(For private study and research only, not meant for public sale, distribution and display).
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd ISSN: 0034-348X
Regmi Research Series
Year 14, No. 1-2
Kathmandu: January-February 1982
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. Rajabandhaki Land Policy, 1938-1949 … 1
2. The Bigahatti Levy … 2
3. King Mukunda Sen's Invasion of Kathmandu Valley … 5
4. Customs and Duties on Nepal-Tibet Trade … 18
5. Copper Monopoly, A.D. 1900 … 20
6. Collection of Sair Duties … 21
7. Sale of Old Timber Stocks … 21
8. Revenue and Expenditure of the Government of Nepal … 22
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
(For private study and research only, not meant for public sale, distribution and display).
Rajabandhaki Land Policy, 1938-1949 On Bhadra 17, 1995 (September 2, 1938), Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere announced at a public meeting in Kathmandu that the government intended to redeem all lands mortgaged to individuals under rajabandhaki tenure in different districts.
On Bhadra 31, 1955 (September 16, 1938), Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere ordered that particulars of rajabandhaki lands be compiled in different districts.
Another order was issued on Baisakh 30, 1996 (May 12, 1939) directing that information be furnished from different districts regarding the total amount of money received by the government against grants of lands under rejabandhaki tenure, and the revenue that could accrue to the government in case taxes were imposed on such lands at rates current on raikar lands in the area.
On Marga 25, 1996 (December 10, 1939), the Prime Minister issued an order directing that the following rajabandhaki lands in the following districts be redeemed gradually with funds obtained from local Mal Offices:-
DistrictKhet landsPakho landsValue of
(in muris) Original Mortgaged
Dang-Deukhuri - 1 bigha -
Pyuthan 1,977-10 75 muris and Rs 18,029
19 pathis of
Palpa 240 55 muris of Rs 2,867.50
Salyan 30 406 muris and Rs 58,175
18 pathis of
East No. 3 140 - Rs 860
West No. 2 208 12 pathis and -
5 manas of seeds
West No. 4 792 21 muris and Rs 5,160
1 pathis of seeds
Bandipur 2,134 40 hale Rs 16,985-11
Reports from other districts showed that they had no rajabandhaki lands. However, no report had yet been received from Baglung.
On Shrawan 16, 2006 (July 31, 1949), the following arrangements were made for the redemption of rajabandhaki lands:-
(1) The date for submission of particulars was extended by two months.
(2) An offer made by Kharidar Harilal to detect undeclared rajabandhaki lands was accepted, and he was allowed a commission of 15 percent of the value of such lands detected by him. the commission had previously been sanctioned to the concerned government offices only.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 37, pp. 155-167.
The Bigahatti Levy On Poush 21, 1990 (January 5, 1934), orders were sent to district headquarters (Goswara) offices in the Tarai region in the name of Major Shankar Shumshere J. B. Rana, Chief of the Madhesh Report Niksari, to furnish information in the following matters in connection with the proposal to convert all districts-level revenue contracts into a special levy (bigahatti) on land:-
(1) What should be the rate of the levy if the hides and skins contract (charsa rakam) is alone taken into account?
(2) What should be the rate of the levy if the ganja, mahuwa, and liquor (bhatti) contracts are alone taken into account?
(3) Will it be appropriate to replace these sources of revenue by a bigahatti levy?
(4) What was the maximum and the minimum yield from these sources of revenue during the past ten years?
Several district headquarters offices, including the Jhapa District Headquarters Office, expressed the view that a bigahatti levy, even if imposed at a low rate, would prove to be a burden on the ryots, who had not even been able to pay their land taxes.
The reports submitted by the district headquarters offices also indicated that ryots in the majority of the districts of the Tarai region were opposed to the imposition of such a bigahatti levy to replace revenue contracts.
Finally, it was realized that revenue would decline if the bigahatti levy was imposed on the basis of the minimum yield of the sources of revenue mentioned above.
