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History of Nepal

Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-religious, multi-racial and multilingual country. The most spoken language of Nepal is Nepali followed by several other ethnic languages such as Newari, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tamang etc. History of Nepal is wrote down centred on the Kathmandu valley and begins with the Kirantis who is said to have ruled for many centuries beginning from the 7th or 8th Century B.C. with their famous King Yalamber. By defeating the last king of Bhuwansingh (Avir Dynasty) in a battle, Kirati King Yalamber had taken the regime of the valley under his control.  this incident is believed to have taken place in the initial phase of Kaliyug.

      After Kiratas, then came the rulers of Lichhavis dynasty who improved the economy and making great contributions for the development of the art of building, temples, images and different places. The Lichhavi dynasty was established in Nepal by defeating last Kirati King 'Khigu' with the impact of Suryavanshi, according to Gopal genealogy.

      Malla rule started with Ari Malla in the 12th century and over the next two centuries, his kingdom expanded widely into much of Indian subcontinent and western Tibet before breaking down into small principalities, which later became known as ‘Baise Rajya’. In Malla’s dynasty, society and the cities became well organized, religious festivals were introduced and literature, music, art were well encouraged and they built many numbers of temples and amazing places with beautiful architecture. New Art and Architecture was introduced in this era. The monuments in Kathmandu Valley which are listed by UNESCO these days were built during Malla time. Malla Dynasty is the longest ruling dynasty with more than 550 ruling period (12th century to 18th century). After the death of Yaksha Malla, the valley was divided into three kingdoms: Kantipur, Bhadgaon Patan. Nepal, as we know it today, was divided into 46 independent principalities around this time.

       King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the Kathmandu at the day of Indra Jatra. In 1743 CE, Prithvi Narayan Shah succeeded his father Nara Bhupal Shah to the throne of Gorkha. Prithvi Narayan Shah embarked on a conquering mission that led to the defeat of all the kingdoms in the valley (including Kirtipur) by 1769. Instead of adding the newly acquired states to his kingdom of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan decided to move his capital to Kathmandu establishing the Shah dynasty which ruled unified Nepal from 1769 to 2008. Prithvi Narayan dedicated himself at an early age to the ruler of the Kathmandu valley, recognizing the threat of the British Raj in India, King Prithvi Narayan Shah dismissed European missionaries from the country, Nepal remained in isolation. Prithvi Narayan Shah was successful in bringing together diverse religious-ethnic groups under one nation.

      Jung Bahadur Rana was the first ruler from Rana dynasty. Both the Rana dynasty and Shah dynasty are Rajput caste and they titled “Shri Teen”, “Maharaja” and “Shri Panch” “Maharajdhiraj”. The Rana regime, a tightly centralized autocracy and pursued a policy of isolating Nepal from external influences. This policy helped Nepal to maintain its national independence during the British era, but it also impeded the country's economic development and modernization. In December 1923, Britain and Nepal formally signed a "treaty of perpetual peace and friendship" superseding the Sugauli Sandhi of 1816 and upgrading the British resident in Kathmandu to an envoy. In 1924, Slavery was abolished in Nepal under the premiership of Chandra Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana.

      During the mid-19th Century, Jung Bahadur Rana became Nepal’s first prime minister to brandish absolute power relegating the Shah king to mere figureheads. He started a hereditary reign of the Rana Prime Ministers that lasted for almost 104 years. The Ranas were overthrown in a democracy movement of the early 1950s with support from King Tribhuvan. Soon after the overthrow of the Ranas, King Tribhuvan was reelected as the Head of the State. King Mahendra issued a new constitution, and the first democratic elections for a national assembly were held in 1959. The Nepali Congress Party was triumphant and their leader, BP Koirala formed a government and served as prime minister. By 1960, King Mahendra dissolved Parliament, dismissing the first democratic government.

      Nepal held its first parliamentary elections in 1991. The Maoist parties declared People’s War against monarchy and the elected government in Feb 1996. On 1st June of 2001, a horrific tragedy wiped out the entire royal family including King Birendra and his entire family with his brother Gyanendra and his family surviving, he was crowned the king of Nepal. People’s Movement was launched jointly by the democratic parties focusing most energy in Kathmandu which led to a continuous 19-day curfew in April 2006.  A people movement of 2006 had removed the Shah Dynasty of constitutional monarchy. On 28th May 2008, Nepal has been declared as the Federal Democratic Republic by the First Constitutional Assembly.