Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/294

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186
SKETCHES

Superior" from Tibet, who lives in a vihar or monastic residence of his own situated in the vicinity of the temple. "This Lama is deputed by the religious authorities at Lhassa to watch over the spiritual interests of the numerous Tibetans who annually visit Nepal, and also to exercise a general superintendence over the repairs and expenditure of the two great Buddhist temples of Kasha (Bodhnāth) and Shambu-Nāth, which are the repositories of the sacred fire" (Oldfield). A number of vihars or monasteries, both large and small, are to be found scattered about the Valley, and several of these appear to be connected, in a greater or lesser degree, with the parent order in Tibet. Patan, ever the stronghold of Buddhism in Nepal, supports at least fifteen large and distinct vihars at the present day, all of which are buildings possessing characteristic architecture and a wealth of decorative accessories. Probably the most interesting, and, according to its records, the oldest building in the city, is the "Unko Vihar," or, to give this monastery its full name, the "Rudra Varna Maha Vihar." It