While touring Patan in Nepal our tour guide Pradip brought the group to a near by temple structure. Standing outside of the temple was the statue seen below (white). He stopped and asked the group, “What animal is seen here?”.

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Naturally, the figure did not look like any single animal. We could see it was a mixture but we could not be sure. Some said a Lion, some said a Dog, a Dragon, perhaps?

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Pradip answered, “This animal is the best for guarding temples. It is a mixture of several and that is why it is the best. It is best for guarding against unwanted energy and spirits. One part Lion- for the Lion is the fiercest and one of the strongest animals. One part Elephant – for the sense of hearing for the Elephant is most supreme. And one part Dog -because the Dog is the most loyal to man and will remain no matter what. This is why this is the best guard for temples, a mixture of many qualities, manifest into one guardian”.

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Pictures photographed by Christopher Greene