The total taxable area in the Tarai region was reported to be 1,595,153 bighas. Revenues from different sources were as follows:-
Hides and skins … Rs 215,966
and liquor … Rs 441,978
Other sources … Rs 135,564
Total … Rs 793,508
If converted into a bigahatti levy, revenue from the following sources would mean the following rates per bigha.
Hides and skines … 2 annas and 2½ paisa
and liquor … 4 annas, 1 paisa ½ dams
all sources … 7 annas, 3 paisa and 3 dams.
On Magh 7, 1991 (January 20, 1953), Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere ordered that the proposal be should for the time being because even land taxes were not being collected in full.
The proposal was revived about five years later, and again shelved on the same grounds according to an order issued by Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere on Bhadra 17, 1995 (September 2, 1938).
Prime Minister Juddha Shumshere issued the following order on Kartik 29, 1997 (November 14, 1940): In case a bigahatti levy is imposed (replacing the hides and skins contract), the incidence will fall not only on those who won cattle, but also on others. Accordingly, the levy
shall not be imposed. In the Tarai region, Muslims take up the hides and skins contract. There are reports that in pursuit of their self-interests, they spread epidemic diseases among cattle. Moreover, ryots are not free to dispose of the hides of their dead cattle as they like.
Therefore, the following arrangements should be made:-
(1) Hides and skins contracts should be granted only for the period ending Ashadh 32, 2000 (July 15, 1943).
(2) From that date, ryots should be allowed to sell hides and skins in excess of their household needs without any restriction. Exports too should be allowed on payment of customs duty.
(3) Revenue and district headquarters offices in all districts should be directed to recommend the rates at which customs duties should be collected on exports of hides and skins.
(4) An offer of Rs 4,811 has been received for the horns, hides and skins monopoly in Dang-Deukhuri district for one year. No contract should be issued for the operation of the monopoly. During the current years, ryots and jimidars shall be allowed to export hides and skins on payment of the following duty on each piece in addition to the existing duty:
Buffalo … R. 1
Cow or ox … 8 annas
Calf … 4 annas.
The rates of export duties for the next year shall be as decided upon later.
The following measures were subsequently sanctioned under the November 14, 1940 order mentioned above:-
(1) In the hill districts, including Kathmandu Valley, a surcharge of 1 paisa in each rupee of revenue from khet and pakho lands shall be imposed after the abolition of the hides and skins contract. A report regarding the estimated amount of revenue from this surcharge shall be submitted six months before current contracts are due to expire.
(2) In the Tarai districts, although the imposition of a bigahatti levy to compensate of loss of revenue consequent to the abolition of the hides and skins contract has been opposed, it has been decided that from Shrawan 1, 2000 (July 16, 1943), no such contracts shall be granted, and that ryots may use their hides and skins for household purposes, or export them, without any restriction. No duty shall be collected on such exports. An regards the bigahatti levy, it shall be collected at the rate of 2 annas (or 8 paisa) per bigha. (The figure has been calculated on the basis of an estimated Rs 200,000
as revenue from the hides and skins contract in the Tarai district, divided by the total taxable area of 1,565,960 bighas), except in Palhi district, where existing contract arrangements were to be retained for the time being.
A public notification containing the above-mentioned particulars was issued on Jestha 24, 2000 (June 6, 1943).
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 37, pp. 453-466.
King Mukunda Sen's Invasion of Kathmandu Valley By
Mahesh Raj Panta and Dinesh Raj Pant
(Continued from the December 1981 issue)
History has a deep relationship with politics. For this reason, envoys of the empire-building British, or officials of their missions who visited Nepal took deep interest in the history of Nepal, and have left accounts of the information that they were able to compile about Nepal. they include the following:-
1. William Kirkpatrick, An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, Being the Substance of Observations Made During a Mission to That Country, in the year 1793, London: William Miller, 1867 Vikrama (A.D. 1811).
