Kathmandu: December 1982



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On Shrawan Shukla Dwadashi every year, significant objects in each Bahal are put on public display for a week; the practice being known as Bahi Boya in the Newari language. In the cource of the Bahi Boya at Itumbahal, a Pouwah (Scroll) is exhibited, which contains an illustrated account in Vamshawali style and in the Newari language of King Mukunda Sen's invasion. (Daniel wright, History of Nepal, pp. 167-70; a photograph of the scroll is in the possession of Lan Alsop). The account is as follows:-
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''King Mukunda Sen…. Set fire to a number of places…All the inhabitants of Nepal…. fled. The Magar King Mukunda Sen assembled his troops and decided to stay aat Itumbahal. . without damaging it… When he saw its goldon roof.
This account shows that King Mukunda Sen had put up his camp at Itumbahal. According to the Gopalarajavamshawali, Itumbahal has long been used as a fort. (Gautamvajra Vajracharya, Manumandhokako Rajadarbar (The Royal Palace of Hanumandhoka), Kathmandu: Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuwan University, 2033 Vikrama (A.D. 1976), p. 38). According to Maharganivarna (Control of Dearness) (Devi Chandra Shrestha (ed.), Kathmandu: Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuwan University, 2030 Vikrama (A.D. 1973), p. 17), which originally written in 1949 Vikrama (A.D. 1892), ''during the rule of the former nepali kings, Itumbahal was the place where the army assembled.'' This shows that the fact of Itumbahal having been used aso parade ground during the Malla period had long remained alive in people's memory. It may be noted tat Itumbahal has been constructed as a military fort like the royal palace during the Malla period. It tumbahal was thus important from both religious and strategic viewpoints. According to legend, therefore, Mukunda Sen occupied Itumbahal. The above-mentioned pouwah, however, shows that it escaped destruction at his hands.
There is also the legend that Mukunda Sen had offered as umbrella for the idol of Dipankara Tathagata at Itumbahal. The rod of the Umbralla is still is existence at Itumbahal, and is known as ''Mukunchhatra'' (Hemaraj Shakya, Samyak Mahadana Guthi, Kathmandu: Jagatdhar Tuladhar, 2033 Vikrama (A.D. 1979), p. 217.
It these legends are to be believed, Mukunda Sen was not anti-Buddhist, but revered Buddhist deities. It would also appear that he set fire to Simbhu, Bhagawan Bahal, and Khusibahil not out of religious considerations, but because of military needs.
Of cource, there are also legends that he destroyed several Buddhist shrines.
For instance, it is said that he raided Yatkha-Bahal, another important Bahal situated to the west of Itumbahal, and that the Palpa troops took away an idol of the Buddha from there. (Hemaraj Shakya, Shribhaskara Kirti Mahavihara Yetkhabaha: Chhagu Adhyayana, Kathmandu: Aryanamasangiti Guthi, 2035 Vikrama (A.D. 1978), pp. 26-27).
According to another legend, a Magar King invaded Nepal Valley and carried away thte idol of Seto-Machhindra. (Raja Shakya, ''Bhay Wa Itihasaya Pauwa Janabahahdyo,'' Jah (Newari), published by the Nepal Bhasha Sahitya Pela of the Trichandra Campus in Kathmandu in 2036 Vikrama (A.D. 1979), pp. 171-72).
We may here recall the Vamshawali accounts of how Mukunda Sen in the couse of his invasion, demolished temples, destroyed the idols of deitites, and took away the idol of Bhairawa, displayed during the Machhindranatha festival, to Palpa. These accounts give us the impression that like the Muslims, Mukunda Sen did not hesitate to demolish temples and destroy idols. The Vamshawalis also state that Mukunda Sen also intended to raid the shrine of Machhindranatha, but did not do so because he saw the power of the deity, and, instead, offered a garland of gold.
Contemporary evidence shows that Mukunda Sen set fire to such Buddhist shrines as Simbhu, Bhagawan Bahal, and Khusibahil, but visited Pashupati, a Shaiva temple, for a bath. This leads us to wonder whether Mukunda Sen was anti-Buddhist. The evidence contained in the Vamshawalis shows that he did not belong to any particular religion, but, like the Muslims, was an iconoclast. But contemporary evidence shows that he attacked only Buddhist shrines, whereas according to legend he paid his respects at other Buddhist shrines. In any case, available evidence is not edquate to enable us to form a definite opinion on this question.

