Kathmandu: December 1, 1979

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Total… 78,174 6,924 214 85,370.

Grand total of all categories of abolished Birta and Guthi lands --- 774,084 muris.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 16, pp. 132-24.
Dharan Town
Adapted from: Kaviraj Narapati Sharma, ''Dharanko Itihasa'' (A History of Dharan). Gorkhapatra, Bhadra 17, 2035 (September 2, 1978).
Dharan is situated at the foothills of the Mahabharat range between the Syauti and Sardu-Khola streams in the east and the west respectively. Until 1903, the place was covered by forests. In that year, Sahu Mehar Man, Subedar Ganga Prasad, and Subedar Sher Bahadur Karki started clearing the forests from the three sides. In A.D. 1906, the Bada Hakim of Biratnagar, Jit Bahadur Khatri, started a weekly market (hat) in Dharan every Saturday.
Before Dharan emerged as a market, Vijayapur, which is situated on a hill nearly, was the main market of that area. There was also another market on the banks of the Sardu-Khola stream, where handloom cloth know as Sardulekhandi was woven. Traders from the mountains region of the north purchased imported goods at the Vijayapur market.
In A.D. 1934, Colonel Shiva Pratap Shumshere Thapa, Bada Hakim, arranged for the allotment of homesites in Dharan. The price of each allotment was one Indian rupee. Gradually, Marwari and other traders from India, as well Nepalis from Kathmandu Valley, Palpa, Pokhara, and different parts of the eastern hill region settled in Dharan. The population of Dharan increased considerably as a result of the influx of Nepali returnees from Assam and Burma after the second world war.
One reason for the increased importance of Dharan was the growing volume of salt imports from India. Previously, salt used to be imported from Tibet and sold in Dhankuta Bazar. But eventually it became easier to import salt from India. Dharan then became the center of the trade in Indian salt.
More Documents of the Battle of Nalapani
Mahesh Raj Pant
''Nepal-Angrej Yuddha Nalapanika Ladain Sambandhi Aru 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.
As We sent through old letters at Bir Library, we first came across three letters describing the battle of Nalapani. It was on the basis of these letters that I had punished an article on the battle in the Purnima. Leter, I found six more letters at the Bir Library. These letters are published in the article, because they contain some additional information about the battle, and also provide details of some of the points contained in the earlier letters.


To General Bhimsen Thapa and Kaji Ranaddoj Thapa from Krishnanada Khandudi and Dhanabir Thapa, with due blessings and obeisance.
We are all well here. We shall feel relieved if you too are well there. The situation here is good.

[Budnakaji] (Amara Simha Thapa) has ordered that necessary arrangements be made for Garhwal, and that ryots who had fled be reassured and resettled in their villages. We, therefore, arrived in Srinagar from the headquarters in the month of Shrawan. We are doing our best to carry out the order.

As for the situation, here, a strong force of the enemy arrived at Dehradun and fought a battle against Captain Balabhadra Kanwar at the fort of Nalapani on Ashwin Sudi 11 (Kartik 10) and Kartik Badi 2 (Kartik 16). On Ashwin Sudi 11, twenty-two persons were killed, and several wounded on the enemy's side. They finally retreated to their previous garrison at Dhumbala and Ambala.
Again, on Kartik Badi 2, the enemy attacked Nalapani with a large force. In the ensuing battle, which lasted nearly twenty-two hours, 23 white soldiers and 120 native ones were killed or wounded at the gates of the fort. The dead bodies were carried away.
Thanks to the grace of His Majesty, we were victories on both occasions. From the letter of the Bhardars, you must have received details of the victory won by Captain Bhakti Thapa in the battle of Tujhar.
We are maintaining the maximum vigilance here. Due to preoccupation with arrangements for the supply of munitions to Nalapani, there has been a delay of five or seven days in sending the ritual offering made at the Dashain ceremonies. Please forgive us for this delay. It will be reaching you soon.
Please continue favoring us with necessary instructions.
Saturday, Kartik Badi 8, 1871 (Kartik 22, 1871), Srinagar.

Letter No. 2
To His Majesty from Brahma Shah.
Your Majesty must have received information from my earlier petition also.

