Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/58

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refuge in the hilly districts about Kumaon, on the western borders of the present confines of Nepal. From the early years of this settlement the Gurkhas were bent on extending their territories in an easterly direction, but made no important advance until a very ambitious king named Prithi Narain came to the throne in 1742. This ruler seems to have devoted all his energies to the conquest of Nepal, but it took him upwards of twenty- five years to accomplish his object. In 1768 he entered Katmandu, and in the course of the following year also subdued the remaining Newar principalities of Patau and Bhatgaon. He thus laid the foundation of the Gurkha dynasty, which has lasted until the present day. But the reign of the Gurkhas in Nepal has not been without its vicissitudes. Sandwiched as this small country is between the great empires of Tibet and India, it has several times come into conflict with both powers with varying success. The following are the main incidents. In 1790 the Nepalese invaded Tibet, and, coming into contact with the Chinese, had to retire and accept terms. Twenty-four years