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occasioned by unusual drought; which, at length, compelled the starving population, with the court, to abandon Delhi a third time for the fertile banks of the Ganges.
In the mean time, a report had been spread in the southern provinces, that the Mohammedans, who were now very numerous in that part of the empire, had formed a design to extirpate all the Hindoos. A general rising of the native population, under the confederate rajahs of Telingana and the Carnatic, was the consequence of this impression; and, in a few months, Dowlatabad was the only possession in the Deccan, that remained to the sovereign of Delhi.* Other disasters ensued, and the chagrined monarch began too late to repent of his tyranny, when, in the year 1351, he was carried off by a fever, in his way to Tatta on the Indus. Ferose III., nephew to the Emperor Ghias-ud-deen (Toghlik), was then raised by the omrahs to the throne.
The long reign of this pacific yet public-spirited monarch restored to some degree of prosperity the exhausted and distracted country. Although no great warrior, he had many qualities that fitted him to rule his people in peace ; and he left numerous memorials of his wise munificence. He is said to have built forty mosques, thirty schools, twenty caravanserais, five hospitals, a hundred palaces, ten baths, a hundred tombs, and a hundred bridges ; also, to have constructed fifty great sluices or canals, one hundred and fifty wells, and pleasure-gardens without number. He built the city of Feroozabad, adjacent to Delhi. In 1349, he made a canal one hundred miles in length, to connect the Sutlej with the Jidjer ; and in 1351, he cut a canal from the Jumna, which he divided into seven streams, one of which he brought to Hassi (or Hansi) and thence to Hissar-Ferozabad. About 1357, he employed 50,000 labourers in cutting through a hill, for the purpose of bringing a stream by an artificial channel, to water the arid districts of Sirhind and Munsurpoor ; * and he afterwards drew another canal from the Caggar to the Kerah.t These public works were of the greatest advantage to the country, as affording both the means of fertilizing barren tracts, and, in many cases, commodious water-carriage. Bengal and Bahar became, in a great measure,
* It was at this period, according to Ferishta, that Bellal-deo, prince of the Carnatic, with a view to the expulsion of the Mohama medans, fixed his capital in a pass among the mountains, on the frontier of his dominions; giving the city the name of Bijen-nagur, in honour of his son. A different account of the origin of Bijennagur, and of the meaning of the name, is given by other writerse
independent of the empire during this reign, paying only a small annual tribute. Ferose exacted no other terms of the princes of the Deccan, so that these two great branches were lopped off from the body of the empire. The greatest blot on the character of this monarch is his inhumanity to the inhabitants of Kumaoon. The princes of that country having given shelter to a criminal, who had murdered the governor of Budayoon, Ferose sent a detachment of his army against them, and thirty thousand of the unhappy mountaineers were brought back and condemned to slavery. He afterwards made an annual hunting expedition into those parts ; and by degrees, the inhabitants of whole districts were cut off or expelled, and the country changed to a wilderness. Finding the infirmities of age pressing hard upon him, Ferose, in 1386, abdicated the throne in favour of his son, Mahommed; but he lived to resume the reins of authority on the expulsion of that prince by the dissatisfied omrahs, and, at their advice, to place his grandson, Toghlik, upon the throne. Shortly after this, in 1387, he expired, at the age of ninety, in the thirty-ninth year of his reign.
* While the workmen were digging for this purpose to a great depth, they found some immense skeletons of elephants in one place, and in another, “ those of a gigantic human form."
