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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Padmapani Rediscovered

See the little red temple on the right? For decades, everyone thought it was a Narayana temple. Devotees did not have access to it, as it was used as storage space by a "footpath" vendor who has been selling his merchandise on the street immediately in front of the temple.

When the illegitimate street stalls were removed a few weeks ago (see post on that here), the hawker finally agreed to relinquish the temple to the public.

To everyone's surprise, it turned out that a beautiful stone statue of the lotus-bearing Padmapani Lokeshwor was housed inside the little enclosure, and not an image of Narayan.

The temple has now been freshly painted and a board fixed above the gate to proclaim it to be a Lokeshwor temple. The temple is now open for the public.

Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

Exterior Up-close (East Face)

Though the overall temple as an edifice is quite impressive even to the most seasoned onlooker, much of the detailed ornamentation on the exterior of the temple, especially on the upper floor, is not visible to the casual visitor, largely due to the muck and grime that has accumulated over decades. Getting closer, however, reveals an amazing array of intricate creations, made of both wood and metal.

The hard-to-see window in the center between the two roofs is metallic, and probably gold-plated.

Many of the objects d'art are accompanied by text in Ranjana or Prachalit script, and remain a reliable and authentic source of our glorious history.

Awe-inspiring images of various Lokeshwors are carved on all of the inclined wooden struts that support the lower and upper roofs.

Colorful, decorative carvings at the bottom of a wooden strut.

Elaborate design on a window that provides ventilation to the upper floor.

Photos by Alok Tuladhar.