Some sections of this document have been deleted to retain those pertaining to the battle at Nalapani / Kalunga . There are about 60 pages here. A little more than the pages containing references to Nalapani. The original has 192 pages. These pages are available to anyone searching the Internet. For printing it is best to open the Document in Abiword available free in Linux. - 7th May 2007.
Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandu: December 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Cumulative Index for Year 11, January-December 1979.
Munitions Production 1
The Budget System and the Ranas 7
Particulars of Birta and Guthi Lands
Abolished in A.D. 1805 8
Dharan Town 10
More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani 11, 23
Revenue Collection in Jumla 16
An Explanatory Note 17
The Bakyauta Tahasil Adda 18
The Hides and Skins Levy 21
Readings in Nepali Economic History 33, 77
Bondage and Enslavement 33
Regulations for Khumbu 40
The Unification of Nepal 40, 49
Sale of Slaves 50
Thak and Thini, 1811 52
Serma Tax Rates in Palchok 54
Brahmans and the Plow 55
Cash Emoluments of Bhardars, 1851 55
Miscellaneous Documents of Magh 1856 63
Notes on the Revenues System of Nepal
During the 19th Century 65
The Dharmadhikar 71, 93, 109, 123, 132, 173,
Jimmawals in the Baisi Region 76
Hulak Regulations, 1828 78
Monthly Salaries of Military
Personnel, 1910 A.D. 82
Hat-Bazars in the Rural Areas of Nepal 84
The Baise and Chaubise Principalities 88, 97, 113, 149
A Kipat Grant in the Tarai Region 97
Panchasayakhola, 1897 104
Selected Documents of 1856 Vikrama 105, 167
Cash Reward to Prime Minister
Chandra Shumshere 113
Kumarichok Employees, 1832 122
Ban on Birta Grants 122
Ban on Cow Slaughter, 1809 126
A Debtor's End in Jumla 129
Ban on Cow Slaughter in Sulukhumbu 129
Restriction on the Use of Opium, 1909 130
The Role of the Dharmadhikar 136
Notification Regarding Transport of
Electric Equipment from Bhimphedi, 1911 139
On Bicharis and Adalats 145
Preliminary Notes on the System of
Commercial Law in Ninetheenth-Century Nepal 148
Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi and Mahottari
Districts in 1948-49 153
Revenue Settlement in Tinthapaula, 1825 A.D. 157
Kathmahals in the Tarai and Inner Tarai
Regions at the end of the Nineteenth Century 160
A Supplementary Notes on the Ukhada System 161
Sair Duties 161
Situation in Kumaun, 1810 A.D. 177
The Kathmandu Valley Entrepot Trade 185
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandul: January 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Year 11, No. 1
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. Munitions Production 1
2. The Budget System and the Ranas 7
3. Particulars of Birta and Guthi Lands abolished in A.D. 1805 8
5. Dharan Town 10
6. More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani 11
7. Revenue Collection in Jumla 16
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Compiled by Regmi Research (Private) Ltd for private study and research. Not meant for public sale or display.
During the nineteenth century, Nepal depended wholly on indigenous production for supplies of arms and ammunition. The foundation of the indigenous munitions industry had been laid by Prithvi Narayan Shah in Nuwakot with technicians procured from India, bur production was too inadequate and the army depended on what it was able to seize during its victories encounters with the invading forces of the Nawab of Bengal and the East India Company, and on what it could smuggle from India.1. Consequently, one of the major aims of Gorkhali policy during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was to procure arms from every possible source. In 1796, for instance, Subba Dinanath Upadhyaya was instructed to endorse the purchase of ''200 guns of god quality and two pieces of cannon, both of British manufacture'' by officials deputed from Kathmandu.2 In 1799, reports were received that at least seven companies. Khas, Ranabhim, Batukdal, Simhanad, Taradal, Devidatta, and Raka Sabuj, were short of guns. A sum of Rs 2,500 was sanctioned from revenues collected in the western hill region to purchase guns for their use.3 A few weeks later, Rs 2,750 was similarly sanctioned for the purchase of guns and bayonets for twelve other companies from revenues collected in Morang.4 Regulations promulgated in 1813 on the eve of the Nepal-British war for Bara, Parsa5, Saptari, and Mahottari districts6 empowered the local administrators to purchase ''flintlocks, steel, and flints'' whenever possible.
