A Temple Guardian in Bhaktapur

BHAKTAPUR, Nepal — The small, white, fearsome creature with bared fangs resembled a small dog — probably because I’d grown up with Bichon Frise as pets — though with a little digging, I learned that it was a stylized, mythological lion that served as temple guardians in Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Yet try as I might, I couldn’t find many more English-language details on the diminutive stone sentry wearing a crown, a gold necklace and a bell.

Jaimal and Patta, whose likenesses are stationed in front of Bhaktapur’s Nyatapola and Dattatreya temples, were a bit easier to research, based as they were on historical figures.

Still, I’d love to know more about the lion and the temple it guards.

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