SWOYAMBHUNATH: (UNESCO-Heritage Site) Swoyambhu literally means Self-Existent One. Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. According to translations from an inscription dating back to 460 A.D., it was built by King Manadeva and by the 13th century, Swoyambhunath had developed into an important center of Buddhism. Legend has it that Swoyambhu was born out of a lotus flower that bloomed in the middle of the lake which the Kathmandu valley once was. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal was recently built on the western boundary of Swoyambhu. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri or Saraswati - the Goddess of learning. Chaityas, statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities fill the stupa complex. The base of the hill is almost entirely surrounded by prayer wheels that were recently installed. Devotees can be seen circumambulating the stupa at all times. The stupa sits atop the hill and the exceedingly steep stone steps leading up to the shrine is quite a challenge. However there is also a road going up almost to the top and you can drive up. A large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath through out the day. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe religious harmony in Nepal. Some important monuments to see in this area: The huge gold plated Vajra thunderbolt set in the east side of the stupa. Buddha statue on the west side of Swoyambhu. The sleeping Buddha. The temple dedicated to Harati, the goddess of all children. It is said that she was an ogress before Lord Buddha converted her to be the caretaker of all children. The Dewa Dharma Monastery, noted for a bronze icon of Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings.