(4) Kali-Bheri region. Ibid, p. 445.
(5) Dumja-Dudhkosi region. Ibid, p. 445.
Limbu, Bhote, Lapche, Yakha, Lohar, Athpahar, Khamire and Khambu households in the Chanipur region east of the Arun river and west of the Tista river, who took the flesh of dead cattle as food, were each ordered to supply one piece of hide for manufacturing scabbards and other equipment for the Gorakh Bux and Sheodal Companies. Each Sarki household was similarly ordered to supply two pieces of hide, and each Kami household twenty dharnis of charcoal. Aswon Sudi 15, 1861. (October 1804). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 2, pp. 174-75.
In the eastern Tarai districts of Bara, Parsa and Rautahat, Sarkis were under a similar obligation to supply hides for packing saltpeter. Marga Badi 3, 1875 (November 1818). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, p. 436.
Gurungs and Lamas in the regions east of the Trishuli river were granted exemption from the obligations to supply hides and skins to the munitions factory when they promised to join the army under Kaji Nayan Singh and proceed to the Kangra front in A.D. 1805, respect Brahmans, and refrain from taking the flesh of dead cattle. However, they did not comply with these conditions. Penalties were, therefore, imposed upon them.
The following regulations were promulgated in this connection on that date:-
1. Gurungs and Lamas who have complied with the order issued in 1862 Samvat (A.D. 1805), respect Brahmans, and do not take the flesh of dead cattle shall not be punished.
2. They shall be punished if they have not respected Brahmans and take the flesh of dead cattle. They shall be ordered to respect Brahmans and not take the flesh of dead cattle in the future.
3. Those who take the flesh of dead cattle but respect Brahmans shall be punished. Orders shall be promulgated to the effect that those how respect Brahmans shall not take the flesh of dead cattle.
4. Those who have not complied with the 1862 Samvat order, refuse to respect Brahmans, and want to continue taking the flesh of dead cattle shall be punished with fines as follows. They shall be under obligation to supply hides and skins to the munitions factory:-
Rates of Fines
Grade of Houshold Amount of Fine
Abal Rs 5
Doyam Rs 3½
Sim Rs 2½
Chahar Rs 1½
5. With the income earned from fines imposed under these regulations, salaries shall be paid to the following employees at the following rates:-
1 Tahabildar Rs 50.
1 do. Rs 35.
1 Bahidar Rs 35.
6 Peons Rs 150.
Poush Badi 12, 1867 (December 1810).
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 38, pp. 696-97.
More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani
Mahesh Raj Pant
''Nepal-Angrej Yuddha Nalapani Ladain Sambandhi Aru 6 Patra'' (Six more letters on the battle of Nalapani during the Nepal-British War). Purnima, Year 1, No. 4, Magh 1, 2021 (January 14, 1965). Pp. 65-82. (Continued from the January 1979 issue).
Letter No. 5
To His Majesty King Girban Yuddha Bikram Shah Dev from Ranadipa Simha Basnayt, Rewanta Kuwnar, and Balabhadra Kunwar. Camp. Chamuwa.
We are well here. We shall feel relieved if Your Majesty is well. Thanks to Your Majesty's merit and prowess, the situation here is satisfactory.
In our earlier petitions, we had given an account of the battle against the British as Nalapani, and the manner in which we repulsed their attack.
When the report of that battle reached the camp (of the Senior Kaji), Subba Chandrabir Thapa, and the troops of the Kalanala Company and the Gorakh Paltan, and Subedar Chamu Basnyat, arrived from Nahan at the fort.
Kaji Jaspau Thapa, with three companies under his command, the Jwaladal Company under Lakshavira Shahi, and the Ranadala and Ranajung Companies cammanded by Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, have arrived at Nahan from Arki.
The three companies commanded by Kaji Jaspau Thapa, and the Jwaladal Company, have reached the fort of Nalapani. Wooden palisades have been erected within firing range. They camped at a place overlooking the palisades.
The Ranadala and Ranajung Companies, commanded by Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, subsequently moved from Nahan to a village called Kyarkali.
