Idea #766 – Meeting the Sacred Monkeys at Swayambhunath Temple in Nepal
Perched on a hill northwest of Kathmandu, the Buddhist temple of Swayambunath is undoubtedly one of the oldest places of worship in the valley: it dates back more than 2,000 years! This place, revered by all, later became one of the main Buddhist sites. It also became the favorite haunt of sacred monkeys, which also earned it the name “Monkey Temple”.
These monkeys, of the rhesus macaque species, are common from Afghanistan to northern India, as well as in southern China. They measure from 45 to 64 centimeters, with a tail reaching 30 centimeters. Males weigh an average of 7.7 kg and females 5.3 kg. They have a brown to gray color, and their face is pinkish.
Although they are mostly herbivores, rhesus are known for their tendency to move from rural areas to urban areas, coming in particular to search garbage dumps, thus changing their diets. These monkeys have developed storage pouches in their cheeks, which allow them to store food and run away to eat the harvested food, later, in safety. While females are placid, males are generally rambunctious; they amuse us, and sometimes…
Where is it ?
Temple de Swayambunath, Kathmandu, Népal