BY Gorkhas Of Dehradun Kirat-Nepal history timeline
2000 BCE: Kiratas was living at Indus-Saraswoti region. (Prof. Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2002)
To be more exact, Kirat ancestral homeland was in Sapta Sindhu (present day Jammu Kashmir and Himachal in northwest India), which was called Indus-Saraswoti Region over 5000 years ago.
The Battle of the Ten Kings (dasarajna) for territory and ideology took place. It is mentioned in the Rigveda. The 7th Mandala of the Rigveda contains references to the Battle of the Ten Kings (notably hymns 18 and 83), where king Suda defeated a confederation of hostile Aryan and Dasyu tribes. In other word the battle of the Ten Kings was between Aryan(conform with vedic teachings) and those who did not. Kiratas joined the “Dasyu” or simply the group who had different ideology from vedic culture.
The famous war between Kirat emperor Sambara and king Divo-das of Sindhu-Saraswoti Region is described even in Rigveda. Lord Indra is highly praised in the Rig-Veda for helping King Divo-dasa in this famous war. Sage Bharadwaja was Divo-dasa’s royal priest. He had ordered the King, to eliminate Kiratas and keep fighting till the time not a single Kirata is in existence in the northern frontier of Sapta Sindhu (Jammu Kashmir and Himanchal of present day). This is how the Aryans of Early Rig-Vedic times kept on moving towards the east,fighting both with Kiratas as well as Nishadhas(Indo-austroloids).
After the first Great war,
—> Kiratas Long painful march to the east of Himalayas and arrived in present day Northeast India(Assam & Sikkim) around 1100BCE–1000BCE.
700 BCE: Kirat arrived at Kathmandu valley(present day Nepal) and started a Kirat dynasty.(Baburam Acharya)
1st Kirati King Yalambar. Fought in the second Great war, (the battle of Kurukshetra) of Mahabharata. Yalambar was killed by Krishna but stop the conquest of vedic Aryan expansion into Himalayas region for awhile.
563 BCE: Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Lord Buddha) was born in Lumbini, south Nepal. He was born into King Suddhodana Gautama and his queen Mayadevi, rulers of the Shakya tribe of Kapilavastu region near Lumbini. He came to Kathmandu valley with his several disciples during the rule of the 7th Kirati ruler, King Jitedasti.
239 BCE: During the 14th Kirati King Sthunko, the Indian Emperor Ashoka visited Kathmandu Valley with his daughter, princess Charumati. During his stay in the valley, he had four stupas built in four directions and one in the centre of Patan. The stupa still stand in the Patan outside Lagankhel market.
6th BCE: During the rule of 15th Kirat King Jinghri, another religious doctrine Jainism was being preached by Mahavira in India. In this regard, Acharya Bhadrabahu, a disciple of Mahavira came to Nepal. But comparatively, Jainism could not gain popularity like Buddhism in Nepal.
4th BCE: The term “Nepal” first start to appear in ‘Atharva Parishista’.
All along before 4th BCE, the Himalayas region from Himachal Pradesh(northwest India) Nepal(central) to Tripura( northeast India ) and all the way to Chittagong(Bangladesh) in the south was referred as “Kirat Desa”or land of Kiratas.
300AD: Invasion of Licchavis from northern India started.
The 28th Kirati King Paruka was at the throne when the Sombanshi ruler attacked his regime many times from the west. Although he successfully repelled their attacks, he was forced to move to Shankhamul from Gokarna. He had built a royal palace called “Patuka” when he shifted to Shankhamul. Today this royal palace “Patuka” is no more to be seen now except its ruins in the form of mound. But Patuka had changed Shankhamul into a beautiful town.
330AD: The last King of the Kirat dynasty was Gasti.
He was a weak ruler and was overthrown by the Sombanshi ruler Nimisha. It brought to the end of the powerful Kirat dynasty that had lasted for about 1225 years.