2. Francis Buchanan Hamilton, An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal and of the Territories Annexed to This Dominion by the House of Gorkha, Edinburgh, Archibold Constable & Co., 1876 Vikrama (A.D, 1819).
3. Briam Houghton Hodgson, Essays on the Language, Literature, and Religion of Nepal and Tibet: Together With Further Papers on the Geography, Ethnology, and Commerce of Those Countries, London: Trubner & Co., 1931 Vikrama (A.D. 1874).
… Miscellaneous Essays Relating to Indian Subjects, London: Trubner & Co., 1937 Vikrama (A.D. 1880).
In addition, several articles by Brian H. Hodgson on subjects relating to Nepal have been published in Asiatic Researches Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
4. Henry Ambrose Oldfield, sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive, With Anecdotes of the Court Life and Wild Sports of the Country in the Times of Maharaja Jung Bahadur, G. G. B. , to Which is Added an Essay on Nepalese Buddhism, and Illustrations of Religious Monuments, Architecture, and Scenery from the Author's Own Drawings, London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1937 (Vikrama (A.D. 1880), 2 vols.
5. Daniel Wright (ed.), History of Nepal with an Introductory Sketch of the Country and People of Nepal, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933 Vikrama (A.D. 1877).
A treaty was signed between Nepal and the East India Company in the Vikrama year 1873 (A.D. 1816). Edward Garner was then appointed British Resident in Nepal. Brian Houghton Hodgson first came to Nepal as his assistant in 1877 Vikrama (A.D. 1820). From 1889 to 1899 Vikrama (A.D. 1832-1842), he functioned as British Resident. (William Wilson Hunter, Life of Brian Houghton Hodgson, British Resident in Nepal, London: John Murray, 1953 Vikrama (A.D. 1896). He has done considerable research on Nepal. Hodgson was able to get a Vamshawali compiled by one Padma Giri, which contained an account of events from the earlist times (Satyaguga( to 1882 Vikrama. he had it translated into English. The translation is now in the possession of the India Office Library in London. (Brian Houghton Hodgson, Essays on the Languages, Literature, and Religion of Nepal and Tibet (reprint), New Delhi: Manjusri Publishing House, 2029 Vikrama (A.D. 1972). Introduction by Philip Denwood), It has been published under the caption: ''An Account of Nepal'' in Bikrama Jit Hasrat, History of Nepal, As Told by Its Own and Contemporary Chroniclers Hoshiarpur, 1970, pp. 1-98).
Daniel Wright had come to Nepal as a medical doctor at the British Residency during the time of the Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana. He spent ten years in Nepal Wright took much interest in Nepal. the tradition of compiling Vamshavalis on a current basis from generation to generation was long current in Nepal. (Mahesh Raj Pant, ''Gapalarajavamshawali ra Bhasha Vamshawaliko Sadharmya Ka Kehi Udaharana'' (Some similarities between the Gopalarajavamshawali and the Bhasha Vamshawali). Purnima, No. 31, 2031 (Vikrama (A.D. 1974), pp. 162-66). Pandit Gunananda of Patan was one of these chroniclers. With his help, Danial Wright had Mir Munshi Shivashankara Simha of the British translate a Vamshawali written in the Nepali language into English. He edited the translation himself, and also wrote a detailed introductory sketch. The book was published from Cambridge in the Vikrama year 1933. it become very popular, because it contained a complete history of Nepal from the earlist times to the Vikrama year 1886, and was written in the English language.
