Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/143

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81
THE CITY OF CUT NOSES

decorative emblems known as the "Thunderbolts of Indra." Every shrine is doubly, and often trebly, guarded by pairs of grotesque beasts, whose appearance suggests that they resemble more the advanced outposts of the infernal regions rather than defenders of a sanctuary.

A city of the name of Kirtipur, situated some three miles to the north of Katmandu, contains also much that is interesting, and many records of the old order that has now changed. Its history is one of the most gruesome in the annals of the State, and is contained in the one word—the name which it was condemned to bear by its ruthless conquerors—Naskatpur, or "the City of the Cut Noses." Owing to its almost impregnable position on the crest of a hill between two and three hundred feet above the level of the surrounding plain, and also to the bravery of its citizens, it made a gallant resistance against the Gurkha invaders in 1765, but was eventually betrayed into the hands of the enemy. In one of the engagements, Surpratap Sah, a brother of the Gurkha leader, Prithi Narain, lost one of his eyes, and