How Nepal was formed? Anglo-Gurkha War and British colonization


How Nepal Evolved as a Country From the Small Gorkha Kingdom? 

Nepal’s evolutionary history dates back to the period of  Gopalas and Mahishapalas that are thought to have been the oldest rulers of this valley with their funds at Matatirtha, the south-west corner of Kathmandu Valley. They had been ousted from the Kirantis across the 7th or 8th Century B.C. . The Kirantis are believed to have mastered the valley for several centuries after their success. Their famous King Yalumber is mentioned in the ‘Mahabharata‘ because he’s thought to have led his troops into the epic struggle. Subsequently, around 300 A.D. that the Lichhavis came from northern India and overthrew the Kirantis. From the early 7th century, their King Amshuvarma, married his daughter off Bhrikuti into the famed Tibetan King Tsong Tsen Gampo, consequently establishing good relations with Tibet. The Lichhavis attracted architecture and art to the valley, but the golden era of creativity came in 1200 A.D following the Mallas defeated them.

Throughout their 550 year guideline, the Mallas constructed impressive temples and richly designed palaces with beautiful squares full of woodcarvings and metal functions. It was during their rule the valley culture and the towns became nicely organized, magnificent and religious festivals were introduced along with literature, songs, art, and play.

At the moment, Present Nepal was split into 46 separate small kingdoms. One of them was that the realm of Gorkha dominated by a Shah king.

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The Gorkha(Gurkha) kingdom dates back to 1559 when Dravya Shah established his nation at a property predominated by Gurung and Magar individuals. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Gorkha kingdom has been gradually expanding, beating some Arabian nations while forging alliances with other folks.

Prithivi Narayan Shah Unification Campaign


For centuries Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhadgaon (currently Bhaktapur), the 3 kingdoms of the Kathmandu valley, had quarreled among themselves, also absorbed by internal competition to take seriously threat from outside their boundaries.

This insularity had, by 1769, allowed the king of Gurkha Prithvi Narayan Shah to defeat and conquer all of the kingdoms from the valley such as Kirtipur, forming the bases for the modern Kingdom of Nepal. This was the beginning of the Prithivi Narayan Shah unification campaign. Prithvi Narayan shah chose to move his capital to Kathmandu rather than annexing the newly obtained states to his realm of Gorkha, consequently setting the Shah dynasty, which dominated unified Nepal in the late 18th century into 2008.

In 1767, considering the possible threat from the Gurkha kingdom, the traditional valley kings asked the help of Great Britain. Captain Kinloch responded quickly and headed 2,500 soldiers against a Gurkha army, suffering heavy casualties from battle, malaria, and desertions. Britain’s defeat gave the Gurkhas confidence for future battels and also encouraged them to fight vigorously and speed up the unification campaign started by Prithvi Narayan Shah.

Finally, it had been Prithvi Narayan Shah, who directed his troops into the Kathmandu Valley. After a lengthy battle, he conquered all of the valley kings and recognized his palace at Kathmandu, leaving Gorkha for great. Knowing the danger of the British colonization in India, he banished European missionaries from the country, and for over a century, Nepal remained closed to the external world.

The conquest of the Kathmandu valley indicated the start of the growth of Gurkha power across the area. They defeated all eastern Nepal from 1773 to 1788, Gurkha forces had annexed western parts of Sikkim. From the west, all of the rulers so far as the Kali River had filed or been substituted by 1790. Farther west nevertheless, the Kumaon region and its funds Almora, had succumbed to the Gurkhas.

On the north, the Chinese emperor in Peking took measures to prevent incursions to Tibet, an outgrowth of a longstanding dispute over control and trade of the mountain passes. In 1792, he delivered an enormous military, expelling the Nepalese from Tibet to within five km of  Kathmandu. Responding to attack Regent Bahadur Shah,(son of Prithvi Naryan’s), appealed to the British Governor-General of India, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Lord Moira for help.

To avoid confrontation with the Chinese, Lord Moira sent Captain Kirkpatrick as a mediator, but, the war with China had finished when he arrived. The Chinese forced the Nepalese into signing a humiliating treaty revoking their trading privileges in Tibet and requiring them to pay tribute to Peking every five years.

The Tibet episode had postponed a formerly planned assault on the Kingdom of Garhwal (Currently lies in India) for a short while. In 1803 the King Garhwal was defeated, and all of his territories were captured and enlisted as part of Nepal.

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Further in the west,  Amar Singh Thapa expanded the territory of Nepal far as the Kangra, the most powerful fort in the mountain area, and laid siege to it. By 1809, Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the Sikh state in Punjab, had intervened and forced the Nepalese army back to the east of the Sutlej river (currently Sutlej river flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan).

The British had expanded their sphere of influence. The British East India Company’s purchase of the Nawab of Awadh’s lands brought British in the region of Gorakhpur into the reach of the king of Palpa, the last remaining independent town over the Gurkha heartlands. Which led Suspicion of the king’s collusion with the British and ultimately led to his imprisonment by the Gurkhas, and then his assassination.

Different disputes arose between Nepal and East India Company due to a shortage of a fixed border separating the Gurkhas and the British. A Border Commission enforced on Nepal from the Governor-General failed to solve the problem. Gurkha raids to the flatlands of the Tarai, a much precious strip of fertile earth, raised anxieties. Since neither side had any idea of the actual boundary, the confrontation between the powers ultimately led to the war between the kingdom of Nepal and Britain.

 Anglo-Nepalese War


The Anglo-Nepalese War, also known as the Gurkha War, was fought between the Kingdom of Gurkha and East India Company, started. The war began on November 1, 1814, and It ended with the Sugauli treaty in 1816. Sugauli treaty is considered to be the most important treaties in the history of Nepal as it led to a friendship between Nepal and Britain. Also, Nepal lost one-third of its territory as a consequence of war.

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Even though the war went badly for the British in the first phases, ultimately, they won the battle and dictated terms of peace from the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816. This treaty arrived in after Britain’s reduction from the War of 1812 from the USA along with the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon in the Waterloo Battle.

Current Nepal and its territory is a result of Anglo-Nepal war, and that was how Nepal was formed as a consequence of constant battles over the long period.

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