After Nepali scholars started studying the history of Nepal, they began to pay greater interest in the Vamshawalis. In the Vikrama year 2020, Nayanath Poudel edited and published a Vamshawali on the basis of two manuscripts in the possession of the National Library and the Bir Labrary. Devi Prasad Lamsal carried on the work ahead. However, it remained
incomplete, and only those portions that carried the story of Prithvi Narayan Shah's conquest of Kathmandu were published. (Nayanath Poudel (ed.), Bhasha Vamshawali, pt. 1, Kathmandu: Nepal National Library, Department of Archeology, Ministry of Education of His Majesty's Government, 2020 Vikrama 1963). The Bir Labrary Vamshawali usedby Nayanath Paudel and Devi Prasad Lamal was published by the Department of Archeology of the Ministry of Education of His Majesty's Government in Ancient Nepal (No. 7, pp. 1-24; No. 8, pp. 1-24; No. 9, pp. 1-24; and No. 10, pp. 1-24 in the Vikrama year 2026, and No. 11, pp. 1-17 in the Vikrama year 2027) under the title ''Nepalako Itihasa Rajabhogamala.''
A similar Vamshawali was found in the possession of Subha Bhupal Man Singh Pradhan. It starts with an account of places of pilgrimage in Nepal and contains a description of events until to Vikrama year 1942 (A.D. 1885). Bala Chandra Sharma in Ancient Nepal (No. 4, pp. 3-15; No. 5, pp. 1-17, and No. 6, pp. 1-29 in the Vikrama year 2025).
A similar but more detailed Vamshawali is available at Kaiser Library. It contains an account from the time of Creation until the Vikrama year 1947 (A.D. 1890). This Vamshawali too has been published in Ancient Nepal, (No. 12, pp. 1-27; No. 13, pp. 1-24; and No. 14, pp. 1-24 of the Vikrama year 2027; No. 16, pp. 1-24; No. 17, pp. 1-11 and No. 18, pp. 1-24 of the Vikrama year 2028; No. 19, pp. 1-23; No. 20, pp. 1-24; No. 21, pp. 1-28, and No. 22, pp. 1-20 of the Vikrama year 2029; No. 23, pp. 1-10, No. 24, pp., 1-23; No. 25, pp. 1-20; and No. 26, pp. 1-14 of the Vikrama year 2-30; and No. 27, pp. 1-32 of the Vikrama year 2031).
All these five Vamshawalis refer to the invasion of Kathmandu Valley by King Mukunda Sen of Palpa. As this is the main theme of the present article, we reproduce below the relevant excerpts from all these five Vamshawalis.
Anandamalla … reigned for 35 years.
Safa … made a resolution.
He reigned 35 years. In the course of his reign an astrologer of Bhatgaon told him to send for the sands of the Visnumati at a certain hour, and that the sand would be converted into gold dust in the course of four days. Accordingly, the Raja sent a train of Bhatgaon porters to fetch sand, and whilst they were bringing it, a Newar inhabitant of Kathmandu named Safe asked the porters what it was. They replied: It is the sand of the Visnumati which could be had on the spot from whence they came so far to take it. An astrologer, who has turned the Rajah mad of late, advised him to do so.''
Hearing this Safa perceived that there must be something mysterious in the matter; so he bribed the porters to leave the send with him and replace it with other, which they did, and the sand thus fraudulently taken by Safe became gold dust, as had been foretold by the astrologer or Bhatgaon.
Safa thus enriched made a resolution to establish a new era. accordingly, the discharged the debts of the people with the value of the gold dust and gave rise to a new era called the Nepal Samvat. In the 10th year of the Nepali Samvat, Safa died after having erected his images in front of the southern door of the Pashupatinath temple.
Raja Jayadevamalla Kathmandu and Anandamalla of Bhatgan were defeated and deposed by (1) Nanyadeva, who came to besiege their dominion from Carnatic with a numerous host of all castes and descriptions among which was a caste called Dwingju Newars who had kuldevatas or family gods called Dwinaju with them. By the aid of these deities Nanyadeva conquered the country and took possession of Bhatgaon and settled there, when the Malla Rajahs having left the country went to settle in Tirhut.
