Open main menu

Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/220

This page needs to be proofread.



Hindu and Buddhist Remains.— The scholar who ended his study of Indian history with the close of the first millennium of the Christian era would expect to find a fruitful field for the study of ancient monuments of the Hindu faith in the plains of the Panjab. He would look for a great temple of the Sun God at Multan, and at places like Lahore and Kangra, Thanesar and Pihowa, for shrines rich with graven work outside and with treasures of gold and precious stones within. But he would look in vain. The Muhammadan invaders of the five centuries which elapsed between Mahmud of Ghazni and the Moghal Babar were above all things idol-breakers, and their path was marked by the destruction and spoliation of temples. Even those invaders who remained as conquerors deemed it a pious work to build their mosques with the stones of ruined fanes. The transformation, as in the case of the great Kuwwat ul Islam mosque beside the Kutb Minar, did not always involve the complete obliteration of idolatrous emblems. Kangra was not too remote to be reached by invading armies, and the visitor to Nurpur on the road from Pathankot to Dharmsala can realize how magnificent some of the old Hindu buildings were, and how utterly they were destroyed. The smaller buildings to be found in the remoter parts of the hills escaped, and there are characteristic