As mentioned previously, Mukunda Sen invaded Nepal Valley in Magh 645 Nepal Samvat (1581 Vikrama) and in Falgun 646 Nepal Samvat (1582 Vikrama). He seems to have attacked Kirtipur, Patan, Chapagaun, Thimi, Bode, Kathmandu, Simbhu, Thamel, Naksal, Dharmasthali, Thankot, Sinkwantha, Aglagrama, and Chandragiri., His Magar forces visited Pashupati for a bath, and two of them were captured at Changu. The invasion thus extended to all the three towns in Nepal Valley, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.


The account does not mention who were ruling Nepal Valley at the time of Mukunda Sen's invasion. Let us now see whether there is any other evidence to shed light on this question.
Let us first consider the case of Kathmandu.
King Ratna Malla of Kathmandu died in 1577 Vikrama. (Itihasa Samshodhanako Pramana-Prameya. P. 140). He was succeeded by his son, Surya Malla, who died in 1586 Vikrama (Shankar Man Rajvamshi, ''Narendra Malla ra Amara Malla Ekai Vyakti Hum,'' Purnima, No. 3, 2021 Vikrama (1964 A.D.), p. 31). There is thus no doubt that Surya Malla was no the throne in Kathmandu during Mukunda Sen's invasion in 1581-82 Vikrama
Let us now tern to Bhaktapur.
An inscription found at Thaiba, bearing the date Bhadra 644 Nepal Samvat (1581 Vikrama) mentions Jita Malla and Prana Malla as the rulers. (Medieval Nepal, pt. 2, p. 207).
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A commentary on the Shrimadhagavata, written in Bhadra 648 Nepal Samvat, (1585 Vikrama), mentions Prana Malla as the ruler. (Ibid, p. 207).
A commentary on the Khanda Khadya, written in Kartik 654 Nepal Samvat (1590 Vikrama) mentions Jita Malla and Prana Malla as the rulers. (Dinesh Raj Pant, ''Ashcharya Tutha ''ttara'' (Surprise and reply), Maryada, published by the Balamiki Campus of the Institute of Sanskrit Studies of the Tribhuwan University, No. 13, 2034 Vikrama, pp. 88-90).
All this shows that Bhaktapur was ruled jontly by Jita Malla and Prana Malla at the time of Mukunda Sen's invasion in 1581-81 Vikrama.
We shall now take up the question of Patan.
An inscription at the big Chaitya in Kirtipur, dated Jestha 635 Nepal Samvata (1572 Vikrama), mentions Ratna Malla, Rana Malla, and Rama Malla as the rulers of Patan. (Itihasa Samshodhanako Pramana-Prameya, p.8).
The Subahal inscription of Baisakh 656 Nepal Samvat (1593 Vikrama) mentions the Pradhan Mahapatra Vishnu Simha as the independent ruler of Patan. (Ibid, pp. 11-12).
All this shows that Patan was ruled by Mahapatras during Mukunda Sen's invasion in 1981-82 Vikrama.
It is thus clear that during Mukunda Sen's invasion, Surya Malla was King in Kathmandu, Jita Malla, and Prana Malla were joint ruler of Bhaktapur, and Mahapatras were similarly joint rulers of Patan.
In 1605 Vikrama, King Narendra Malla (Amara Malla) of Kathmandu, dissatisfied elephants in the royal family of Bhaktapur, the Mahapatras of Patan, the Ravutta of Pharping, and the Bharos of Dolakha concluded a treaty of alliance against King Prana Malla of Bhaktapur. (Dhanavajra Vajracharya and Tek Bahadur Shrestha, Dolakhako Aitihasika Ruparekha (Historical outline of Dolakha), Kathmandu: Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, Tirbhuwan University, 2031 Vikrama, pp. 32-33). The treaty contains a reference to Magars. A translation, as given by Dhamavajra Vajracharya and Tek Bahadur Shrestha, is as follows:-
''If Magars come through Nuwakot or elsewhere, we shall remain united and offer resistance with the consideration to their strength.'' (Copper-plate inscription at the Pashupati temple dated 1605 Vikrama, Dhanavajra Vajracharya and Tek Bahadur Shrastha, Nuwakot Aitihasika Ruparekha (Historical outline of Nuwakot), Kathmandu: Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuwan University, 2032 vikrama, p. 46).
133.
This reference shows that the rulers of Dolakha had been harassed by Magars owing to their frequent invasions.
