Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/42

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12
The Independent State of Nepal

reveals the ancient capital of Patan, the legendary outline of which is said to follow the peculiar curves of the sankra, or “shell,” another attribute of the same popular divinity. Three shallow streams can also be traced meandering past the towns and through the rice fields. These are the Baghmatti, the Vishnumatti, and the Manchra, which, flowing from north to south, before leaving the valley, unite and pass through a gorge in the south, ultimately joining the Gandak River in the plains of Hindustan. These are the main features of the valley, but many other interesting places are plainly visible from any commanding station in the surrounding hills. The position of some of the more important of these may be noted. About two miles east of Katmandu a conspicuous hill will be observed surmounted by an edifice with a gilt finial which glistens in the sunlight. This is the Buddhist temple of Shambu-Nath, one of the holiest shrines of Nepal. West of the same point and distant about eight miles, a somewhat similar hill and crowning structure marks the Hindu temple of Changu-Narain. The famous burn-