Munitions production on a systematic basis started in 1792, soon after the Nepal-China war, when a factory, later known as the Jangi Megjin, was opened in Kathmandu under the supervision of a French technician.7 its main function was to manufacture arms and equipment needed by the army.8 on the eve of the Nepal-British war, the factory was expanded and employed as many as 305 technicians and other workers.9 In 1851, Oldfield described the Jangi Megjin as ''the Government foundry for the manufacture of cannon, as well as of many other articles which are worked in the hard metals''.10 During the Rana period, the Jangi Megjin also manufactured nuts, bolts, hinges, etc. for the palaces of the Ranas.11
In October 1804, Kathmandu ended a seven-year lull in the campaign of territorial expansion by attacking Garhwal. The Gorkhali march toward the Sutlej region followed thereafter. The renewed campaign naturally led to a spurt in defense production. Local administrators in Majhkirat in the eastern hill region, the Marsyangdi-Pyuthan region in the west, and elsewhere were ordered to commander local ironsmiths, procure supplies of iron, and manufacture cannonballs.12 The quotas were fixed by Kathmandu: 30,000 balls from Majhkirat, and 50,000 balls from the Marsyangdi-Pyuthan region, within a month. A special officer was deputed to the Tarai districts in November 1805, one of his functions being to procure technicians from India and start munitions factories where possible.13
At the middle of the nineteenth century, the munitions industry appears to have been well established. Notwithstanding the derisive remarks of British observers about technicians and quality, the scale of production is truly impressive. In the words of Cavanagh:14
There is a foundry at Kathmandhoo and a large manufactory of fire arms at Peutana, about 15 marches distant. The guns are of brass (copper and zinc) and bored by machinery worked by water power…. The rifles and muskets in use with the Gorkha Army are of fair construction, but with rude flint looks. … It is supposed that in case of emergency, the government could supply muskets and accoutrements sufficient to equip upwards of 10,000 men.
Sir Richard Temple, who visited Kathmandu in May 1876, noted: ''In the vally near Kathmandu there are arsenals and magazines, with ordnance, including siege guns, stores, thousands of stands of arms, small arm and ammunition, and the like. It is remarkable that for all this they depend on indigenous manufactures.15 He also noted that ''there is large supply of ordnance of various calibers, also made in Nepal''.16
In Pyuthan, rifles of Enfield model were manufactured on a large scale. Production amounted to 501 rifles a year in 181117, which was subsequently raised to 2,101 rifles. After 1849, Prime Minister Jung Bahadur decided to operate it on a smaller scale to restore production to the previous figure.18
Around 1864, an attempt was made to manufacture rifles in Those, a rich iron-mining area in the hill region east of Kathmandu. Initially, local iron workers were commissioned to manufacture rifles in their own homes;19 a regular factory was opened for that purpose only in 1875. However, production was suspended in 1888 for about five years. In 1893, the factory was reopened20 and equipment was installed for the manufacture of nine rifles daily.21
If the scale of production was impressive, continuous experimentation and innovation were no less so. in 1851, Cavanagh noted that the manufacture of percussion caps for rifles ''is not likely to be introduced in Nepal''. 2 Less then fifteen years later, however, Daniel Wright noted that percussion caps were being manufactured in the arsenal at Kathmandu with machinery imported from England.23 Similarly, Cavanagh had mentioned that the Nepalis ''are in a great measure unacquainted with the art of manufacturing fuses''. He added that ''General Jung Bahadur has devoted much time and attention towards making experiments in order to ascertain the exact proportions of the ingredients used in preparing the composition, but hitherto with but little success''.24 However, there is evidence that fuses were manufactured on large scale at Sindhuli-Gadhi during the Nepal-Tibet war.25
Of perhaps greater interest were the innovations introduced to adapt munitions production to the exigencies of mountain warfare. Again according to Cavanagh:26
The Artillery attached to the Nepal Army numbers about 300 guns, of which 160 are retained at the capital… Those at Kathmandhoo are all in serviceable condition and well-adapted for mountain warfare, being chiefly of small caliber, from 2 to 6-pounders … .The government has lately made arrangements by separating the gun from the carriage, for transporting field pieces by means of elephants.