At about noon time on Friday, Marga 11, and fort was encircled from all sides, and water supplies were cut off. We installed cannon at a place where our arrows could not reach. Eight or nine balls and two or three rounds were fired at the forts when the bombardment was renewed, three of our men were killed. Unable to hold on, some of our men moved into the fort. As a result of the siege, I, and my two companies, were unable to enter into the fort, and had to stay at Timili.
We then built new shelters with the debris of the walls and earth, and fired cannon from behind them. In this manner, there was an exchange of cannon and gunfire throughout Friday and Saturday.
Stone structures built as a cover for protecting the heads of men collapsed when it by shells, causing injuries to some persons. Three pieces of cannon installed on the battlements of the fort fell outside, while one fell inside. We tried to bury the cannon that had fallen on the northern side under the grounds to the south of the fort. The cannon that fell outside just in front of us remained there. One piece of cannon had been destroyed by our own firing during the previous battle. One Garhwali cannon, and three other pieces, had become unserviceable because some stones had fallen on them. Because the enemy alone continued firing, more and more people inside the fort were wounded.
There were two days and two nights of continues bombardment on the northern side of the fort, as a result of which part of the fort was felled to the ground. The enemy continued its unilateral cannon fire on Sunday. But we went on killing the enemy which gunfire and stones from all sides. As a result of the enemy's fire, Subba Chandrabir Thapa, Subba Nathu Majhi, Subedar Dalajit Janwar, and Jamadar Dalajit Shahi of the Mleccha-Kalanala Company were killed. On the enemy's side, eight prominent British officers and about 400 British troops were killed. The enemy continued bombardment until early morning on Monday. Later, it stooped the bombardment and demanded the return of the dead bodies. We pushed down these bodies that had been lying inside the palisades. Even, thereafter, the enemy resumed firing at us, as a result of which several persons on our […………..] were killed. Some ammunition was also destroyed. The few people that remained inside were unable to hold on and, therefore, came out one by one.
In the night of Monday, the colors of all companies were taken away. When we came to know of this, we reprimanded those who were responsible for this act, and persuaded some of them to take the colors back to the fort. Some men have deserved the fort, and some others are hiding in the forests.
On Tuesday, the enemy fired at us with cannon, while we fought with guns. The few men that remained inside the fort also came out one by one. The enemy learnt of this. As the enemy trained his cannon on us, Subba Ripumardana Thapa, Subedar Chamu Bansyat, Subedar Gaja Simha Thapa, Jamadar Bijaya Simha Khatri, Jamadar Smhabira Gharti and Jamadar Chandramani Rana have taken Captain (Balabhadra Kunwar) out of the fort. They went to a village called Dubra and stayed there overnight.
That night, the enemy launched a surprise attack on us. a bullet his Subba Ripumardana Thapa. Jamadar Mangal Rana killed three men with his sword, but was wounded himself with swords and bayonets.
Our troops did all they could inside the fort. They would have done more. But for five days continuously, they could not have get [wa..r] and when cannon shells razed the palisades to the ground, and they could not hold out any longer.
If even new Your Majesty orders the immediate dispatch reinforcements, we would join them and try our best to maintain the honor of this land, as we have done so far.
The survivors from among those who had come from Nahan have joined their colors.
We three persons have assembled as the foot of the Chamuwa hill at Naginisera. We shall assemble those who have dispersed, and try our best to promote Your Majesty's interests.
We request Your Majesty to issue appropriate orders soon regarding arms and ammunition that we may need now. We have also sent men to deliver to the Kaji a message seeking his instructions. We have sent a letter informing Your Majesty of the death of officers, as well as of the arrangements (for the protection) of the fort.
Resident troops have not so far been assembled. We shall send accurate information to Your Majesty after we have collected them.
Thursday, Marga Badi 12, 1871.
Letter No. 6
From Ripumardana Thapa to His Majesty.
We have already sent a letter to Your Majesty giving and tailed account of how we twice repulsed the attacks of the enemy at Nalapani, and even killed eight British officers including a general, and several British soldiers were wounded. We thus won a vistory thanks to the grace of Your Majesty.