Dhanvajra Vajracharya and Tek Bahadur Shrestha have given the following interpretation of the treaty:
''The treaty makes a reference to Nuwakot. This was not necessary, inasmuch as Nuwakot had become a part of Kathmandu during the rule of Ratna Malla. Even then, it was natural that Narendra Malla should remain alert lest his enemies should reassest their influence in the Nuwakot area, in particular by inciting the Magars of the Gorkha area through Nuwakot, or by providing help to them. For that reason, the treaty stipulates that ''if Magars come through Nuwakot or elsewhere, we shall remain united and offer resistance with due consideration to their strength.''
''Dravya Shah had not become King of Gorkha at that time; in fact, he became King only in 1616 Vikrama. but the Pashupati treaty hints that the Magars of Gorkha already apprehended invasion by Dravya Shah. The Magars may even have given a hint to the rulers of the Valey that they would solicit assistance if necessary. The treaty also hints that the Bhaktapur side should not be able to ask for assistance from the Magars against Kathmandu. Be that as it may, the treaty shows that the rulers of the valley had maintained some kind of political relationship with the Magars of Gorkha through Nuwakot.''
(Nuwakotko Aitihasika Ruparekha, pp. 46-47).
Thus, in the opinion of Dhanavajra Vajracharya and Tek Bahadur Shrestha, the Magars belonged to Gorkha. However, they have not been able to produce any evidence to substantiate their conclusion. Further research is therefore necessary to establish the identity of the Magars.
Notes on a Karmakanda manuscript in the possession of of Amoghavajra Vajracharya may help us to settle this question. These notes contain particulars of events which occurred between 1048 and 1826 Vikrama. One entry mentions the visit of King Mukunda Sen of Palpa in 66 Nepal Samvat (1603 Vikrama). This would appear to indicate that Mukunda Sen invaded Nepal Valley in 1603 Vikrama also. This entry, and the above-metioned sentences in the Pashupati treaty, seem to refer to Mukunda Sen's invasion.
We may conclude that the Vamshawali account of Mukunda Sen's invasion is not fictitious, but that is took place in 1581 and 1582 Vikrama, rather than on the date mentioned by them.
(Concluded)
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Ban on Begar Labor
Royal order to Sardars, Subbas, Sudedars, Companies, Amalodars, etc. in eastern Nepal:
''We have received reports that the ryots are suffering great hardships because you impress forced and unpaid labor from them. In the future, you are forbidden to impress such labor for your personal needs, except for the transportation of military supplies. If we again receive complaints that the ryots have been put to hardships because of your oppression, you shall be held responsible.''
Magh Badi 4, 1872

(January 1816)

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, p. 186.
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Collection Kut Revenue, A.D. 1815
On Aswin Badi 30, 1872 (September 1815), Bhajumani Newar was granted a one-year ijara for the collection of the revenue from rice-fields under Kut tenure. The ijara was previously held by Kulananda Jha. No reference has been made to the area covered by the ijara: presumably it encompassed the entire hill region east of the Bheri river.
The ijaradar was empowered to collect saunefagu, Chaudhari, Mijhari, and mandali levies of kut lands, as well as fines and penalties collected in the course of the adminstratin of justice, and escheat property not exceeding Rs 100 in value in each case.
Payment stipulated on the ijara amounted to Rs 11,424-6 during Kulananda Jha's term; it was now increased to Rs 11,525-10. A sum of Rs 310 was debited for expenses, leaving the net amount at Rs 11,215-10.
Other obligations of the ijaradar were specified as follows:-

(1) Supply of five English-made flintlocks.