Kiratis fought bravely to protect their Kingdom in the Kathmandu valley against the Invasion of Licchavis and in doing so many were killed. For instance, there is a neighborhood in the northern part of Patan city known as Chyasal. It is said that here, 800 (chyasa in Newari is 800) Kirati warriors fell to the invading Licchavis.(Tiwari, 2001)
Many more were killed around the towns, forest, rivers and hills of ancient Kathmandu valley while fighting the invaders from northern India but were eventually overrun by the Licchavis who were simply too big in numbers
After the defeat,
—> Kirat again painful march in search for new settlements.
Kirats moved to the Eastern hills of Nepal and settled down divided into small principalities. Their settlements were divided into their regions, i.e. ‘Wallokirat’ that lied to the East of the Kathmandu, ‘Majkirat’ or Central Kirat region and ‘Pallokirat’ that border with Sikkim. These regions are still heavily populated by Kirats today.
The two long painful march in search of new land shows that Kirat people are resilient and independent. Kiratis did not like living under the invaders and instead move on.
1774 AD: ‘Pallokirat'(strong hold of Limbus, Lepchas, Dhimal) was the last of 3 Kirat Kingdoms to sign treaty with Gorkha King P.N Shah to form modern Nepal. The other 2 Wallokirat(stronghold of Sunuwar, Thami, Chepang, Hayu) & Majkirat(stronghold of Rais & Yakkha ) had signed the treaty by 1769 AD.
The only reason why Gorkhali King Prithvi Narayan Shah was able to unify the 3 Kirat Kingdoms to form modern Nepal was due to a dissent among the 3 Kirat Kingdoms. Had the 3 Kirat Kingdoms united against the invasion of P.N Shah, Nepal would have been a different story today. Therefore by taking advantage of the situation, P.N Shah captured Wallokirat first. This act of terror surprised Rais & Yakkhas of Majkirat that P.N Shah was capable of doing such heinous act. Rais & Yakkha declare war on P.N Shah and his army. After series of battle P.N Shah troops was depleted and was on the verge of loosing. But P.N Shah brought more reinforcement from the Kathmandu and the west Nepal. He made use of Magars and Gurung men whom he had captured in Gorkha and surrounding areas in west Nepal to fight the Rais & Yakkhas for Majkirat. Finally peace was negotiated and treaty signed with P.N Shah by the ruler of Majkirat.
All this awhile, P.N Shah had used guns and muskets he had acquired after invading the Kathmandu valley. The British Government who were ruling in India was trading with the Newar of Kathmandu valley. So after capturing the Kathmandu valley, P.N Shah and his troops also got guns and muskets Newar had got from the British. With that, P.N Shah set his eyes towards the Kirat Kingdom lying east of Kathmandu. After bringing Wallokirat and Majkirat to the treaty table, P.N Shah headed to land of Limbus, Lepchas and Dhimal in Pallokirat.
There he had more bitter confrontation especially with Limbus(“an archer, or bearer of bow and arrows” in the Kirati name) are famed for their archery. P.N Shah armies used the same warfare tactics again using guns and muskets but this was not a problem for Kirat-Limbus. The Limbus made Shah armies fled in terror several times with their skills and accuracy in using their conventional bow and arrow.
Every Nepali history student knows the circumstances under which the Kirat Kingdoms were brought under the over lordship of P.N Shah if the truth was told.The truth was that it was through the treaty and not by the conquest that P.N Shah was able to capture 3 Kirat’s Kingdom and formed a modern Nepal in 1774.
To mark the occasion, King Prithvi Narayan Shah had issued under his Lal Mohur (Red Seal) the following decree:
“We have conquered your country although you had fought valiantly in its defense. We hereby pardon all your war crimes. Protection of you and your kinsmen will henceforth be our responsibility. You will continue to enjoy whatever customs and traditions, rights and privileges you have hitherto enjoyed as long as this world remains in existence. If ever, me or any of my descendants were to deprive you of these rights and privileges that we are now confirming upon you, may the curse of my own ancestors and gods befall upon me and my pro-genies and destroy us.”
