western half there is the sanctuary proper, a cella (ten feet four inches by ten feet six
inches outside) detached from the enclosing wall by a circumambulating passage; the
eastern half is occupied by a mandapa with a broad balcony window on the south side and a
ceiling supported by six pillars. The entrance is on the east side. The whole temple is
covered with a steep gable roof (seventeen feet high) of shingles, which over the
sanctuary proper rises to a height of forty-five feet above the ground in a steep pyramid
(twenty-six feet five inches high), resembling the shikhara of Hindu temples in the
plains. Curiously enough, all the roofs are symmetrically constructed, leaning over to the
north, perhaps in order to increase the capacity of resistance to possible avalanches.
The interior, however, presents one of the most extraordinary views. The
richness and interest of the carvings exceed the monuments of both,Brahmaur and Chitrari,
though the artistic quality cannot compare with them. Even a first survey reveals that the
deodar wood-carvings do not allbelong to the same period, but may be roughly divided into
an earlier and a later group. The first comprises the facade of the shrine, the ceiling
panels of the mandapa and the four main pillars supporting that ceiling. To the latter
must be reckoned the panels on both sides of the window, the architraves of the ceiling,
two additional -pillars on the west side, opposite the sanctum, and the two huge dvarapala
(bhairava) statues (six feet four inches high) flanking the facade of the sanctum.
"The facade of the Mrikula Devi shrine is the richest
and most intricate of all those we have discussed. The outermost set of door-jambs is each
divided into three- arched niches of varying type. Those at the bottom (supported by
miniature yakshas between two lions) have a complicated gable of late Kashmiri type, with
a centre-piece like the Pinnacle of a stupa or temple and with peacocks in the corners and
kinnaras above the gable ends.