Asoka’s Temple - called Chillundeo - in the centre of Patun
Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)
Watercolour of Asoka’s Temple at Lalitpur (Patan) in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), c. 1850-1863. The image is inscribed on the reverse: 'Asoka's Temple - called Chillundeo - in the centre of Patun. vol. 2, p.216-220'.
The Chillandeo temple at Lalitpur is on the west side of a square tank, and it is believed that Asoka made the tank at the same time that he built the temple. Dr Oldfield, who was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863, wrote in 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), "Both at Patan and Kirtipur the term "Chillandeo" is applied to a group of five temples, the principal and largest of which stands in the centre, having one of the four smaller subordinate chaityas opposite each of its corners. The hemisphere of each temple is elevated about six feet from the ground by standing on a square basement, which forms a broad terrace round the base of the garbh...On each side of the square base of the garbh is a shrine containing an image of one of the Divine Buddhas, and at each of its corners is a smaller shrine containing an image of one of the Taras...In front of the eastern face of each temple is a large stone "Dharm dhatu-mandal" [relic-shrine]...In both Chillandeo temples the shrines and images which they contain are very elaborately finished; the characteristic crests, supporters, and symbols of the Buddhas and their respective Taras are very distinctly carved, and all the details about the temples have been executed with an amount of care and accuracy which makes them very interesting and valuable objects of study..."