(2) Settlement of 50 new households.

(3) Reclamation of 200 muris (2 khets) of rice-lands.


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The following instructions were given to the ijaradar:
(1) Keep kut lands under cultivation, collect revenues thereon at the prescribed rates, and deposit the proceeds at the Tosakhana. Submit accounts at the end of the year and obtain clearance.
(2) Do not seek remissions on the grounds that rents are collected on adhiya basis rather than on kut basis in respect to any land.
(3) Do not increase assessment rates, and do not harass the people.

(4) Conduct on-the-spot inquiries in case lands are damaged by floods or washcuts, or in case crops are damaged by hailstorms, submit reports to us, and appropriate remissions will be sanctioned.


(5) Do not let cultivated lands revert to waste; convert uncultivated tracks into irrigated rice-fields.
(6) Do not oppress the people, or commit injustice, so that complaints are submitted to us.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, pp. 79-80.
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Salami Levy on Sunuwar Households
On Poush Sudi 10, 1875 (May 1818), Chak-Chakui fines for adultery were abolished for the Sunuwar community in the region situated between the Trishuli and the Mechi rivers. In addition, the stae relinquished its right to appropriate escheat property from members of that community.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, p. 320.
In consideration of these concessions, a Salami levy was imposed on all Sunuwar households in that region. The following regulations were promulgated on Jestha Sudi 11, 1875 for the collection of the levy:
(1) Ascertain the number of Sunuwar households in the Trishuli-Mechi region and determine their grade as abal, doyam, sim or chahar, as the case may be.
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(2) Collection the salami levy from each Sunuwar household at the following rates:

Abal … Rs 5

Doyam … Rs 4

Sim … Rs 2

Chahar … R. 1
In addition, tip tax shall be collected from each household at the rate of 1 paisa.

(3) No birtaowner or jagirdar shall be entitled to claim that revenue from the salami levy belongs to him.


(4) No Sunuwar household shall be granted exemption from payment of the salami levy on any grounds whatsoever.
(5) The following salaries shall be paid from the proceeds of salami levy to the following employees appointed for its collection:

Balawant … Rs 300

Jayakrishna … Rs 200

Bahidar Rama … Rs 40

Sharma Padhya … Rs 40

Peons … Rs 60

Rs 600

Jestha Sudi 11, 1975



(May 1818)

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, pp. 318-19.

***************

137.
Rates of Chandrayan Fee, A.D. 1811


Royal order to the inhabitants of Chhathar, Phedep, Phakphok, Terthathar, and elsewhere in Chainpur.
We hereby prescribe Chandrayan fees at the following rates for offenses involving expiation through customary rites (niti). Pay these fees and remain pure in caste and commensal matters.
Particulars Rate of Fee

1. Household guilty of offenses

volating ritual purity Rs 5
2. Households drawing water from

the same source 8 annas each


3. Other households contaminated

through contact in any way 2 annas each


Chaitra Badi 9, 1867

(March 1811)

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 35.

