Swayambhunath is situated approximately 4 KM west from tourist centre Thamel and this Buddhist Stupa is said to be 2000 years old. This is a place that offers one of the definitive experiences in Kathmandu. This sacred locale, a monkey temple, is always mobbed by monkeys and is a chaotic jumble of Hindu and Buddhist iconography. A gleaming white Stupa makes for its centre and is topped by a gilded spire painted with the eyes of the Buddha. What makes it an absorbing experience are the ancient carvings made into every spare inch of space and the smell of incense and butter lamps hanging heavy in the air.