Kathmandu - Swayambunath

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Swayambunath. 31 August 2013

Swayambu is walkable from the Utse but we’ve had enough of walking and take an early taxi. It’s a Saturday and very busy. Swayambunath is a delightful, madly busy and chaotic collection of temples at the top of a hill, a vibrant mix of Buddhist and Hindu. People are spinning the prayer wheels, performing pujas with offerings of food and incense at various shrines; singing, drumming groups of men and women are processing round the main stupa; two men on top of the main stupa are white washing it with long brushes - you can pay a few rupees to add your blessing to the white wash.

The Buddhist gompa is a welcome place of quiet wher you can light a butter lamp. Up some stairs behind there’s an excellent little cafe with a balcony that looks out over a nearby hill covered in prayer flags. If you can tear yourself away from the vibrant life of Swayambu you can walk there and complete a short kora. The cafe has probably the cleanest toilet in Kathmandu. In the other direction there are splendid views over Kathmandu. After a morning at Swayambu we head out to Patan for the night.

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