PRELIMINARY ESSAY. lxxv
of it says it is supposed that they entered by the same route which was followed by Mahomed Bakhtiyar Khilji when he invaded Cathay and Tibet from Bengal.' This refers to the expedition some forty years before, to which allusion is made at p. 516 of the present work. It is very possible that Bakhtiyar Khilji's ambition dreamt even of a raid upon China, but it is difficult to gather from the account extant how far he had really got when forced to retreat ; perhaps not beyond the Assam valley.2 In the still more disastrous enterprise of Malik Yuzbek in 125 6-57 aims more distant than Ktimrtip are not alluded to. The mad expedition of Mahomed Tughlak in 1337 was, according to Firishta's account, directed against China. Of the force, which both that historian and Ibn Batuta estimate at one hundred thousand horse besides infantry, scarcely any returned to tell the tale, except the few who had been left to garrison posts in rear of the army. It is difficult to guess by what point this host entered the Himalya, nor have I been able to identify the town of Jicliûh at the base of the mountains, mentioned by Ibn Batuta, which would ascertain the position.
53. We ought not to omit in the record of relations between China and India, the two embassies mentioned by the author last named, viz., that sent by the Mongol Emperor Shunti or Togantemur to the Court of the same Mahomed Tughlak in 1341-42, and the unlucky return embassy entrusted to the Moorish traveller himself, which has furnished this collection with one of its chief items.
An embassy from Bengal is mentioned in the time of Chingtsu of the Ming (1409), but from what sovereign, Hindu or Musalman, does not appear.4 It was, perhaps, one of those complimentary missions which General Chingho went cruising to promote, as mentioned on the previous page.
And in 1656, though the date is beyond the field of our notices, we find that the Dutch envoy Nieuhoff was presented at Peking along with an ambassador from the Great Mogul, at that time Jahanghir.5
1 Briggs's Firishta, i, 231.
See Stewart's History of Bengal, pp. 45-50. a Ibn Batuta, iii, 325.
Chine Anc., p. 402. 5 Pauth. Relations Polit., etc., p. 49.