Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/55

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21
ADVENT OF THE AFGHANS

"Irrigation—practically and scientifically applied—makes the soil of great value. Buddhism and Brahmanism flourish in the principal temples, which are wealthy and well supported. Numerous monasteries shelter the Buddhist priests. Commerce prospers, and trade is well organized and directed." In other words, the Nepal of fifteen hundred years ago bore in many respects a striking resemblance to the Nepal of the present day.

From the decline of the Thakuri rajas in the eleventh century, until towards the middle of the fourteenth century, the country came under the sway of several lines of rulers, when, in 1324, another significant event is recorded. At this period in the plains of Hindustan, the great conflict was taking place between the Hindus and the Mohammedan invaders, which eventually led to a large part of India being converted to Islam. In the turmoil consequent upon the Afghan ruler, Ghyas-ud-din Tughlak, extending his conquests. Raja Hari Singha Deva of Ajodhya in Oudh found himself hard-pressed and compelled to flee for refuge into the adjacent mountains. Here,