Munitions factories, no doubt, employed workers who were on the regular pay roll, in the term of cash salaries on jagir lands assignments.27 At the same time, the services of many workers, mostly unskilled, were impressed under the rakam systems. In other words, these workers worked in munitions factories without wages in fulfillment of their rakam obligations and received in return only a full or partial exemption from the payment of homestead taxes and protection from eviction from the rice-lands they tilled. The usual practice was to assign a number of adjoining villages to the factory; the inhabitants were then under obligations to provide such labor for porterage and other services. For instance, when the those munitions factory was reopened in 1893, a total of 314 families in nine adjoining villages were enrolled as porter for transporting its manufacture to the Nakhu magazine in Kathmandu.28 In 1812, the inhabitants of three villages in the Chisapani-Gadhi area were told:29
There is a severe shortage of iron in the munitions factory (in Kathmandu). It has become necessary to operate mines in Mahadev-Kharka, because there is a shortage of charcoal (to operate iron mines) in Ruping. You are, therefore, ordered to provide porterage services for the supply of 40 dharnis of copper every day by rotation. You are hereby exempted from forced labor obligations for other purposes.
In Pyuthan, the inhabitants of 28 villages were under obligations to pay their homestead and other taxes in the form of such materials required by the local munitions factory as sulphur and saltpeter. Because these supplies were not locally available, they had no alternative but to visit places as far as Nepalgunj, and sometimes even India, to purchase them.30 The large scale exaction of unpaid labor for munitions production in underscored by the following report which the government received from that district in 1889.31
The people (of Pyuthan district) are being employed in different capacities to meet the requirements of the local munitions factory. In some villages, people extract iron ore, while others transport
the iron to the factory. Still other people procure and supply timber, charcoal, hides and skins, peter, sulphur, borax, or salt. People are also employed to grind gunpowder, or construct factories and other government buildings, bridges, etc. Other obligations include the supply of stones, flints, sand, wax, baskets, oil, oil-cakes, oilseeds, etc. The people of this district have thus to remain in constant attendance at the factory all the twelve months of the year.
There is even evidence that occasionally force was to used unwilling or recalcitrant worker. In 1855, local authorities at Sindhuli-Madi were ordered to employ local people for the manufacture of fuses in chain gangs if necessary, if they did not offer their services voluntarily.32
In any case, there seems little doubt that unpaid-labor services in munitions factories imposed an onerous burden on the local peasantry. In December 1812, for instance, the inhabitants of Sharling village complained that they had not time to cultivate their lands because unpaid labor under the jhara system was exacted all the year round for work at the local sulphur mines.33
The efforts to modernize the munitions industry ran parallel to production of traditional weapons in the traditional manner. These included, according to Kirkpatrick, bows and arrows, ''Kohras, or hatchet swords,''34 and , of course, the Khukuri, ''the dagger, or knife worn by every Nepaulian.''35 These were the weapons, in addition to matchlocks, with which local ''irregular militia'' were equipped.36
Bows and arrows were employed by the regular army during the Nepal-British war.37 In 1813, on the eve of the war, local authorities and functionaries in the Chape/Marsyangdi-Bheri region were ordered to supply bows and poison-tipped arrows to General Amar Singh Thapa in Palpa.38 Often arrows were procured as part of the peasants' obligation under the jagir system.39
1. Baburam Acharya, Sri 5 Badamaharaja Prithvi Narayan Shah (The Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah). Kathmandu: His Majesty's Press Secretariat, Royal Palace, 2024-26 (1967-66), pt. 4, p. 722.
2. ''Royal Order to Subba Dinanath Upadhyaya,'' Aswin Badi 11, 1853 (September 1796). Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 23, p. 115.
3. ''Royal Order to Subba Dinanath Upadhyaya,'' Aswin Badi 5, 1853 (September 1796). Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 23, p. 115.
4. ''allocation of Ijara Revenues of Morang for Purchase of Guns.'' Aswin Sudi 5, 1866 (September 1799), RRC, Vo. 23, p. 416.