With this the Gorkha King gave full autonomy and land ownership(Kipat) to Kiratis as issued under the Lal Mohor. However, he made a simple demand on the Kiratis that they accept new identity to mark the occasion; thus Khambu Rai were given a new title of Jimdar, Yakthumba Limbu became Subba, Yakkha Rai became Dewan, Sunuwar Rai became Mukiya, Rong Pa became Lepcha and so on.
But true enough the descendants of Prithvi Narayan Shah went back against their promises.
The Singha Durbar (literally, Lion Palace) in Kathmandu is the official seat of government of Nepal. A substantial portion of the Singha Durbar was destroyed by fire in 1973 but the fact was that it was deliberately set on fire to destroy all Treaty, Legal document between Kirat & King Prithvi Narayan Shah.
According to the work “Nepali Rajniti ma Adhekhai Sachai”(Hidden facts in Nepalese Politics) by Gopal Gurung, many of the original Kirat religion and culture was banned during the Rana government and all sort of Kiranti documents were burned and destroy which the office used to call Jatiya nasta bivag.
And for over 200+ years, though Kirat history so rich, colorful and mesmerizing was hidden from the Nepalese and to the world. This was partly because the previous Shah and Rana rulers who are Hindus did not respected the Kirat’s culture while they were deeply rooted in championing their history which was only of 200+ years old. Kirat’s history was never taught in Nepal school fully. Though the Nepali history class mentioned about Kirat, the book always stop it by saying “Not much is known about them” and goes on to Licchavis era, Thakuri era, Malla era and finally Shah and Rana era. Licchavis, Thakuri, Malla, Shah and Rana history are mentioned the most in Nepal’s history class because these are all Hindus. But the mostly Shah and Rana gets all the credits for nations building and even a museum is built in honor to all the Shah and Rana rulers when the fact was that it was during the 240 years of Shah and Rana period, Nepal as a nation went downhill. Caste system flourished as Nepal was declared a Hindu Nation by the Shah rulers. As for the indigenous communities of Nepal who are not even Hindus, they were discriminated in every field especially in running of Nepal. Nepal became one of the poorest nation and the state it is right now is largely accredited to the Hindu Shah and Rana government who discriminated the indigenous communities. The Shah and Rana rulers made Nepal as a tool for making money for them but not for the nation. But this is another side of the story.
Temples of the Nepal valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2009
The brick and the bull: an account of Handigaun, the ancient capital of Nepal
By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2002
The ancient settlements of the Kathmandu Valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2001
In The Kingdom Of The Gods By Desmond Doig, 1999
History of Nepal By Shew Shunker Singh, Gunanand and Daniel Wright, 1966
and in the articles “A victim of the Mahabharata” of NepaliTimes,
ISSUE #29 (09 FEB 2001 – 15 FEB 2001)
The Vedic-Aryan Entry Into Contemporary Nepal
[A Pre-Historical Analysis Based on the
Study Of Puranas] By Shiva Raj Shrestha “Malla”
with support from the “ANCIENT NEPAL”
Journal of the Department of Archaeology, (Number 147, June 2001)
Anyway here’s the video of some Kirat history and culture that has been preserved. The Kirat flag is at 0:15 of the video. This flag represented Kirat and Nepal during the vedic and in Mahabharata time. Yalambar the great warrior King is in the video at 0:20.
The term “Nepal” is first found in ‘Atharva Parishista’ (4th Century BCE).
The term “Kirat Desa” or Kirat Country is found in the earlier documents such as Veda and other ancient Hindu texts.The Kirat Desa extended from Himachal Pradesh, in northwest India, Nepal(central) to Tripura(east) and all the way to Chittagong in the south as mentioned in Veda and other ancient Hindu texts. Today Kirat people live in Nepal, Assam and Sikkim.
Kiratas–Mongoloid in race first appear in the Yajur Veda (Shukla XXX.16; Krisha III.4,12,1), and in the Atharva Veda (X.4,14) more than 1500 BCE.
The Manusmriti identifies the Kiratas as one of the eleven tribes who inhabited the Indus-Saraswoti region. The Kiratas were forced to move away from their homeland in Indus-Saraswoti region and into the Himalayas including present day Nepal (Tiwari, 2002). According to Baburam Acharya, Kiratas came to Kathmandu Valley in about 700 BCE in which Yalambar became the first Kirat King to start the dynasty.