I have received a letter sent by Kaji Ranajor Thapa from Nahan, informing me that the British had blocked the route, so that he had been compelled to send a man in the guise of a mendicant through a different route to have the letter delivered. He has also sent a letter to be forwarded to Your Majesty, which is enclosed herewith. Your Majesty will get detailed information through his letter. Also enclosed is a copy of his letter to me.

From Nahab, the mendicant had gone to Nalapani and met Captain Balabhadra Kunwar. Balabhadra Kunwar too has sent a letter to be forwarded to Your Majesty. Your Majesty will get a detailed account of the situation at Nalapani from his letter.
In his letter addressed to me, he has given his own estimate of the casualties suffered by the enemy in the battle that took place on Kartik badi 2-3 (Kartik 16-17).
Information given by our agents in the British forces indicates that one General, one Colonel, one Major, 150 white soldiers, and 200 native soldiers had been killed in the battle. The number of the wounded is not known. However, the informant has indicated that a total of abour 1,000 or 1,200 men have been killed or wounded.
Balabhadra Kunwar has asked me to send arms and ammunition, including poison arrows and flints. We had sent arms and ammunition we had here through Kaji Rewant Kunwar. These supplies were inadequate. Kaji Rewant Kunwar has been ordered to procured from here as fast as possible.
Some of the men on our side also were killed when they came out of the fort and attacked. I have written to Captain Balabhadra Kunwar as well as to Kaji Rewant Kunwar not to fight in this manner.
A Subedar was among those who were killed in the battle of Nalapani. Hence it is likely that the number of troops will not be sufficient now.
Kartik Sudi 1, 1871 (Kartik 29, 1871),

Letter No. 3

From Balabhadra Kunwar, Ripumardana Thapa, Chandrabira, Dalajit Kanwar, and Dayaram Khadka to General Bhimsen Thapa and Kaji Ranajor Thapa.
We are all were here. We will feel ressured if your too are well. The situation here is good.
[……….] fought two battles with the British, in which one General and eight British officers on their side were killed. A column of their troops, including sappers, appeared to the north of the fort Kartik Badi 30 (Kartik 28), and in the vicinity of the water spring located to the south of the fort on Kartik Sudi 2 (Marga 1) on the pretext of building a road. They attacked us from the forest. In the fighting that ensued, 8 or 10 men were killed, and 10 or 12 wounded and taken to the camp. I have given details of this in my earlier letter.
The younger sister of the fallen General arrived at the place of Lighting. She is grieved over the death of her brother as well as of her husband. Accompanied by four or five British officers she looks around the fort on horseback with a telescope from a distance that is out of the range of cannon-fire.
We have received a letter from the Kaji at Nahan informing us of the dispatch of Kaji Jaspau Thapa, and inquiring whether has been reached this place.
A letter from Chautariya Bam Shah, informing us that he had dispatched Kaji Rewant Kunwar on Wednesday Kartik Badi 12 (Kartik 26), and one from Kaji Rewant Kunwar, stating that he would arrive in ten or fifteen days, have reached us.
After the two Kajis arrive here, we shall consult them, maintain vigilance at the fort, and, by the grace of Goddess, and His Majesty, kill our enemy and repulse them.
In the letter from Nahan, the Kaji has stated: Kaji Jaspau Thapa has been there. You should fight without venturing out of the fort, and protect it. The enemy has sent on campany of troops to Kalsi. We have consulted an astrologer for an auspicious date then when the company should start attacking that company.
We [……….] many of 700 troops armed with rifles, the Kaji attacked the company positioned at Kalsi. About 700 or 800 troops of the enemy were killed, according to information received from the ranks of the enemy.
The Shyamsotha Company was sent overnight to rescue the enemy. We have not received written information about this. A messenger has, therefore, been sent to verify the truth. Once we get correct information, we shall write to you accordingly.
Kindly send us necessary instructions. What more can we write?
Thursday, Kartik Sudi 2, 1871 (Marga 4, 1871).

Letter No. 4

A report on the situation in the western front, sent by Dhanbir Thapa to His Majesty.

On Marga 13, Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat arrived at a hill near Rajapur village located at a distance of three kosh to the north of Gurudwara, and of 1½ kosh from Nalapani.