5. ''Administrative Regulations for Bara and Parsa District,'' Poush Sudi 14, 1869 (January 1813), Sec. 9, RRC, Vol. 41, p. 222.
6. ''Administrative Regulations for Saptari and Mahottari Districts,'' Poush Sudi 14, 1869 (January 1813), RRC, Sec. 9, Vol. 41, p. 214.
7. ''Royal Order to Michel Delpeche, ''Marga Sudi 3, 1850 (November 1793), in Yogi Naraharinath (ed.), Sandhipatra Sangraha (A collection of treaties and documents)
8. ''Royal Order Regarding Obligations of Mechanics of Army to work in munitions Factory.'' Kartik Sudi 6, 1866 (October 1809), RRC, Vol. 40, p. 110.
9. ''Appointment of Employees in Jagni Magjin,'' Marga Badi 2, 1868 (November 1811), RRC, Vol. 40, p. 299. The number was reduced to 203 in 1831. ''Land Assingments to employees of Munitions Factory.'' Baisakh Badi 6, 1888 (April 1831). RRC, Vol. 44, PP. 270-73. Regulations relating to the duties and privileges of these employees were promulgated on the same date. Ibid, pp. 252-69.
10. Henry Ambrose Oldfield, Sketches from Nipal (Reprint of 1880 ed.). Delhi: Cosmo Publications, 1974, p. 109.
11. ''Order Regarding Manufacture of Nute, Bolts, etc. for Commanding General Dhir Shumshere's House,'' Marga Sudi 6, 1921 (December 1864). RRC, Vol. 33, p. 707.
12. ''Royal Order to Subba Hemakarna Thapa in Chainpur,'' Marga Badi 7, 1862 (November 1805). RRC, Vol. 6, p. 658; ''Royal Order to Subedar Baka Khatri and Subedar Rajavarna Mahat in Majhkirat,'' Marga Badid 7, 1862 (November 1805), Ibid, Vol. 6, p. 658j.
13. ''Regulations in the Name of Babu Ram Bux Singh, ''Marga Badi 1, 1862 (November 1805), Sec. 7, RRC, Vol. 6, p. 653.
14. Orfeur Cavanagh, Rough Notes on the States of Nepal, Calcutta: W. Palmer, 1851, p. 17.
15. Richard Temple, Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim and Nepal. London: W. H. Allen, 1887, Vol. 2, p. 256.
16. Ibid, p. 258.
17. ''Appointment of Subedar Dharmaraj Khatri as Chief of Pyuthan Magazine,'' Chatra Badi 4, 1867 (March 1811). RRC, Vol. 4, p. 1.
18. ''Appropriate of Employees in Pyuthan Magazine, ''Marga Sudi 11, 1906 (November 1849). RRC, Vo. 49, p. 328; ''Cash Salaries and Land Assingments of Employees of Pyuthan Magazine,'' Chaitra Sudi 15, 1918 (March 1862). Ibid, p. 359.
19. ''Order Regarding Supply of Goodstuffs to Mechanics of Those Mines,'' Kartik Sudi 6, 1923 (October 1866), RRC, Vol. 63, p. 316.
20. ''Order Regarding Supply of Rakam Labor for Those Magazine, Jestha Sudi 2, 1854 (May 1897). RRC, Vol. 61, p. 688.
21. ''Order Regarding Manufacture of Rifles at Those Magazine,'' Jestha Sudi 3, 1854 (May 1897). Ibid., p. 732. This document notes that ''magnetic mechinary'' was installed there in A.D. 1893.
22. Cavanagh, op. cit. p. 17.
23. Danial Wright (ed.). History of Nepal (Reprint of 1877 ed.), Kathmandu: Nepal Antiquated Book Publishers, 1972. p. 49.
24. Cavanagh, op, cit. p. 15.
25. ''Order Regarding Manufacture of Fuses at Sindhuli-Gadhi,'' Ashadh Badi 5, 1912 (June 1855). RRC, Vol. 56, p. 437.
26. Cavanagh, op. cit, p. 15.
27. See No. 9 above.
28. See n. 26 above.
29. ''Order to inhabitants of Richok and other Villages'' Marga Sudi 4, 1869 (November 1812). RRC, Vol. 41, p. 167; ''Jestha Labor for Gunpowder Factory in Nuwakot,'' Baisakh Sudi 2, 1874 (April 1817). Ibid, p. 656.
30. ''Order Regarding Supply of Suphur and Saltpeter to the Pyuthan Gunpowder Factory,'' Jestha Badi 11, 1921 (May 1854). RRC, Vol. 49, p. 207.
31. Mahesh C. Regmi Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces: Peasants and Landlords in 19th Century Nepal. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House (Private) Ltd, 1978, pp. 94-95.
32. See n. 23 above.
33. ''Complaints of Inhabitants of Sharlang Village,'' Poush Sudi 4, 1869 (January 1813). RRC, Vol. 41, p. 229.
34. We Kirkpatrick, An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul (Reprinted of 1811 ed.), New Delhi: Manjusri Publishing House, 1969. p. 214.
35. Ibid, p. 113.
36. Ibid, p. 214.
37. Mahesh Raj Pant, ''Nepal-Angrej Yuddha, Nalapaniko Ladain'' (The battle of Nalapani during the Nepal-British War). Purnima, Year, 1, No. 3, Kartik 1, 2021 (October 17, 1964). English translations in Regmi Research Series, Year 10, No. 11, nove 1, 1978, p. 170.
38. ''Order Regarding Supply of Bows and Arrows from Chepe/Marsyangdi-Bheri Region,'' Bhadra Sudi 11, 1870 (September 1813), RRC, Vol. 41, p. 334).
39. ''Jagir Grant to Kaviraj Khadka for Supply of Arrows,'' Ashadh Sudi 2, 1853 (June 1796). RRC, Vol. 23, p. 110. see also pp. 350-57.
The Budget System and the Ranas
By Mahesh C. Regmi
The Rana rulers have been criticized for their failure to develop a sound system of fiscal administration. According to one study:1
No distinction was made between the personal treasury of Rana ruler and the treasury of the government, and government revenue in excess of administrative expenses was pocketed by the Rana ruler as private income. No budgets of the government's expenditures and revenues were ever made public.
Similarly, Subarna Shumshere J. B. Rana, Nepal's first Finance Minister after the political changes of 1951, declared in the course of his budget speech on February 3, 1952:2
During the Rana regime, the people had not hand in the affairs of state and nobody had any information about the revenue and expenditure of the country… No distinction was made between the public exchequer and the personal property of the Rana Prime Minister.
These facts cannot be disputed. Nevertheless, it will be unfair to criticize the Rana rulers for their failure to adopt a modern budget system well in advance of other contemporary states in Asia. Moreover, there is no evidence that nay distinction had been made between the public exchequer and the personal wealth of the rulers during the pre-Rana period.
The perception of the budget as the central instrument financial direction and central is a comperatively recent development. It was chiefly the outgrowth of the without their consent expressed through their representative assembly.3
During the nineteenth century, the budget system does not appear to have been adopted in any part of Asia, except Japan and British India, and definitely not in any of the princely states of India.
1. Bhuwal Lal Joshi and Leo. E. Rose, Democractic Political Acculturation. Barkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966, p. 39.
2. Nepal Gazette Vol. 1, No. 26, Magh 21, 2008 (February 3, 1932), pp. 35-36.
3. S. [.] Eisenstadt, The Political System of Empires, New Delhi: Free Press, 1963, p. 40.
Particulars Birta and Guthi Landa Abolished in A.D.
Area of rice-lands in muris.
Region Birta Guthi Total Area
Kathmandu 6,543 695 7,238.
Patan 14,107 4,751 18,858.
Bhadgaun 2,763 4,331 7,094.
Total … 23,413 9,777 33,190.
Areas East of Kathmandu
and 9 other villages 7,157 x 7,157.
and 6 other
Villages 15,231 422 15,653.
Tamakosi region 12,883 x 12,833.
region 26,875 x 26,875.
(Majhkirat) 29,873 73 29,946.
Total… 91,969 495 92,464.
Areas West of Kathmandu
region (Lamidanda) 61,820 245 62,065.
Nuwakot, etc.) 26,441 230 26,671.
Trishuli-Gandi region 17,679 20 17,699.
Bhusundi region 19,159 372 19,528.
Chape/Marsyangdi region 36,479 120 36,599.
Total… 161,575 987 162,562.
Western Hill Districts
District Birta lands Guthi lands Birta lands Total
of Brahmans of Bhat, Jogi,
Lamjung 78,473 115 1,180 79,768.
Tanahu 91,106 x 1,390 92,496.
Kaski 62,616 20 1,123 63,759.
Parbat 39,885 65 511 40,461.
Paiyun 12,015 x 362 12,327.
Pallo-Nuwakot 21,156 20 1,282 22,458.
Garhun 25,624 10 463 26,097.
Gulkot 7,912 x 350 8,262.
Sataun 15,489 15 664 16,168.
Bhirkot 29,406 28 1,486 30,920.
Rising 2,378 72 x 2,450.
Ghiring 1,266 x x 1,266
Isma 1,003 x 95 1,098.
Musikot 2,420 x x 2,240.
Pallo-Dhading 498 x x 498
Total …. 391,247 345 8,906 400,498.
Palpa, Gulmi, Argha, and Khanchi
District Birta Bandha Guthi Total
Palpa 63,744 5,687 200 69,631.
Gulmi 5,714 358 x 6,072.
Argha 4,549 387 x 4,994.
Khanchi 4,167 492 14 4,673.
Total… 78,174 6,924 214 85,370.
Grand total of all categories of abolished Birta and Guthi lands --- 774,084 muris.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 16, pp. 132-24.
Adapted from: Kaviraj Narapati Sharma, ''Dharanko Itihasa'' (A History of Dharan). Gorkhapatra, Bhadra 17, 2035 (September 2, 1978).
Dharan is situated at the foothills of the Mahabharat range between the Syauti and Sardu-Khola streams in the east and the west respectively. Until 1903, the place was covered by forests. In that year, Sahu Mehar Man, Subedar Ganga Prasad, and Subedar Sher Bahadur Karki started clearing the forests from the three sides. In A.D. 1906, the Bada Hakim of Biratnagar, Jit Bahadur Khatri, started a weekly market (hat) in Dharan every Saturday.
Before Dharan emerged as a market, Vijayapur, which is situated on a hill nearly, was the main market of that area. There was also another market on the banks of the Sardu-Khola stream, where handloom cloth know as Sardulekhandi was woven. Traders from the mountains region of the north purchased imported goods at the Vijayapur market.
In A.D. 1934, Colonel Shiva Pratap Shumshere Thapa, Bada Hakim, arranged for the allotment of homesites in Dharan. The price of each allotment was one Indian rupee. Gradually, Marwari and other traders from India, as well Nepalis from Kathmandu Valley, Palpa, Pokhara, and different parts of the eastern hill region settled in Dharan. The population of Dharan increased considerably as a result of the influx of Nepali returnees from Assam and Burma after the second world war.
One reason for the increased importance of Dharan was the growing volume of salt imports from India. Previously, salt used to be imported from Tibet and sold in Dhankuta Bazar. But eventually it became easier to import salt from India. Dharan then became the center of the trade in Indian salt.
More Documents of the Battle of Nalapani
Mahesh Raj Pant
''Nepal-Angrej Yuddha Nalapanika Ladain Sambandhi Aru Patra'' (Six more letters on the battle of Nalapani during the Nepal-British war). Purnima, Year 1, No. 4, Magh 1, 2021 (January 14, 1965). Pp. 65-82.
As We sent through old letters at Bir Library, we first came across three letters describing the battle of Nalapani. It was on the basis of these letters that I had punished an article on the battle in the Purnima. Leter, I found six more letters at the Bir Library. These letters are published in the article, because they contain some additional information about the battle, and also provide details of some of the points contained in the earlier letters.
General Bhimsen Thapa and Kaji Ranaddoj Thapa from Krishnanada Khandudi and Dhanabir Thapa, with due blessings and obeisance.
We are all well here. We shall feel relieved if you too are well there. The situation here is good.
[Budnakaji] (Amara Simha Thapa) has ordered that necessary arrangements be made for Garhwal, and that ryots who had fled be reassured and resettled in their villages. We, therefore, arrived in Srinagar from the headquarters in the month of Shrawan. We are doing our best to carry out the order.