Nanyadeva died after a reign of 50 years, and was succeeded by his son (2) Gangadeva, who died in the 41styear of his reign, and was succeeded by his son (3) Saktideva, who died in the 39th year of his reign, and was succeeded by his son (4) Ramasimhadeva. In the time of this Rajah, Rajah Mukandasena of Palpa, having surrounded the country of Nepal with a numerous force in the season of harvest, the people for fear of being killed left their abodes and in the meantime buried their paddy and radish crops under ground. Mukundasena having plundered the country and demolished the temples of the deities and destroyed their images and also taken out the Bhairava from the ground of Matsyendra's Vihar of monastery carried it to his native country of Palpa where it is still to be seen. When he was proceeding with his numerous train, the inhabitants of Patan who were performing the ceremony of Shanayatra of Matsyendranath, hearing the shouts of his sholdiers ran away after leaving the image alone. The Rajah having approached the image was much astonished by the sight of five golden serpents pouring out water from their mouths on the head of Matsyendranath. He took off the golden garland from the neck of his horse and threw it at Matsyendra, who bowed his head a little and received the same in his neck. This garland is still in his possession to this day.
The followers of Mukandasena had provoked the wrath of the god Pasupatinath by their sins and cruelties. Consequently, Pasupatinath caused a dreadful contagion to break out in his army which was destroyed in one week, except the Rajah, who turned a Sanyasi and departed in mendicant's guise for his native country. After his departure when the Nepalese dug out their paddy and radishes from the ground, they were half rotten, wherefore the people gave them the appellation of Hakua and Sunki (or black paddy and putrified vegetables).
After the disgraceful departure of Mukandasena the country became withour a ruler, whereon the Vaisya dynasty of Nawakot came and took possession of the country, in such a manner that Kantipur was possessed by twelve and Patan by twenty-four Rajahs. (Hasrat, op. cit. pp. 49-52).
At that time when Raja Jaya-deva Malla was ruling over Lalit-Patan and Kantipur, and Ananda Malla over Bhaktapur, in the Saka year 811, and Nepal Sambat 9 (A.D. 889), on the 7th of Srawana Sudi, a Saturday, Nanya-deva Raja came from the
south Karnataka country and entered Nepal. he brought with him the Saka Sahkala era, and introduced it. Among the troops that were with him were Newars, from a country called [Mayera], who were Brahma-putra Chhetris and Achars. He brought two devatas with him, named Maju and Swekhu, and having defeated the Malla Rajas, he compelled them to flee to Tirhut. The established his court at Bhaktapur, and ruled over it as well as over Lalit-patan and Kantipur. The kings of this dynasty are as follows:
1. Nanya-deva reigned 50 years.
2. His son Ganga-deva reigned 41 years.
3. His son Narsinha-deva reigned 31 years.
In his reign, in Nepal Sambat 111 (A.D. 991), on the 6th of Phagun Sudi, Raja Malla-deva and Kathya Malla, of Lalit-patan, founded the village of Chapagaon, then called Champapuri.
4. His son Sakti-Deva reigned 39 years.
5. His son Rama-Sinha-deva reigned 58 years.
All went well in his reign.
6. His son Hari-deva.
He removed his court in Kantipur.
In the reign of Hari-deva Raja, the ministers, people and troops of Patan revolted, and the Raja with his ministers and the troops of Kathmadon (sic), going to suppress the rebellion, was defeated, and pursued as far as Thambahil..
At this time there was a Magar in his service, who, through the machinations of ministers, was dismissed as being no loner required. This man returned to his home, and praised Nepal as having houses with golden roofs and golden pranalis (of dharas). The Raja Mukunda-sena, a brave and powerful monarch, having heard of this, came to Nepal from the west, with a large number of mounted troops, and subdued Raja Hari-deva, the son of Rama-sinha-deva. Of the Nepalese troops some were slain, and other fled. Great confusion reigned in the three cities. Through fear of the troops the people buried their radishes, and having cut their rice, stacked it and concealed it by heaping earth over it. The victorious soldiers broke and disfigured the images of the gods, and sent the Bhairava placed in front of Machchhindranath to their own country, Palpa and Butawal.