In the meantime, the British left Dhamabala and took all their forces to a place near the fort of Nalapani and laid siege to it. As a result, Kaji Ranodipa Simha Bansyat could to enter the fort. He is still staying at the hill near Rajapur.

The battle of Nalapani is still going on. Cannon and gun-fire is still being exchanged.

I shall send you whatever accurate information that I shall to receive moring and evening.

The Budha Kaji has sent a written message from his camp asking that the Kamins and Sayanas of Garhwal be rounded up for Jhara (forced labor) services and brought before him. accordingly, I am planning to do so.

The Kandudu Brahmans and their relatives and followers are all loyal to Your Majesty, and are acting dutifully and promptly according to the instructions of the Bhardars

Shivaram, Chitraman and others of the Sakanlyani clan have gone to Dehradun with their families and cattle to join the enemy. Kashiram Sakanvani, son of Sisaram, has also fled from Nahan and defected to the British. Shivaram Bodhal, chief of the Dobhal clan, has also followed suit.

We are maintaining vigilance at all strategic points.
Your Majesty may have received other information form the petition sent from here by Kaji Bakhtwara Simha Basnyat.
The royal order regarding duties to be carried out here by us is in the possession of Jagadeo Thapa. It had been issued in respons to our earlier petition.
I shall abide by whatever commands Your Majesty may graciously send me through the Budha Kaji.
Pleasing for Your Majesty's gracious forgiveness for any error I may have committed.
Your Majesty's loyal servant,

Dhanabir Thapa.

Friday, Marga badi 5, 1871 (Marga 19, 1871), Srinagar
(To be continued)


Revenue Collection in Jumla
The following regulations were promulgated on Falfun Badi 30, 1915 for revenue-collection in Jumla.
(Abstract translation)
1. Prices for procurement of supplies by the army, which had been fixed at seven pathis of rice, twelve pathis of wheat, and 2½ pathis of salt per rupee, in 1894 Samvat, have been reconfirmed.
2. Government officials shall obtain milk cows and buffaloes form the local people with their consent on payment of two rupees for a cow, and four rupees for a bafflo, and return them to the owners after they became dry. In case the animals die, compensation shall be paid at (specified) rates.
3. In 1885, Asmani levy had been imposed on each household in Jumla. However, Jimmawals was Mukhiyas did not apportion the income from judicial fines among the local poepl.e in 1909 Samvat, Jimmawals were abolished, and judicial functions were centralized in the Adalat. From 1916 Samvat the judicial income as collected in the year 1908 Samvat shall be deducted from the revenue stipulated from each village every year.
4. Each Mukhiya shall collect the revenues and hand over the proceeds to the appropriate military office. The office shall not sent officials to the villages to make collections.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 29, p. 272.
Several problems arose in enforcing thse regulations. Mukhiyas did not refund judicial income to the local people as prescribed therein. Moreover, there were nearly 900 village Mukhiyas in the whole of Jumla. It was not possible to supervise their work properly. Because revenue was not collected fully, and also because it was not considered practicable to depute collectors from the military, a new tier of Mukhiya was created in teach dara above the village Mukhiya on Jestha Badi 3, 1923. The commission of 2½ percent of the revenue collection was then shared equality between them. The dara-level Mukhiya was held personally liable for full revenue collection.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 57, p. 517.

Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,

Kathmandul: February 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series

Year 11, No. 2

Edited by

Mahesh C. Regmi

Contents Page

1. An Explanatory Note 17

2. The Bakyauta Tahasil Adda 18

3. The Hides and Skins Levy 21

4. More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani 23

5. Readings in Nepali Economic History 32


Regmi Research (Private) Ltd

Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal

Compiled by Regmi Research (Private) Ltd for private study and research. Not meant for public sale or display.

An Explanatory Note


Mahesh C. Regmi

(Mahesh C. Regmi, Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces:

Peasants and Landlords in 19th Century Nepal. New Delhi:

Vikas Publishing House (Pvt) Ltd, 1978).