The Vishnu Purana(an ancient Hindu texts) mentioned that the “chatur-varna” or four class social system was absent among the Kiratas in Kiratdesa in the east and the Yavanas(Greek) and Kambojas(Iranian), etc. in the pashchima or west. (Vishnu Purana, 2.37).
This clearly shows that Kiratdesa(Nepal) did not have any vedic culture up to this point. The chatur-varna that ultimately resulted in caste discrimination hence entered Nepal after the arrival of Vedic Aryan (Licchavis) from northern India in around 300 AD. After 30 years of war, the Licchavis finally ended Kirat dynasty during during the rule of 29 Kirat King Gasti who was a weak ruler. This brought to the end of Kirat period ( 900 BCE to 330 AD) and was a beginning to a downfall of Nepal society.
When it means “Kiratdesa”, it simply means Mongol country or land of Mongol. The “Kirata” is a term broadly used by Vedic Aryans for the Mongoloid race. In support, neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley and around other regions like Dang proved that Tibeto-Burman ethnicity have been living in the Himalayan region including Nepal for for at least 9,000 years. This is quite a findings released by the Journals of the Department of Archaeology of Nepal, published 2003.
The Kiratis resettled in east and west of Nepal after the Kirat dynasty felled in the hands of Licchavis in 330 AD.
G.P Singh had already identified the Newaris, Gurungs, Magars and Lepchas as Kiratas beside the usual Rai & Limbu who have been recognized as Kirat long time ago. He even stated that the Thadus or Tharus occupying the Tarai region from Nepal and eastern Rohilkhanda along the frontiers of Oudh to Gorakhpur are supposed to be identical with the Kiratas.(The Kiratas in Ancient India, 1990)
Dor Bahadur Bista through linguistic had identified that Kiratas are all the Indo-Mongoloid group. He wrote that the Kirat descendants include all Indo-Mongolian people speaking various Tibeto-Burmese dialects as their mother tongue, the principal of which are the Rai, Limbu, Yakkha, Sunuwar, Jirel, Hayu, Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Thami and Chepang in the hills, and the Tharu, Danuwar, Bote Majhi, Dhimal, Meche, Koche in the plains. He also cited that the earliest Newar of Kathmandu are also thought to belong to this group.(Fatalism and Development, 1991)
This was reported in early 90’s but then the government of Nepal turned a deaf ear regarding the findings of Bista and Singh.
In Nepal history class, we are taught that the term Nepal originated from Hindu sage named “Ne” established himself at the valley of Kathmandu during prehistoric times and that the word “Nepal” came into existence as the place protected (“pala” in Sanskrit) by the sage “Ne”. The etymology of the name Nepal means, “the country looked after by Ne”.
But in fact, Suniti Kumar Chatterji, the Chairman of the Asiatic Society and a professor at the Calcutta University in India, has verified this historical fact that the term Nepal is derived from the Tibetan language Nebal meaning “a house of wool”.
This is one of the many fictitious myth that is taught in Nepal’s school away from telling the truth.
Keith Dowman in his work (Power Places of Kathmandu) said
“With the establishment of a stable Licchavi dynasty, the Kathmandu Valley entered the mainstream of classical Indian culture with a sophisticated urban society. The Brahmin priests who accompanied the Licchavis accelerated the process of “sanskritization”, which brought the mongoloid people into the Indian fold.”
While the Kiratas left the Kathmandu valley after the defeat, those who remained or were left behind form the matrix of valley race(Newars). Hence through the sanskritization, the indigenous mongoloid people that were most influenced by Hinduism were the Kiratas who remained in the valley, forming a new race, “Newar”.
Slusser has simply summed up Newar origin. “On the basis of varied evidence—literary, historical, anthropological, linguistic, and that of tradition—we may then speculate that the Kirata, metamorphosed by millennia of miscegenation and acculturation, form the matrix of the Kathmandu Valley population, which in contemporary Nepal is designated Newar” (SLUSSER:11).