Later, the enemy procured three big pieces of cannon from Agra and mobilized troops at different places. On Friday, Marga 12, they besieged us and cut off the flow of water through Nepal, Dandagaun, Lakhwan, Asthal, Nalapani and Dehradun. They also brought small cannon from all sides, they brought the big cannon through Nagal and set up palisades within firing range. They also procured cannon balls and shells from all sides.
In the morning of Sunday, Subba Chandravir Thapa, Subba Nathu Majhi, and Subedar Dalajit Kanwar were killed in the exchange of fire between the two forces when they were climbing the walls of the fort shouting to their men after nearly half of the northern wall had collapsed. The firing lased throughout that day. Several jamadars, huddas, and soldiers were also killed, and many others injured. In the afternoon, the enemy again started bombarding us, as a result of which many men were killed and injured on our side.
At midnight on Monday, our soldiers moved from the fort with their colors on panic, and proceeded towards Debradun. We dame to know of this at a time when the Captain, Chamu Bansyat, Gaja Simha Thapa, and myself were eating raw rice. We then tried in every possible way to block their further advance. The enemy continued to fire. As a result, some who had already got out fled, while some others returned to the fort along with their colors.
On Tuesday, many men on our side were killed. The fort was razed to the ground. Our arms and ammunition were destroyed. Then we asked the men to give an under taking in writing to the effect that they would fight to the last and die along with us. eighty-five soldiers signed such pledge. After consultations, it was decided that we must fight to the last with our swords if the enemy again attacked us.
That same might, the Mleccha Malanala Company secretly left along with its arms and colors, and others also followed suit.
The remaining jamadars, huddas, and soldiers came back. Our men then caught hold of the Captain and myself by the arm, and dragged us away, saying, ''The fort has been destroyed and there is no place where one can hide one's head. Most of the men have already been killed or wounded. The Mleccha Kalanala Company, which had come to hepf us, has left. It is no use to fight and die. We must now take away our arms and ammunition and strengthen our position in the hills.''
The enemy too resumed firing. On our part, we passed through the palisades and, proceeding through the Dun route, arrived at the fort built by Kaji Amrit Thapa and then at Dwara, brandishing our naked swords and firing our guns all the way.
Dware, however, was accessible to the enemy. We sent men to occupy the hill on the pretext of fortifying the place of Gopichand.
On Thursday, we halted at the foot of the Gopichand hill. At midnight, the enemy suddenly launched a surprise attack. As a result of firing, some of our men were killed. As the enemy approached near the was poised for an attack, we repulsed them with our naked swords. In the process, a bullet hit me in the right arm. Mangal Rana and the Jamdars were hi in the cheek. Our formation then broke up.
Our troops did not stop even at the Gopichand hill. They halted only at Chamuwa.
The next day, Kaji Rewant Kuwnar joined us.
No physician is available here. It was, therefore, decided that all the injured men be take to Srinagar. Accordingly, Kaji Rewanta Kunwar and Captain Balabhadra Kunwar granted permission and along with the wounded men, I went to Srinagar.
Kaji Bakhtwar Simha Basnyat has arranged for the for the services of a physician here. Those who recover will sent back to their unit. I will rejoin my unit and discharge my duties after my wounds have been healed.
The enemy was able to cut off were supplies, move and fire big cannon, so that the shells penetrated the walls of the fort, thereby killing many of our men. Ultimately, we lost the fort. This was due to the fact that the fort itself had not been completed, and our strength was inadequate. The loss of the fort in these circumstances has created the impression that we are doing nothing. But actually we are doing our best.
By the grace of Your Majesty, we will be able to recapture the lost territories by attacking from our hill positions. We will do anything possible to prove ourselves true to the salt. We pray for forgiveness for any fault we may have committed.
Sunday, Paush 14, 1871.
Letter No. 1
The first of these six letters was jointly written by Krishnanada Khadudi and Kaji Ranadhwaj Thapa from Srinagar, headquarters of Garhwal, on Bikram 1871, Kartik 22. Garhwal had just been conquered by Nepal, and the British were conducting propaganda against Nepal. the local people had been influenced by that propaganda. As a result, some Garwalis had started leaving Garhwal. This naturally worred the administrators of Garhwal. Kaji Amara Simha Thapa made efforts to bring such Garhwalis back home. For this purpose, he dispatched Krishnananda Khandudi and Dhanabir Thapa to Srinagar from Arki, his headquarters, Shravan 1871.
