History of Nepal

Ancient Nepal 

When looking at the history of Nepali civilization, although the ancient history here is largely imaginary and exaggerated, the basic things have been proven. Although the ancient period is believed to have started thousands of years before BC, the history of Nepal is not clear until the beginning of the Christian era. No solid historical materials have been found before the Kirat period. Some glimpses of the political, economic, social etc. of this period can be found in the records of the Lichchawi period. 

Even though Lichchavikal began with the beginning of the Christian era, the history of ancient Nepal has become more reliable only from the fifth century AD on the basis of evidence. 2.4.1 Gopal dynasty rulers The first kings of Nepal were the Gopal dynasty. Gopal means cowherd community. After the water of Kathmandu was thrown out, the valley became habitable. Then the Gopals of the Neep caste from the south were attracted here. When there was a conflict between the Gopals who came from the south and the ancient Naga tribes here, the Naga tribes were defeated and moved towards the south, while the Gopals dominated the Nepal Valley. 

According to the story mentioned in the genealogies, one of their daughters-in-law named Bahuri used to go to a place near Bagmati and offer milk. Looking at the mining site, Pashupati’s Jyotirlinga was created. “Ne” Muni, who was living ascetic in Teku Dobhan, made Bhuktaman (Bhumigupta) of the Gopal dynasty the king. He was not only the founder of Gopal dynasty but also became the first king of Nepal. Eight Gopal dynasty rulers (Bhumigupta, Jayagupta, Dharmagupta, Harshagupta, Bhimagupta, Manigupta, Vishnugupta and Jeenagupta) ruled Nepal for about 505 years and 3 months. 2.4.2 Mahishapal dynasty kings 

It is mentioned in the Gopal Dynasty that Mahishapalas controlled the governance of Nepal by defeating Jean Gupta of Gopal dynasty in war, but according to some historians, cow breeders were called Mahishapal or Aahir like Gopal. But it is believed that Gopal and Abir belong to the same clan and are divided into two communities only on the basis of profession. 

In Kirkpatrick’s genealogy, it is mentioned that the Ahirs were herdsmen of Rajput origin and kept a large number of buffaloes in the flat land between Simraungadh and Janakpur. The first king of this dynasty is Varasimha. According to the Gopal genealogy, the three rulers of this dynasty, Varasingh, Jaisingh and Bhuvansingh, ruled for 49 years, 71 years 2 months and 41 years respectively for a total of 161 years 2 months. 2.4.3 Kirat dynasty kings The information found in the literary sources is that during the period between before the Lichchavi dynasty and after Mahishapala or Abhir dynasty, the Kirant dynasty ruled the valley. In the Gopal genealogy, the list of Kirat kings and their place of origin is said to be between Tamakoshi and Sunkoshi. 

After defeating the last king of Abhir dynasty, Bhuvansingh in a war, the Kirat dynasty king Yalung or Yalambar took control of the government. This event is believed to have taken place in the sixth century at the end of the Dwaparayuga or the beginning of the Kaliyuga. Historical events in Nepal are believed to have started with the Kirati kings. There are details of 32 kings in the Gopal genealogy, 28 in the Bhasha genealogy and 29 in the Wright genealogy. However, 32 kings of 29 generations of the Kirat dynasty are believed to have ruled for almost 1,500 years. The list of the main kings of Kirat dynasty is as follows: Yalambar The founder of Kirat kingdom, Yalambar was very brave. He defeated Bhuvansingh, the ruler of the Mahishpal Abhir dynasty, and established the Kirat polity. It is also called Yalung in some places. It is believed that the old name of the city of Patan, Yal Rahn, came from his name. Humati was the sixth Kirati king. 

