Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/171

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A PICTURESQUE DHARMASALA

a brass tray on which are a bunch of marigolds, a lotah of milk, some spices, a few grains of rice, etc. These are put before the shrine, a short prayer murmured, and the party passes on. On one side a few disciples sit together and chant their mantras in a monotonous key, while in a small chapel—surrounded by an absorbed congregation of brightly clothed devotees—a priest in saffron garments and decked with garlands reads extracts from some holy book, and expounds these in a melodious voice. A background to this picture is the dharmasala, or pilgrims' quarters, around the courtyard, ornamented with a wooden arcade, richly carved and profusely decorated oriel windows. A quaint eave-board projects over this elevation, and the impression of this part is one of a mediæval medley—an irregular square of Old World half-timber houses, peaked gables, overhanging upper stories, red-tiled roofs, and all the picturesque features of a past age.

We paid our farewell visit to this wonderful temple by moonlight. Much of it was in deep shadow, relieved only by the flickering light