This letter refers to the victory won by Captain Bhakti Thapa in the battle of Tujhar. It is not yet known where Tujhar is located.
Lettter No. 2
The second letter was sent by Chautariya Bam Shah to His Majesty from Almora, headquarters of Kumaon district, on Kartik 29, 1871, Samvat 29.
The British had blocked the main route from Nahan to Nalapani. As a result, the Nepalis could not reach Nalapani from Nahan. Hence Kaji Ranajor Thapa sent a manin the guise of the mendicant to Nalapani through a different route. that man reached Nalapani and met Balabhadra Kunwar.
Following the battle of Kartik 17, Balabhadra Kunwar requested Bam Shah for the supply of munitions. Bam Shah did not have enough arms and ammunition at the tme. However, he sent some of Balabhadra Kunwar through Kaji Rewanta Kunwar. The arms and ammunition thus sent included gunpowder, shells, flints, poisoned arrows, and guns.
At that time, it was the practice to use poisoned arrows. This explains sought because these were used for firing guns.
Pandit Vanivilasa Pande has referred to the use of poisoned arrows by Kiratis in the encounter with Abhiman Simha Basnyat, who had been sent by Prithvi Narayan Shah to conquer the Kirat region. In a stone inscription of 1850 Samvat, which was installed by Daukal Simha Basnyat at the temple of Narayan at Narayanhiti, Pandit Vanivilsa is quoted as saying: ''Kaji Abhiman Simha, brother of Kahari Simha, was a virtuous, kind
good-looking, and intelligent (that is, one who never forgets what he has heard or seen), philanthropi, and religious-mined person. With such weapons such a spears, he exterminated many Bhillas (i.e. Kiratis), who used poisoned arrows and were intoxicated with liquor, and conquered all Kirata territories.'' (The inscription was published by Yogi Narahari Nath in Sanskrita Sandesh, Year 1, No. 5, pp. 7-10).
A large force is needed for fighting after coming out of a fort, while one section of the troops has to defend the fort, another has to fight outside it. Many men are killed or wounded while fighting outside a fort. Thus the Nepali troops suffered heavy casualties when they fought on coming our of the fort at Nalapani. In this latter, Bam Shah states that he had asked both Balabhadra and Rewanta Kunwar to fight without leaving the fort.
Letter No. 3
The third letter was jointly written by Balabhadra Kunwar and his aide to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa on Marga 4, 1871 Samvat, from the fort of Nalapani.
With the death of Gillespie in the battle of Nalapani on Kartik 17, 1871, fighting stopped, and the British started constructing roads, and engaged in espionage activities against Nepal. The letter tells us about this situation.
Balabhadra and others were regularly dispatching accounts of important events in the Nalapani area. Four days before this letter was written , they had sent a letter to Kathmandu. It has been published in the Purnima (Vol. 1, pp. 60-61). The present third letter gives an account of the events that occurred after that letter was dispatched.
Along with Gillespie, his brother-in-law had also been killed in the battle of Kartik 17, 1871. After the death of both her husband and her brother, Gillespie's sister went to Nalapani, accompanied by four or five commanders. She looked at the fort of Nalapani on horse back with a telescope. This information is also given in the third letter.
This letter also shows that the British were planning to attack the fort of Nalapani within eight days. They actually did not eight days later.
Kaji Amara Simha Thapa had sent reinforcements to Nalapani from Arki. These troops were then proceeding to Nalapani through Nahan. Ranajor Thapa, who was then responsible for the defense of Nahan, wrote a letter to Nalapani saying the troops were reaching there. The letter added: ''Fight without leaving the fort.''
The British had deployed one company of their troops at Kalsi, a town situated to the south of Nahan, with the aim of blocking the advance of Nepali troops coming stating that he had consulted an astrologer about an auspicious date for mounting an assault on the British troops.
According to this letter, information was received from enemy sources that Ranajor Thapa, commanding 700 Nepali troops, had attacked the British troops deployed at Kalsi, and killed about 700 or 800 of them.
