Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/218

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134
THE ARTS OF THE NEVARS

of Pagan gods. Mohammedanism, states Waddell, "is practically devoid of symbolism, and its sanctuary is a severely empty building, wholly unadorned with images or pictures." But Nepal, secure in Himalayan fastness, remained untouched by this epoch-making current which permanently changed every aspect of the great countries with which it came into contact, and therefore its value to the student of Oriental history is incalculable. In the words of Fergusson, Nepal "presents us with a complete microcosm of India as it was in the seventh century Hieun Tsiang visited it—when the Buddhist and Brahmanical religions flourished side by side; and when the distinctive features of the various races were far more marked than they have since become under the powerful solvent of the Mohammedan domination."

The situation represented by the foregoing would tend to indicate that Nepal, especially the Valley, lay in a secure "pocket" in the mountains, and, entirely undisturbed, "heard the legions thunder past," but such is not exactly the case. Through the kingdom runs