Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/124

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68
THE CITIES OF THE VALLEY

of this tower, and while it was far from reaching its present height, Jung out of bravado offered to jump with his horse from the unfinished top of the building to the ground. This he accomplished, but how much of the tower was really built at the time of this performance is left to the imagination of the breathless listener. Prosaic westerners have also recorded the fact that the pavement was heaped high with straw and similar materials, being specially prepared for the occasion, but the loyal Nepali still clings to the simple story that Jung, mounted on his charger, leapt from top to bottom, and his faith in this version remains unshaken.

About seven miles south-east of Katmandu is the city of Bhatgaon, one of the old Newar capitals of Nepal. From the distant hills it lies like a ruddy brown patch among the green rice fields, and from a height it is not difficult to trace a rough similarity in its general plan to the legendary conch-shell of Vishnu, which it is supposed to resemble.

The approach to Bhatgaon is like that of most Oriental cities, through dirty suburbs of