body of the temple is built of stone, and the spire or shikhara of small partly - moulded
bricks. The porch, supported by two graceful pillars with fluted shafts, is profusely
adorned with carvings. Unfortunately, the appearance of the edifice has been completely
spoiled by its having been encased in a clumsy, shed- like external structure, which forms
an anteroom in front and at the same time provides a procession path round the temple. The
whole has, moreover, been thickly white-washed so as to conceal the traces of decay.
Engaged in the modern outer wall are two miniature shikhara temples
in which a number of wooden masks are preserved. At the death of a number of the local
rana's (Thakur's) family such a mask is prepared and placed in the temple, from whence it
is on no account to be removed. An exception is made for three masks which are used at the
Char or spring festival, and are said to represent a man, a woman and a demon, called in
the local dialect gami, mezmi and kulinza. The main substance of the Char festival is a
performance symbolizing the advent of spring and the defeat of winter.
The latter, personified as an evil demon, is represented by
the bearer of the kulinza mask, who is chased by the joint villagers and pelted with
snowballs till he retires from the village and drops his mask, after which he joins in a
dance with the gami and mazmi mask bearers. There is evidently no connection
whatever between this festival and the cult of Avalokiteshvara. The annual fair in honor
of this deity, which takes place on the last of Sawan is attended with ancient rites and
sacrifices of an aboriginal type, which feature of the festival strangely contrasts with
the great compassionate Buddha to whom the occasion is supposed to pay homage.