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Jhara Levy in Khotang, A.D. 1814
Royal order to dwares, bitalab, talab, chhap, and mohariya landowners, jimidars, Rais, dhakres, tharis, mukhiyas, guthiyars, mijhars, and other ryots residing in lands and villages assigned as jagir to Sirnath Kampu in Khotang, Majhkirat.
''You are hereby ordered to collect the jhara levy from each household at the following rates and deposit thie proceeds at the Dafdarkhana Srinath Kampu by the last day of the month of Marga every year. Labor obligations under the jhara and hulak systems have been remitted.
Category of household Rate on Jhara Levy

Hele … One rupee

Kodale … Eight annas
138.
''Upadhyaya Brahmans shall be exempt from payment of the jhara levy.''
Chaitra Sudi 9, 1871

(March 1815)

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 518-19.
A similar order was issued on Jestha Sudi 12, 1871 in the name of Newar dyers (Chhipi) residing the lands and villages assigned as jagir to Kajis in the village of Salyagaun in Halesi, Majhkirat. They too were required to deposit the proceeds of the jhara levy to the Dafdarkhana of Srinath Kampu.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 583.
**********

Monopoly Trade in Gur
On Magh Badi 4, 1871 (January 1815), Hanumanta Singh was granted a monopoly (ekahatti) in the trade in gur in the Vishnumati-Trishuli region. The monopoly was valid for a one-year period from Magh Badi 1, 1871 to Poush Sudi 15, 1872.
In consideration of the monopoly, Hanumanta Singh was required to supply 301 dharnis of sugar to the government.
Tanumanta Singh was ordered to purchase gur from traders at reasonable (wajbi) prices, and collect fines from any person who sold the commodity to others. At the same time, he was warned not to harass traders by purchasing gur from them at unduly low prices, thereby compelling them to submit complaints to the government.
Magh Badi 4, 1871
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 469-70.
**************

139.
A Short History of Nepal


By
Baburam Acharya
(Devi Prasad Bhandari, ''Ai. Shi Babrama Acharyale Rachana Garnubhayeko Nepalako Samkshipta Itihasa'' (A short history of Nepal compiled by Baburam Acharya, the historian-laureate). Chapters 1-2, Purnima, Year 8, No. 3, Marga 2031 (November-December 1974), pp. 151-57).
Devi Prasad Bhandari's Note: ''This work was dictated to me by Baburam Acharya at the Nepali Bhashaa Prakashini Samiti (Nepali Langauge Publications Bureau) between Bhadra 2006 and Marga 2008 (September 1949 and November 1951). It contains an account of the history of Nepal until the death of King Girban in 1873 Vikrama. the original copy of this work had been submitted to the Samiti; the present version is based on the draft copy which I had kept in my possession.''