† The text of Ferishta (or that of his Translator) is very obscure in this part, and it is difficult to make out, from the account given, the course of these canals. Major Rennell has treated the subject with his usual ingenuity, Memoir, pp. 70–75. Besides the main canals, others were cut, which united them in different directions ; and the banks both of the main canals and their branches were covered with towns. “ Ferose, by sanction of a decree of the cazees assembled for the purpose, levied a tenth of the produce of the lands fertilized by the canals, which he applied, together with the revenue yielded by the lands newly brought into cultivation, to charitable uses. The lands of Ferozeh, which before had produced but one scanty harvest, now produced two abundant ones. This circar (Hissar-Ferozeh) ever since the conquest of Hindostan by the Moguls, has constituted the personal estate of the heir apparent of the empire.”-KIRKPATRICK's MS. in RENNELL, 75. The greater part of these canals, however, and the fort at Sirhind built by Ferose, have long been in ruins, owing to the dreadful ravages committed by the Seiks,
Toghlik II., a weak and dissolute prince, after a reign of only five months, was removed by assassination. Abubeker, his brother, then enjoyed the honours of royalty for a year and a half, but was compelled to surrender them to his uncle, Mahommed, who, after an obstinate contest, was restored to the throne he had occupied during the life-time of his father. After a troubled reign of six years and a hall, he was succeeded by his son, Humaioon (Allah-ud. dein Secunder), who was taken off by illness at the end of forty-five days, and Mamood III., another son of Mahommed, was placed upon the throne. Shortly after, a hostile faction set up a rival claimant in the person of Prince Nuserit, a grandson of Ferose III., and a civil war ensued. The whole empire now fell into a state of anarchy and confusion. For some time, the two kings, in arms against one another, resided in different quarters of the same capital, and thousands perished in the daily affrays between the two parties. Ekbal Khan, the vizier, at length contrived to expel the one, and to get into his power the other; and things were in this state of hopeless disorder, when, to consummate the miseries of the people, news was brought, that Timour, at the head of 90,000 Moguls, had crossed the Indus (A.D. 1398).
The invasion of India by this ruthless exterminator was an inroad, rather than a conquest ; for, after overrunning the country to the banks of the Ganges, in a single campaign, he withdrew his legions as suddenly as he had appeared with them, leaving nothing to mark his course or to perpetuate his conquests, but the silence of depopulation and the terrors of his name. The primary object of his invasion, apparently, was to support his grandson, Peer Mahommed, who, after taking Moultan, had met with reverses, being closely pressed by the Patan governor of Batneir (Bhatnir, the Battenize of Dow). Timour crossed the Indus * in September, and proceeded to attack a strong post on an island of the Behut. Intimidated at his approach, the governor embarked by night in his flotilla, and the garrison surrendered. Timour then descended that river for five or six days, to its confluence with the Chunaub, opposite the fort of Yelmeny, which submitted at once to the conqueror. Crossing the Chunaub, he reached, on the same day, another river,
. « On the exact spot where, about 177 years before, it had been crossed by Sultan Jullaul-ud-dein, the Khaurezmian, in his disastrous flight from the, vengeance of Jengueiz.”-PRICE, iii. 234 See Rennell, 116,
(which must be the Rauvee,) and encamped on the plains of Tolùmbah ; * summoning the inhabitants of that town to contribute the sum of two laks, as the price of their safety. Nearly the whole of this had been levied, when the soldiers tumultuously entered the town to search for provisions, and, not content with this, began a general plunder. The inhabitants, in opposing this outrage, were massacred without mercy, and their houses set on fire, those of the seyuds being, however, religiously exempted. The next day, Timour marched to the banks of the Beyah, where he was opposed by a detachment of Ghickers (or Gougres), who had taken up a strong position in the marshes. They were almost all cut off. The conqueror then took possession of Shahnawauz, where the army found an abundant supply of corn, of which they carried off as much as they required, burning the remainder. Proceeding along the right bank of the Beyah, he again encamped on the same river, opposite to the town of Jenjaun, about sixty miles N.E. of Moultan, where he was met by Peer Mahommed. Thence, crossing the Sutlej (about Oct. 31), he marched forty miles to Jehwaul. Here, placing the heavy baggage in charge of two of his officers, he directed them to proceed with the main body by the route of Debalpore, on the Upper Sutlej, so as to join him at Samanah, while he hastened in person, with 10,000 chosen cavalry, by a more southern route, to Adjooden (about twenty miles), and thence, marching by day and night, upwards of 100 miles across the desert, to Batneir. t
* “ It was in the neighbourhood of this place, that Alexander made war on the Malli, or people of ancient Moultan."-RexNELL, p. 118.
+ We give the details of this march, interesting in a geographical