The morale of Balabhadra and his men, who were at Nalapani, was very high at the time because they had defeated the British troops and repulsed their attack. Their intention to defeat the British troops again is reflected in this letter.
Letter No. 4
The fourth letter was sent by Dhanabir Thapa to His Majesty on Marga 19, 1871 Samvat, from Srinagar, headquarters of Garhwal. One month before, Dhanabir Thapa, and Krishnanand Khandudi had sent a letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa. (see letter No. 1 above).
This British were trying to rally the leading personalities of Garhwal to their side. As a result of their efforts, Brahmans belonging to the Sakalyani and Dobhal clans turned against the Nepal government and sided with the British government. On the other hands, as indicated in this letter, Brahmans belonging to the Khandudi clan and their friends and well-wishers were on the side of the Nepal government.
Amara Simha Thapa had made efforts to see that the inhabitants of Garhwal did not side with the British. As indicated in this letter, he had sent a letter to the leading personalities of Garhwal appealing to them to meet him, and promising to make arrangements for their welfare.
The news of the departure of Balabhadra and his men from the fort on Marga 16, 1871 Samvat apparently did not reach Srinagar until Marga 19. This shows that there were shortcomings in the communication arrangements made by the Nepalis.
Letter No. 5
Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, who had left Arki for Nalapani for supporting the Nepali troops, but was unable to do so because of the siege laid by the British troops around Nalapani, and Kaji Rewanta Kunwar, who had come to Nalapani from Almora for a similar purposes, and later left, met Captain Balabhadra Kunwar at Chamura. There the three men jointly wrote the fifth letter to His Majesty.
This letter mainly describes the battle of Nalapani. Of the three men who wrote this letter, Ranadipa Simha Basnyat and Rewanta Kunwar did not take part in the battle. As such, the letter mainly reflects the views of Balabhadra Kunwar, who commanded the Nepali troops in the battle of Nalapani.
This letter indicates that Balabhadra had not felft disheartened even after his defeat and retreat. It also indicates that both his collegues, Rewanta Kunwar and Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, shared his desire to regroup his forces for a second battle against the British if reinforcements were received from Kathmandu.
Letter No. 6
The sixth letter was sent by Sardar Ripumardana Thapa to His Majesty from Srinagar on Poush 27, 1871. On the same date, he had sent a letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, which has been published in Purnima, No. 3. This letter may be considered to be a summery of the letter sent to His Majesty.
However, these two letters differ in two respects,. Whereas in his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa gives no hint of his desire to reoccupy Dehradun from the British, the present letter says that with the grace of His Majesty he would certainly do so through attacks from the hills.
In his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa expresses happiness over his promotion. But this letter does not contain any reference to this.
At that time, Girvana Yuddha was on the throne, while the administration was in the hands of Bhimsen Thapa. Ranadhoj Thapa was assistant to Bhimsen Thapa. For this reason, one could fulfil his ambitions if one could please Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa.
The letter sent to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa contains a clear and detailed account of the situation, whereas the one sent to His Majesty in brief. This also gives an idea of the position held by Bhimsen Thapa at the time.
The letter jointly written by Ranadipa Simha Basnayt, Rewanta Kunwar and Balabhadra Kunwar states that troops including those under the command of Ripumardana Thapa, had persuaded Balabhadra Kunwar to leave the fort. On the other hand, in his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa says that the Mlecche-Kalanal-Company had abandoned the fort. The company appears to have been formed by the Nepalis. The British used to be called ''Mlechha'', hence the company was so called, ''Mlechha-Kalanal-Company'' thus meant '' the company which is the fire of death for the British.''
To Be Released Soon
Readings in Nepali Economic History
Mahesh C. Regmi
Published by Kishor Vidya Neketan, Varanasi. Price: Rs 35.
1. Some Questions on Nepali History.
2. From the Marsyangdi to the Kali.
3. Gorkhali State and Administration.
4. Economic Conditions in Morang District.
5. Some Errors in An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal.
6. Land Reclamation in the Eastern Tarai Region.
7. Munitions Production.
8. Famine Relief Measures.
9. Administrative Decentralization.
10. The Rajya of Salyan.
11. Resettlement Projects.
12. Prelude to a Banking System.