Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/227

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139
THE CHAITYA AND THE PAGODA

link which has at different times connected this independent State with the neighbouring Empire of Hindustan.

In the "Chaitya," or earlier and more purely Buddhist style of building, there are several interesting examples in the Valley, the two most famous being the temples of Shambu-Nāth and Bodhnāth, both situated near Katmandu. The former is the richer and more popular shrine, besides being built on a hill in a very picturesque and commanding position, but the latter, standing alone and in the centre of the open plain, has an impressive character of its own. Its main feature is the great pairs of eyes, figured high up on each face of the toran or square base of the spire, which gaze serenely over the smiling fields of the Valley, as they have done for a thousand years and more. For Bodhnāth is the largest and one of the oldest temples in Nepal, and before those impassive enamelled eyes has passed the ebb and flow of the country's history, its tribal battles, alien horsemen trampling down the golden grain growing up to its very wall, survivors