Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/30

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4
THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF NEPAL


passes, which could be, and have been, rendered impregnable by a handful of guerillas, it is not surprising that Nepal can lay claim to being a State which has been least affected in all India by modern Europeanization. By this it must not be understood that Nepal has not taken advantage of the many improvements that an enlightened age has demonstrated as being beneficial. Its excellent system of water-supply, and the resultant decrease of the cholera scourge, is only one of a number of well-conceived schemes which a progressive administration has carried out for the welfare of its people. But this aspect of the country, however interesting, is outside the sphere of a work which proposes to deal mainly with its artistic and picturesque features.

The foregoing brief sketch of the country endeavours to depict Nepal as a great corrugation of mountain ranges, with a narrow strip of cultivated land where these mountains slope down to the plains. This represents a general bird's-eye view of the State, but if it were possible to actually regard it from this imaginary height, in the confusing array of