Swayambhunath means self incarnated and also known as Monkey temple as there are lots of holy monkeys. The history of Swayambhunath starts before the settlement began in the valley. According to the legend, the Bodhisattva Maha Manjushree had the vision of the lotus at Swayambhunath and traveled there for a prayer from great China. Later he realized Kathmandu had the possibilities of human settlement so he then cut the hill of chovar with his mighty sword to create a gorge, from where all the water from the valley drained. Once a lake, now the valley became accessible for Human settlement. Swayambhunath now a UNESCO world heritage site consists of various shrines and temples dated back to the ancient period. You can see the Valley from the top of a hillock. It lies just three kilometers west of the city center. The Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal & often visited by Hindus with huge respect. Thus, Swayambhunath has been a melting pot between Hinduism and Buddhism.