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kingdoms, each of which, required a particular history: and of which we know only such parts of it, as were interwoven with the history of the conquering country. Many of these old Hindoo kingdoms, bore the same names as the present foubahs (or viceroyalties) do ; and had, probably, nearly the same limits. The history of the Deccan, is yet more obscure than that of Hindoostan : being brought into view later, as the Mahomedan conquests extended thither : and which began to encroach on it about the year 1300, although the entire conquest of it, was not made until late in the 17th century. It may
be observed that the first Mahomedan conqueror who made any establishments; that is, Mahmood, found little less difficulty in subduing the country, than the latter conquerors did; when so many kingdoms were united under the Patan Emperors : for these kingdoms, now become provinces, were too extensive, and composed of materials too discordant to unite properly: not to mention, that they were never long enough united, to produce the happy effects resulting from a long period of intercourse under one common head, and which assimilates the whole into one mass, like the French or British provinces. And this must ever be the case, in very extensive empires, where a delegation of great powers, and distant situation, prepares the provinces for independency, whenever the supreme government happens to be placed in weak hands. Hence, Hindooftan, even under the Moguls, may be considered only as a collection of tributary kingdoms ; each accustomed to look no farther than to its own particular Viceroy; and, of course, ever in a state to rebel, when the imbecility of the Emperor, and the ambition of the Viceroy, formed a favourable conjuncture. To this must be attributed the little resistance that was inade to the arms of Tamerlane, Baber, Humaioon, and Nadir Shah ; although so many provinces were at those times united, under one Prince.
The first Mahomedan conquests that led to permanent establishments in Hindoostan, were those of the beforementioned Mahmood, Emperor of Ghizni: for I make a distinction between these, and the first irruptions of the Mahomedans; which left such slight traces behind them, as to be scarcely apparent. Among others, was that of the Caliph Valid in the firit century of Mahomedanism. The empire of Ghizni was founded by Abistagi, Governor of Korafan (A. D. 960) who revolted from the King of Bucharia whose ancestor, in his turn, had arisen to power, on the ruins of the Caliphat empire, about 87 years before. Ghizni consisted chiefly of the tract, which composed the kingdom of Baetria, after the division of Alexander's empire : that is, the countries lying between Parthia and the Indus; and south of the Oxus *. Ghizni (or Gazna) a city placed among the western sources of the Indus, and not far from the Indian Caucasus, was the reputed capital ; though Balk or Balich claimed this honour, likewise.
Mahmood (commonly styled Sultan) was the third in succession from Abistagi : and was himself the son of Subuctagi, who appears to have meditated the conquest of the western part of India ; and, like Philip, left his projects, as well as his kingdom, to his son. Subuctagi had carried his arms across the Indus, and ravaged the Panjab; but made no establishments: for we find, that at the time of his son Mahmood's invasion, a Prince of the Bramin race, or religion,' named Jeipal, possessed the whole country, along the east side of the Indus, to Cashmere ; and that he had the Kings of Delhi, Agimere, Canoge, and Callinger, for allies : so that it may be concluded, from the circumstance of the frontier provinces being under a Hindoo government'; and from the state of the Hindoo religion, throughout the scene of Mahmood's conquests ; that the Mahomedans, whatever ravages they might have committed, previous to this time, had not, as we have before observed;
The reader is requested to consult the map at page :02, for the countries lying between she Indus and the Caspian sea.
formed any establishment in Hindoostan : but that the whole country was perfectly Hindoo, at the time of Mahmood’s conquest. It must be observed, that I do not class the country of Cabul, or any of the provinces on the west of the Indus, as belonging to Hindoostan
proper. Before Mahmood began his first expedition into India, which was only three years after his accession, he extended his empire northward, by reducing Bucharia; from whose king, his ancestor had revolted, as has been observed above.
In A. D. 1000, he entered Hindoostan; but in the course of eight years, he made no further progress than Moultan. The
people of Moultan, who were the Malli, and Catieri (that the Kuttry or Rajpoot tribe) of Alexander, must have preserved their ancient spirit, to be able to oppose, for so long a time, such formidable armies, headed by so furious an enthusiast. In 1008, we find all the Hindoo Princes, from the west of the Ganges to the river Nerbudda, united against him, for the common defence of their religion; the extirpation of which, was to Mahmood, an object equal to that of the acquisition of territory, or subjects. It may be doubted whether the acquisition of subjects, the rational end of conquest, ever enters into the minds of barbarous conquerors;
such as this Mahmood, Tamerlane, or Nadir Shah. One would rather suppose the contrary; or, at least, that they were totally indifferent about it, by their massacres and exterminations. The confederate Hindoos were defeated : and Mahmood's first essay towards effecting the downfall of their religion, was the destruction of the famous temple of Nagracut, in the mountains bordering on the Panjab country. His next expedition, being the fixth, was in 1911; when Tannafar, a more celebrated place of Hindoo worship, on the west of Delhi, experienced a like fate with Nagracut; and the city of Delhi itself, was taken at the same time. In 1018, he took Canoge, and also destroyed the temples of Matra, or Matura, (the Methora of Pliny) a city, of high anti
quity, and no less an object of religious veneration, near Agra.
His twelfth expedition, in 1024, was fatal to the celebrated
The city of Nehrwalla, the ancient capital of Guzerat, together with that whole peninsula, fell into the hands of Mahmood ; who died four years afterwards (1028) possessed of the eastern, and by much the largest part of Persia; as well as, noininally, of all the Indian provinces from the western part of the Ganges, to the peninsula of Guzerat ; and from the Indus, to the mountains of Agimere : but the Panjab was the only part of it, that was subjected to regular government, under the Mahomedans; as being in the vicinity of the Ghiznian empire. As for the Rajpoots of Agimere, they still preserved their independance, among their rugged moun
tains, and close vallies; and not only them, but in a great measure, down to the present time : being in respect of Hindooftan, what the country of Switzerland, is to Europe; but much more extenfive, and populous. From Mahmood to Aurungzebe, the Indian conquerors were contented with the nominal subjection of those hardy tribes : among whom, military enthusiasm, grafted on religious principles, is added to strength and agility of body; and this race is disseminated over a tract equal to half the extent of France. It goes under the general name of Rajpootana: and is the original country of the Mahrattas ; who about 30 years ago, aspired at universal empire in Hindoostan.
The Ghiznian empire, subject to the fame causes of decay, with other unweildy states of rapid growth, was in 1158, forcibly divided: the western and largest part, and which still retained the ancient name of the empire, being seized on by the family of the Gaurides (so denominated from Gaur, or Ghor, a province and city, lying beyond the Indian Caucasus) while the provinces contiguous to both shores of the Indus, remained to Chusero, or Cusroe, who fixed his residence at Lahore *. And even his posterity, were in 1184, driven out of their kingdom, by the Gaurides. The Mahomedans, thus become nearer neighbours to the Hindoos, by fixing their residence at Lahore, extended, as might be expected, their empire eastward ; Mahomed Gori, in 1194, perpetrating, in the city of Benares, the same scenes as Mahmood had before done, at Nagracut and Sumnaut. Benares was regarded as the principal university of Braminical learning ; and we may conclude that about this period, the Sanscrit language, which was before the current language
of Hindoostan, began to decline in its purity, by the admixture of words from that of the conquerors ; until the language of Hindooftan became what it now is: the original Sanscrit, preserved in their ancient writings, becoming a dead language. Such
Por the dates of the reigns of the Emperors of Hindooftan, the reader is referred to a, Chronological Table, at the end of the Introduction.