He is mentioned as Hanti in the Gopal dynasty. A genealogy published by Daniel Wright mentions them as belonging to the war period of the Mahabharata. Jitedasti Kirat King Jitedasti is another notable ruler. Bhasha genealogies have placed them in the seventh order, while Gopal Rajvansavali has mentioned them in the last order. It is discussed that Gautam Buddha came to Kathmandu during his time. But Gautama Buddha himself did not come to the valley. Only his disciple Anand came to Nepal Valley and preached Buddhism. Some genealogies of Sthun have mentioned that the Maurya emperor Ashoka came to Nepal during the reign of Kirant King Sthunko, but the statement of the genealogy does not seem to be true. Ashok came to Lumbini, Kapilvastu only. It is not proven that it came to Kathmandu valley. 2.4.4 Lichchavi Period Establishment of Lichchavi rule After the Kirats, the kings of Lichchavi dynasty ruled Nepal. 

In genealogies and Puranas, it is mentioned that the Suryavanshi regions defeated the Kirats and established a new governance system. In the Gopal genealogy, it is written that ‘and the influence of the Surya dynasty led to the Lichchavi dynasty in Nepal after defeating the Kirat king’, while in the Pashupati Purana it is also mentioned that ‘the lords or husbands of Vaishali maintained their power by making the Kirats believe in speech and defeating them in battle’. Similar references are also found in Himavatkhand. In which it is mentioned that the lords of Vaishali conquered the Kirats and started ruling in Nepal. In this way, it appears that the beginning of Lichchavi governance in Nepal started immediately after the rule of the Kiratis. According to the Gopal genealogy, the last Kirati king ‘Khigu’, according to the language genealogy ‘Galij’, according to the Wright genealogy, the Kirat king ‘Gasti’ was defeated or driven away by the Lichchavi dynasty. From when did the Lichchavi dynasty start?

According to historian Baburam Acharya, ‘It seems that the Lichchavis were able to establish their own independent Licchavi kingdom around AD 250 after breaking the Kirat kingdom here. Before the Licchavis came to Nepal, they used to rule according to the independent republican system of governance in Baisali, a suburb of Muzaffarpur city in India. In that part, the monarchical system of government was getting stronger and after being defeated by King Ajatshatru, the Licchavis entered Nepal as refugees around the first century AD. The Licchavis who ruled in Baisali demonstrated their ambition to defeat the Bhure, Thakur and Samanta kings here. But the seizure of power by the Licchavis was not so simple and easy, but was possible only through a great conflict and bloody events. At a time when people’s intense dissatisfaction with the then ruling class was prevalent, the Lichchavis, who were in line with the public sentiment, led the people’s struggle. 

The Kirats were defeated in the war and forced to migrate to the eastern part, while the Lichchavi kingdom was established in the center. The Lichchavi period is also considered as the golden age in the history of Nepal due to the governance system that gives more importance to public interest, organized people’s life, advanced economic conditions, level of education, architectural art etc. However, if we look at it from a comparative point of view, this era is an era of all-round development. The first verified record found under the Licchavi reign is the Changu record of King Mandev in the year 464 in which the details of three generations before Mandev are given. In addition, the Pashupati record of King Jayadeva of the Lichchavi Dynasty from the beginning of the 8th century records the genealogy of the Lichchavi kings from the beginning. But in this genealogy, only numbers are written instead of names of Licchhavi kings. 

Based on this genealogy, King Mandev who established the Changu records in AD 464 appears as the 39th king of Lichchavi dynasty. If the Salakhala rule of the king before Mandev is considered to be 20 years, it seems that Lichchavi rule started in Nepal 760 years before Mandev, i.e. 296 BC. The famous rulers of the Lichchavi period, the Lichchavis are considered to be of Suryavanshi origin. It is believed that there was a person named Lichchavi in the eighth generation of Suryavanshi king Dasharatha of Ayodhya. In the Lichchavi dynasty, there was a king named Supushpa, who is also considered the founder and ancestor of the Lichchavi dynasty. In the Pashupati records of Supushpa Jayadeva II, it is said that in the thirteenth generation after the king named Lichchavi, there was a good-looking king like Kamadeva. 