In chapter 7 of Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces, captioned ''The Agrarian Community,'' I have said that the Zaminidari system existed in eighteenth and early nineteenth century Nepal in both the Tarai region and the Paisi region. Further reflection has indicated the possibility that the term Zamindar did not have the same connotation in both these regions.
In chapter 5 of the same study, captioned ''The Village Elltes,'' I have written that the thek-thiti system was used in the Baisai region, as well as in such peripheral districts as Ropla, Pyuthan, and Salyan, for the collection of taxes on both rice-lands and homesteads. Letter in the same chapter I have added: ''Under the thek-thiti system, the village community as a whole, represented by the Mukhiya, and not the Mukhiya in his individual capacity, was held liable for the full payment of the revenue. In matter relating to the assessment and collection of taxes in the Baisi region, the government dealt not with individual peasants, but with the community as a whole. The entire village was treated as one unit for purposes of taxation, leaving it to the headmen to apportion individual shares of the total revenues assessment.
In the Tarai region, the term Zamindar meant an individual landlord whose rights extended over lands occupied by a number of persons. The Zamindar of the Baisi region obviously was not a landlord of the same category, for, in that event, the transition from the Zamindari system to the thek-thiti system would have been too revolutionary to merit credibility.
In the North-West provinces of the northern India (modern Uttar Pradesh), Zamindari alsi meant a system of land tenure in which the whole land of the village was held and managed in common. ''The rents and all other profits from the estate are thrown into common stock, and after deducting the government revenue (malguzari) and village expenses (grama kharcha), the balance is divided among the sharers according to their shares, or the law or custom prevailing in the village.''


(W. Crooke, Rural and Agricultural Glossary for the New Provinces and Oudh. Calcutta, 1888, p. 40. Cited the Diodar Demenand Kosambi, An Introduction to the Study of Inida Histry, Bomaby: Popular Prakashan, 1975 (rev. 2nd, ed.), pp. 384-85).

In his The Land System of British India (Delhi: Oriental Publishers, 1974 (reprint of 1892 ed.), Vol. II p. 101). B. H. Baden-Powell, in his account of land tenure, in the North-Western Province, writes: ''A village community settling with Government through its ''lambardar'' is treated as in form, a case of settlement with a landlord, because, though each sharer has his revenue, in a sense, individually fixed, it is as a share of a lump shum with which alone Governmetnis concerned, the middleman is the person who pays the village assessment as a whole- - i.e. the ideal body, the jointly responsible whole, represented by the seal or signature of the headmen.'' The system was actually known as Zamindari. (Ibid, vol. I, p. 158).
These definitions aptly fit the Zamindari system as it existed in the Baisi region of Nepal before the introduction of the thek-thiti system during the rearly nineteenth century. The transition had no effect on the system of tenure, and revenue continued to be assessed for the entire village. The Zamindar, however, was replaced by the Mukhiya, who, on behalf of the local community apportioned individual shares of the total sum assessed and transmited the proceeds to the government.
The Bakyauta Tahasil Adda
During the nineteenth century, raikar lands, or lands which were taxed by the government, were usually assigned to government employees and functionaries. They were expected to appropriate rents on such lands in lieu of emoluments. Lands so assigned to government employees and functionaries were known as Jagir. Raikar lands which were not assigned as Jagir were known as Jagera.1
Jagera lands were few and widely-separated, hence it was seldom worth while making separate arrangements for the collection of rents and taxes on such lands.

After the emergence of Rana rule, the area of rice-lands under Jagera tenure seems to have increased on a significant scale. Large areas of waste lands were reclaimed in the hill regions, and large areas of birtas and other tax-free lands are brought under the raikar tax sytem. Moreover, Jagirdars preferred cash salaries to land assignments in outlying areas. All these factors increased the area under Jagera tenure.