Chapter 1

Goegraphical Features
1. The history of every nation or country is shaped by its geographical features. Our country, Nepa, is situated on the lap of the Himalayas, that is, the mountain-range situated between the Tibetan plateau and the plains of northern India. The Tibetan plateau si situated at an altitude of 11,000 or 13,000 feet above sea-level, and the northern areas of the plains height of 11,000 or 12,000 feet covered by these mountains stretching in three layers east to west. Ihe mountain system adjoining Tibet in the north is the highest in the world. Its peaks are always overed with snow, hence it is known as the main Himalayan range. This range branches off in the sough to form two other mountain systems, which too are considered part of the Himalayan mountain range. The central mountain-range is of medium altitude, while the southernmost range is of very low altitude. The central mountain-range consists principality of the Mahabharat and Teliya mountains, while the southern most range is known as Chure and Siwalik.
2. The rivers and streams originating in Tibet as well as in these mountain-ranges have cut valley of different have shapes and sizes at different places. These valleys have been centers of human habitation from pre-historic times. The altitude of valleys situated between these mountain-ranges, and their climate depend on the altitude of the ranges. The valleys situated at the foot of the snow-covered mountains of the main Himalayan range ranges between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. Because of the snowy climate, these valleys
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are known as Himal. The altitude of some of the broader valleys in the central mountain-range varies from 4,000 to 7,500 feet; these valleys are known as Pahar. In the case of valley in the southernmost mountain-range, the altitude varies between 1,250 and 3,000 feet. These broad valleys are known as Tarai. The Tarai valleys are situated both north and south of the Chure or Siwalik range. These are known as the inner Tarai and the outer Tarai respectively.
3. The climate is very cold in the Himalayan region, and very hot in the Tarai region. Consequently, it is very difficult for the inhabitants of the Himalayan region to live in the Tarai region during the monsoon, and for the inhabitants of the Tarai reion to live in the Himalayan region during the winter. The climate of the Pahar region is temperate and healthy, so that the inhabitants of both the Himalayan region and the Tarai region can live there comfortably throughout the year, and the inhabitants of the Pahar region too can live in the other two regions. In this manner, the Pahar region has maintained the unity of the Himalayas by encompassing both the Himalayan region and the Tarai region. For this reason, the main Himalayan settlements such as Kathmandu, Dorjeling, Simla, and Srinagar, are all situated in the Pahar region.
4. The Himalayas are shaped like a sword, with the Kashmir mountains as the hilt and the mountains north of Assam as the end. The physical features of half of the 700 mile section of the back of his sword, from Barha-Thakurai (Simla) to Dorjelling, are different from those of the rest. Consequently, this section encompasses national unity in respect to religion, language, etc. Because of political factors, however, only about a 525-mile section comprises the Nepal of today. The northern boundaries of Nepal consist mostly of Himalayan passes, which are actually the geographical boundariesas well. However, the Himalayan settlements of Kerung and Kuti, which are situated on either side of the Gaosainthan range, were joined to Tibet in A.D. 1792, hence the boundary in that area passes along a new line sough of the natural boundary. In A.D. 1816, the Singill mountans in the hills, and a small stream known as the Mechi in the Tarai region, were recognized as the boundary in the east. There is no natural boundary in the south, hence an artificial boundary-line has been demarcated by incorporating a part of the outer Tarai south of the Chure or Siwalik. At Thori and Koilabas, the boundary runs along the Chure mountain range. Accordingly, the outer Tarai region is not of uniform width everywhere. In the same year (A.D. 1816), the Mahakali rever was recognized as the western boundar. The area of the modern Kingdom of Nepal within these boundaries is 54,000 square miles, and the population is estimated at 7.5 million.
5. Nepal may be divided into four natural regions: Kirant, Sesant. (a corrupt form of Shleshmantaka as mentioned in the Nepala-Mahatmya), Magarant, and Khasant. These regions are separted by three passes situated on the Mahabharat

141.
range: Sindhuli, Upardang, and Dahaban. The region situated east of Sindhuli is known as Kirat. The Dudhkosi and Arunkosi rivers, which flow through the Himalayan and Pahar regions east of the Likhu river, divide those regions into Wallokirant, Majhkirat, and Pallokirant. The Arun is the main river of the Kosi system. two of its tributaries, the Tamor and the Sunkosi, join it in the foothills of the Mahabharat range and flow on to the Tarai as the Kosi river. The river thus divides the Tarai region of Kirant into two parts. The eastern part of known as Morang and the western port of Saptari.


6. The Sesant region encompasses settlements in the Himalayan and Pahar regions north of the Mahabharat mountains between Sindhuli and Upardang, as well as those in the Tarai in the south. In the eastern part of the Sesant region, the Sunkosi river, the main river of the Kosi system, flows down from Tibet toward the south, and takes an eastward turn after reaching the hoothills of the Mahabharat mountains. In the west, the Trishuli river is known as the Bhotekosi at the point of its origin. It is joined by rivers known as Gandaki in the west, and hence it too is known as the Gandaki river. The Bagvati is a separate river flowing from the mountains between the Kosi and Gandaki rivers, which, cutting through the Mahabharat mountains, reaches the Tarai. The valley near the source of the Bagvati river has remained the center of Nepal from ancient times, hence the river has become a sacred place of pilgrimage. The three main towns of Nepal, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, are all located in this valley. In the inner Tarai, Makwanpur and Chitwan are the main settlements. South of Makwanpur, in the outer Tarai, Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, and Mahottari are well-known settlements. Inasmuch as the boundary line passes along the Chure range (Thori) southof Chitwan, the outer Tarai region farther southward has gone out of Nepal's controle since the seventeenth century.


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