Some consider King Supushpa as the first Licchawi king of Nepal. In the genealogies, Supushpa is shown as the fourth Licchavi king and in the Gopal dynasty he is named as Supushpadeva, in Bhasha genealogy Pashupushpavarma and in Wright genealogy Pashuprekhadeva. According to the Gopal genealogy, in addition to establishing the caste system in Nepal, he built Pashupati’s temple, put a roof on it, beautified the city, maintained dignity in the state and followed all the subjects with justice. Moreover, in Wright’s genealogy, it is mentioned that this king added a golden roof to the Pashupati temple and made it taller and grander by adding Gajur. Similarly, the mention of King Supushpa’s land-related rules can be found in Gopal Rajvanshavali. 

The kingdom of Nepal became more organized, developed and strong during the reign of Mandev I, who was skilled in the administration of Mandev’s rule. This king, who knew the scriptures and considered the people as his own family, maintained stability in his rule for 41 years (521-562 (AD 464-505)) through economic progress and peace in the state. In addition to the system of currency in his state, he also developed the arts and education sector. It was during this period that the first currency of Nepal marked with “Shri Namank” and “Shri Bhogini” was prepared. It is from his time that the history of ancient Nepal is more clear and more reliable, so he is considered to be the first proven Maharaja. His kingdom extended to Koshi in the east, Gandaki (Kaligandkipari Mallapuri) in the west and the Himalayas in the north. Authentic things such as records and independent talks have been found since the time of Mandev. 

Records of Changunarayan’s Mandev Nrip V.S. 521 (A.D. 464) AD of Jaibarma received at Maligaon. 163 (Savat 107) is considered to be the oldest authentic record. In this way, the authentic history of Nepal begins in the sixth century of Vikram. After Mandev, Mahidev, Vasantdev etc became kings. As Vasantadeva was a child, the ministers Ravigupta and Kramlil became powerful. Because of the joint rule and the change is fast, AD. From 536 to 545, political instability is prevalent. After this, there was a power struggle between Bhaumagupta, Ganadev, Gangadeva and Shivadev. Shivadev saved the Gupta influence with the help of his cousin Anshuvarma, but Anshuvarma’s dominance increased and Shivadev became weak. As a result, Anshuvarma became the king. This was the first incident where a minister took state power. 


During the reign of Anshuvarma (AD 605-621), not only agriculture, animal husbandry and trade, but also all-around development work such as foreign relations and defence arrangements took place in Nepal. It was he who prepared the palace called Kailashkut Bhavan in a very artistic, magnificent and admirable manner. Foreign policy (with Tibet and China) was conducted successfully during his time. During his time, Harshavardhan in India and Srongchangampo in Tibet built a powerful empire, so he made alliances with Tibet. During his time, the people got religious liberality and autonomous government. Art and learning were also developed and people’s life was becoming organized and advanced. Due to all these advancements, he became the first ruler in the history of Nepal to receive the title of ‘Maharajadhiraj’. 

The custom of formally announcing the crown prince also started in his time. As a Hindu king, he also held the title of ‘Pashupatipadanugrihit’. It is understood that he also prepared ‘Shabd Vidya’ (Grammar) of the Thakuri dynasty with features like ‘Prajahit Sanjanatpar’ and ‘Katham Me Praja Sukhina Bhavet’. V.No. He died around 678. In the middle of the seventh century AD (AD 645-679) during the reign of Narendradev, Kushal Narendradev established trade relations with Bhot (Tibet and China) in addition to the establishment of commercial settlements (Dranga) in the east and west of Nepal. It became a commercial centre. 

Narendradev took the title of Maharajadhiraj and also got the fame of ‘Param Bhattarak’. He also built the Bhadradhivas palace. As there is a figure of a lion on his seat, it is understood that the lion seat is popular. Jayadeva II Jayadeva II (AD 713-723) was not only a poet but also ambitious to expand the country. Apart from Kaviraja, he was also known by nicknames like ‘Parachakrakam’ (desire to conquer other’s country). His poem is recorded in the Pashupati inscription. The major kings of Lichchavikal were: Supushpa, Jayadeva I, Haridatta Varma, Vrishadeva, Shankaradeva, Dharmadeva, Manadeva I, Mahideva, Santadeva, Basantadeva, Udayadeva, Manadeva II, Shivadeva I, Anshuvarma, Narendradeva, Jayadeva II, Shivadeva II, Jayadeva III.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *