Nepal is one of the most ancient countries in the world due to its presence in holy Hindu books like Vedas and also due the various archaeological findings and resources. It has a very intricate history of being ruled by various different, kings, empires, and rulers over the centuries. Currently, Nepal is famous for being one of the ways of reaching Mount Everest or the Spiritual value it holds for Buddhists, Hindus, Bons and other such religions.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world, the history of Nepal can be traced to as far back as 300 BCE. The ancient history of Nepal can be strategically divided into 3 significant periods i.e. – the Kirat Dynasty, the Gopals, and the Mahispals, however, the latter 2 dynasties were very easily subjugated as the kirats rose to power. Given below is the detailed historical account about the history of Nepal and how it became one of the most popular countries in the world and garnered a place among everyone’s travel bucket list:
The Origin of Nepal and the Earliest Dynasties:
The word Nepal is derived from a much older word known as Nepa which was the name given to the valley of Kathmandu in the local Nepali language which was also known as the Language of newars. Other theory suggests that the name is derived from a Sanskrit word called Nepalaya which means on the foot of the mountains. The earliest sign of civilizations in Nepal has been unearthed and dated to the Vedic period due to its name mentioned in the Atharvaveda Parisista. The archaeologists have found tools and weapons belonging to the Neolithic period and have stated that the history of civilization in Nepal and its origin goes to the ancient period. People of the Kirant ethnicity are believed to be among the first people of Nepal who are said to have migrated from various regions of the Himalayas, Central Asia, and china. This brings us to the conclusion that the Kathmandu valley has been inhabited by people since 9,000 years.
Birth of Gautam Buddha and Ashoka Visit in Nepal
Lumbini in Nepal makes for a major pilgrimage pillar for the Buddhists from all over the world since it was here that Gautam Buddha was born and had spent a major part of his life. The story f Gautam Buddha is famous across not only his devotees but also the general population of how he had renounced his royal life to become an ascetic that goes by the name of Buddha or the enlightened one. He was born to the Shakya clanking Subodhana. Post achieving enlightenment he is said to have returned to Kapilavastu and told his wife, Yashodhara, about everything he had learnt. Later on by 260 BCE, Buddha returned to the Kathmandu valley again with his disciple Ananda where he stayed in Patan. Later on, after Buddhism had garnered a lot of followers and international attention, the great Hindu king Ashoka is also said to have visited Kathmandu valley where his attested inscriptions are found during his visit in Lumbini. Ashoka’s daughter had married a local prince of Nepal with an aim to spread the religion of Buddhism further.
Kingdom of Nepal
Kingdom of Nepal is also known as the Gurkha Empire or the kingdom of Gurkha was formed during the year 1768 and was a Hindu kingdom with its origin in the Indian subcontinent as a result of the unification of Nepal. The world Gorkha is related to the Hindu saint Gorakhnath. This empire lasted for a massive duration of 240 years which was founded by king Prithvi Narayan Shah until the monarchy was abolished in Nepal during 2008. Formally during this time Nepal was under the rule of the Shah dynasty that used to exercise varying degrees of power.
The very 1st battle undertaken by the forces of the Gorkhali army took place under King Prithvi Narayan known as the battle of Nuwakot. Kaji Kalu Pande was the very first army commander of this army force who led the army with his strategic tactics to win this battle. The Gurkhalis are known for their incredible strength, power and resilience all over the world and even to present day they are one of the most feared soldiers of the world.
Nepalese Civil War
Also referred to as the Maoists conflict or the Maoists insurgence was one of the major civil wars ever witnessed in Nepal which was fought between the communist party of Nepal and the government of Nepal. It lasted for 10 years from 1996 to 2006. This rebellion was launched in February 1996 by CPN with an aim of overthrowing the Nepalese monarchy and to order a permanent people’s republic. It finally came to an end when on 2006 a peace accord was signed. However, the conflict, in short, resulted in massacres, executions, kidnappings, crimes against humanities and caused the death of around 17,000 people which also consisted of civilians, army and police personnel and insurgents, etc. across the nation.
Nepal and the British Rule
In 1923, one of the most significant treaties in the history of Nepal was signed i.e. Nepal – Britain treaty of 1923. It was signed as a form of the first and foremost acknowledgment by the British forces that Nepal, as an independent country, had its own rights to conduct various foreign policies in such a way that deems fit and even in 1925 the treaty was recorded in the league of nations. This treaty granted several terms and rights to Nepal and even prior to drawing out the treaty the Nepalese and British relations were peaceful.
There is a lot of intricate historical account and relevance related to this land of the hills, Himalayas and incredible culture. Currently, it is a wonderful place to get to know more about our neighbors and even spend some quality time with their loved ones in utmost peace, serenity, and wonderment.