Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/117

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63
KATMANDU

over uneven pavements, quaint overshadowing roofs surmounting rich red brickwork walls, and ever and about a moving variegated crowd, the whole combination in its confusion of decoration, buildings, and people presenting a scene of unrivalled Orientalism—a piece of the medieval east itself. But a closer investigation indicates that this is but a screen to still more wonderful effects which lie behind these picturesque bazaars. For here and there, through carved and corrugated old archways, are glimpses of courtyards and shrines, containing idols smeared with vermilion and ghee, festooned with flowers, and framed with burnished brass ornament which rambles and riots over the temple fronts—"this way and that in many a wild festoon"—delightful conglomerations of bright colour, rich shadows, flickering sunlight, religious devotion and unmitigated dirt, the last not the least striking of them all.

The graphic imagination of the Newar has enabled him to see in the plan of each of these cities a religious symbol; Bhatgaon is said to resemble the conch or shell of Vishnu