Finally the destruction of Nepali society and bringing Nepalese into caste system became more integrated when the Indian Brahmin(Sankaracharya) from south India was appointed the head priest of Pashupathinath temple in 14th century by the Malla King.
The Indian Brahmin priest was also responsible for claiming Nepal to be Hindu nation though Nepalese have their own way of life and culture.
Again Dor Bahadur Bista in his work “Fatalism and Development” mentioned that Kirat society did not have any caste system even in the modern times. He even described in his book on how the ruling class tried to bring caste system among Kirat people. Bista wrote “Even after the unification of Nepal the Kirat people still maintain the practice of casteless society. In an attempt to induce the caste system among the Kirat group, in the coronation ceremony of his Majesty, King Birendra, in 1975, a Limbu was nominated as a Shudra, and a Shrestha as a Vaishya. Subsequently, some priests initiated four boys from Rais into Chettri status in total contradiction with the earlier act of treating Limbu. These are some typical examples of expedient behavior by the ruling class to divide the Kirat group and bringing them into caste system.”
The heinous crime committed against the Nepalese through the partnership of Sankaracharya Brahmin and Nepal Hindu King can be explain as here. Shah Kings needed Sankaracharya to rewrite their origin myths as incarnations of gods so they could rule the diverse lot with iron fists. So ever since the Hindu Kings and Brahmins have been cahoots the most enduring partnership but certainly in recent times this partnership is coming undone as scholars and historian who have done an extensive studies are highlighting the truth. Therefore it is one wise decision by Nepal government to kick Indian priests out from the Pashupathinath temple.
Yalambar, the first King of Nepal fought in the Mahabharata war where he was protecting Nepal’s sovereignty in the early period against Bharat(India). For without Yalambar, Nepal wouldn’t have existed today. Nepal would have become part of Greater India. It is therefore a great way to remember him by observing “Yalambar Day”. I understood that Nepalese in United Kingdom and HongKong have started observing Yalambar Day. We as Nepalese should observe and celebrate Yalamabar Day in Nepal and other countries we might be residing in the coming years.
After all he gave us a Nepali identity.
Many people in the world consider Siddhartha Gautama as the greatest Guru in the world. Siddhartha Gautama before he became “Buddha” or the enlightened one was born in about 563 BCE in Lumbini, south Nepal. He was born into King Suddhodana Gautama and his queen Mayadevi, rulers of the Shakya tribe of Kapilavastu region near Lumbini. During the Buddha period, Kathmandu valley was a flourishing city under Kirat dynasty. It was during the rule of 7th Kirat King Jitedasti, that Lord Gautama Buddha with his disciples came to the Kathmandu valley to preach his dharma.
In around 239 BCE, Indian King Asoka erected a pillar in Lumbini. The inscriptions on the pillar read “Here was the Enlightened One born”.
During the rule of the 14th Kirat King Sthunko, Asoka visited Kathmandu Valley with his daughter, princess Charumati. During his stay in the valley, he had four stupas built in four directions and one in the centre of Patan. Today the UNESCO has declared Kapilavastu, and Lumbini, as a World Heritage site.
The only reason why Buddhism survived in the world is because Kirat’s King were tolerant and kind of others religion & culture. Kirat did not embrace Buddhism because the Kirat have their own religion & culture called “Mundhum” based on nature & ancestors worship, which have been in existence since their time in Indus Valley. But the Kirat still welcome Buddha and his teachings anyway. Had it been Hindu or Muslim rulers ruling in that time, Buddhism never have survived today as in the case of India.
We need to correct all the wrongs that has been written in the context of Nepali history if Nepal is to progress. Many of these history are never taught in Nepalese school and those that are taught are fictitious by nature. We need to be truth about ourselves if Nepal is to go forward. Once we do this we must come together and protect Nepal once more again. Today Indian are encroaching Nepal’s land in our southern border as they have been doing from Yalambar to Gasti time over 5000 years ago. We need to unite but first we have to relearn the true history of Nepal that has been hidden for past 200 years.
Source: facebook.com kirat group