i26 EARLY MUHAMMADAN CONQUERORS. gave orders that the circle should close towards the centre, and that all within it (mostly inoffensive peasants) should be slaugh- tered like wild beasts.' This sort of hunt was more than once repeated ; and on another occasion there was a general massacre of the inhabitants of the great city of Kanauj. Such horrors led in due time to famine ; and the miseries of the country exceeded all powers of description. Firuz Shah Tughlak, 1351-1388. — His son, Ffruz Tugh- Iak, ruled mercifully, but had to recognize the independence of the Muhammadan kingdoms of Bengal and in the Deccan, and suffered much from bodily infirmities and court intrigues. He undertook many public works, such as dams across rivers for irrigation, tanks, caravan-sarais, mosques, colleges, hospitals, and bridges. But his greatest achievement was the old Jumna Canal. This Canal drew its waters from the Jumna near a point where it leaves the mountains, and connected that river with the Ghaggar and the SuLk-j by irrigation channels. Part of it has been reconstructed by the British Government, and spreads a margin of fertility on either side at this day. But the dynasty of Tughlak soon sank amid Muhammadan mutinies and Hindu revolts ; and under Mahmud, its last real king, India fell an easy prey to the great Mughal invasion of 1398. Timiir (Tamerlane's) Invasion, 1398. — In that year, Timiir (Tamerlane) swept through the Afghan passes at the head of the united hordes of TartaTy. He defeated the Tughlak King Mahmud under the walls of Delhi, and entered the capital. During five days a massacre raged ; ' some streets were rendered impassable by heaps of dead'; while Timur calmly looked on and held a feast in honour of his victory. On the last day of 1398, he resumed his march; first offering a 'sincere and humble tribute of grateful praise' to God, in Ffruz Shah's marble mosque on the banks of the Jumna. Timur then crossed the Ganges, and proceeded to Hardwar, after a great massacre at Meerut. After skirting the foot of the Himalayas, he retired westwards into Central Asia (1399). Timiir left no traces of his power in India, save desolate cities. On his departure, Mahmud Tughlak crept back from his retreat in Gujarat, and nominally ruled till 141 2.
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