Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/232

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144
THE ARTS OF THE NEWARS

and its romantic position. With the Valley interlaced by its rivers, and the city of Katmandu shimmering below, it presents a picture full of interest and beauty. To the student of art this collection of shrines and temples, encrusted with carved ornament and metal figures, is a complete museum of the æsthetic handiwork of a golden age when priest and craftsman collaborated in the glorification of their gods. Signs of earnest belief in the national faith are in strong evidence at this popular shrine, and indications of religion, being an important part of the life of the people, are not wanting at any hour of the day. Groups of brightly clad Newars, and their still more gaily dressed womenfolk, are constantly moving about among the carved lotus pillars and metal images, circumambulating the great Chaitya, or paying their respects to the image of some favourite saint, while the droning of the priestly ritual near the "holy of holies" is never silent. At this sacred spot is an upper room, "dark to all the world," except for one small pale blue lambent flame floating on a surface of oil, "just as the light of Adi Buddha