Collection of revenue of Jagera lands was under the direct supervision of the central lands office in Kathmandu,2 and persons who held lands on Jagera tenure were under obligation to pay revenue on such lands directly to that office.3 No local machinery existed for this purpose; hence officials were deputed from time to time on an ad hoc basis to make such collections.4
During the 1860s, a new office, known as Bakyauta Tahasil Adda, was created in the districts of Kathmandu Valley, the eastern and western hill regions, Palpa and Salyan for collecting revenue on Jagera lands.5
Apparently, Bakyauta Tahasil Adda were initially not eastablished in the far-eastern and far-western hill regions and some areas in the centrl and eastern inner Tarai regions.6 In those regions, the Thek-Thiti system was prevalent, under which the village headman was responsible for the collection of taxes on both rice-lands and homesteads.7 As a result, taxes on Jagera region. In Dullu and Dailekh, for instance no revenue was collected on Jagera lands from 1868 to 1890, because there was no collection machinery.7 A similar situation prevailed in the far-eastern hill areas.
Although the function of Bakyauta Tahasil Adda appears to have been limited to the collection of taxes on rice lands under Jagera tenure, their establishment marked the beginning of a new trend in the revenue administration system of Nepal. it meant the creation of a bureaucratic machinery to discharge a function which was traditionally performed by village headman and other non-official functionaries.
1. Mahesh C. Regmi, Landownership in Nepal, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976, pp. 16-18.
2. This office was known as the Sadar Dafdarkhana. ''Regulaions of the Sadar Dafdarkhana,'' Magh Badi 1, 1919 (January 1863). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 47, pp. 413-16, sec. 8.
3. Cf. ''Order Regarding Reclamation of Waste Lands in Jagir Holdings,'' Ashadh Badi 7, 1909 (June 1852). Regmi Research Collection,, vol. 49, p. 17.
4. Cf. ''Order to Tharis, Mukhiyas, Etc. in Nuwakot,'' Magh Sudi 12, 1907 (January 1851). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 49, p. 1; ''Administrative Arrangements for Collection of Rents on Jagera and Other Lands,'' Falgun Badi 7, 1921 (February 1865), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 21, pp. 493-94, and Kartik Sudi 3, 1923 (October 1866), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 15, pp. 169-77.
5. ''Order to Dittha Kali Das Regarding Fucntions of Bakyauta Tahasil Addas,'' Baisakh Sudi 4, 1923 (April 1866), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 55, pp. 383-34. A full list of these officers is given in: ''Order to Bakyauta Tahasil Addas in Kathmandu and Elsewhere Regarding Compilation of Registers of Households Enrolled under the Thaple-Hulaki Rakam,'' Falgun Sudi 10, 1949 (February 1893). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 11, pp. 402-404. Regulations for the Bakyauta Tahasil Adda of Gorkha district were promulgated on Jestha Badi 4, 1959 (May 1902). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 37, pp. 197-204.
4. There were no Bakyauta Tahasil Addas in Doti, Dhankuta, Ilam, Dailkeh, Dadeldhura, Jumla, Baitadi, Chisapani, Sindhuli, and Udayapur. ''Order to Gaundas and Gadhis in Doti and other districts Regarding compilation of Registers of Households Enrolled under the Thaple-Hulaki Rakam,'' Falgun Sudi 10, 1949 (February 1893). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 11, pp. 395-402.
7. For a description of the Thek-Thiti system of revenue collection, see Mahesh C. Regmi, Thatched Huts and Stucco Palacesu: Peasants and Landlords in 19th Century Nepal. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House (Pvt) Ltd, 1978, pp. 72-76.


The Hides and Skins Levy
In 1794, household of Bhote, Hayu, and other Praja communities, Sarki, and other communities which lived on hunting and took the flesh of dead cattle as food was ordered to supply two pieces of buffalo or elephant hides, or deer or tiger skins, to munitions factory, or else pay four annas each (in the case of Sarkis), or two annas each (in the case of others). This order was issued for the following regions on Bhadra Sudi 1, 1851 (August 1794):

(1) Trishuli-Madi region.

(2) Trishuli-Dumja region.

(3) Dumja-Dudhkosi region.

(4) Kali-Madi region.

(5) Dudhkosi-Tamor region.

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 5, pp. 281-189, 745-46.
The order was repeated for Bhirkot on Aswin Badi 11, 1952 (September 1795).

(Regmi Research Collection, vol. 23, p. 155), and the following regions on Kartik Sudi 9, 1856 (October 1799):

(1) Trishuli-Kali region. Regmi Research Collection, vol. 23, p. 442.

(2) Thak and Thimi. Ibid, p. 444.

(3) Trishuli-Dumja region. (October 1799). Ibid, p. 445.

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