Krakauer –