As for the situation, here, a strong force of the enemy arrived at Dehradun and fought a battle against Captain Balabhadra Kanwar at the fort of Nalapani on Ashwin Sudi 11 (Kartik 10) and Kartik Badi 2 (Kartik 16). On Ashwin Sudi 11, twenty-two persons were killed, and several wounded on the enemy's side. They finally retreated to their previous garrison at Dhumbala and Ambala.
Again, on Kartik Badi 2, the enemy attacked Nalapani with a large force. In the ensuing battle, which lasted nearly twenty-two hours, 23 white soldiers and 120 native ones were killed or wounded at the gates of the fort. The dead bodies were carried away.
Thanks to the grace of His Majesty, we were victories on both occasions. From the letter of the Bhardars, you must have received details of the victory won by Captain Bhakti Thapa in the battle of Tujhar.
We are maintaining the maximum vigilance here. Due to preoccupation with arrangements for the supply of munitions to Nalapani, there has been a delay of five or seven days in sending the ritual offering made at the Dashain ceremonies. Please forgive us for this delay. It will be reaching you soon.
Please continue favoring us with necessary instructions.
Saturday, Kartik Badi 8, 1871 (Kartik 22, 1871), Srinagar.
Letter No. 2
His Majesty from Brahma Shah.
Your Majesty must have received information from my earlier petition also.
I have received a letter sent by Kaji Ranajor Thapa from Nahan, informing me that the British had blocked the route, so that he had been compelled to send a man in the guise of a mendicant through a different route to have the letter delivered. He has also sent a letter to be forwarded to Your Majesty, which is enclosed herewith. Your Majesty will get detailed information through his letter. Also enclosed is a copy of his letter to me.
From Nahab, the mendicant had gone to Nalapani and met Captain Balabhadra Kunwar. Balabhadra Kunwar too has sent a letter to be forwarded to Your Majesty. Your Majesty will get a detailed account of the situation at Nalapani from his letter.
In his letter addressed to me, he has given his own estimate of the casualties suffered by the enemy in the battle that took place on Kartik badi 2-3 (Kartik 16-17).
Information given by our agents in the British forces indicates that one General, one Colonel, one Major, 150 white soldiers, and 200 native soldiers had been killed in the battle. The number of the wounded is not known. However, the informant has indicated that a total of abour 1,000 or 1,200 men have been killed or wounded.
Balabhadra Kunwar has asked me to send arms and ammunition, including poison arrows and flints. We had sent arms and ammunition we had here through Kaji Rewant Kunwar. These supplies were inadequate. Kaji Rewant Kunwar has been ordered to procured from here as fast as possible.
Some of the men on our side also were killed when they came out of the fort and attacked. I have written to Captain Balabhadra Kunwar as well as to Kaji Rewant Kunwar not to fight in this manner.
A Subedar was among those who were killed in the battle of Nalapani. Hence it is likely that the number of troops will not be sufficient now.
Kartik Sudi 1, 1871 (Kartik 29, 1871),
Letter No. 3
From Balabhadra Kunwar, Ripumardana Thapa, Chandrabira, Dalajit Kanwar, and Dayaram Khadka to General Bhimsen Thapa and Kaji Ranajor Thapa.
We are all were here. We will feel ressured if your too are well. The situation here is good.
[……….] fought two battles with the British, in which one General and eight British officers on their side were killed. A column of their troops, including sappers, appeared to the north of the fort Kartik Badi 30 (Kartik 28), and in the vicinity of the water spring located to the south of the fort on Kartik Sudi 2 (Marga 1) on the pretext of building a road. They attacked us from the forest. In the fighting that ensued, 8 or 10 men were killed, and 10 or 12 wounded and taken to the camp. I have given details of this in my earlier letter.
The younger sister of the fallen General arrived at the place of Lighting. She is grieved over the death of her brother as well as of her husband. Accompanied by four or five British officers she looks around the fort on horseback with a telescope from a distance that is out of the range of cannon-fire.
We have received a letter from the Kaji at Nahan informing us of the dispatch of Kaji Jaspau Thapa, and inquiring whether has been reached this place.
A letter from Chautariya Bam Shah, informing us that he had dispatched Kaji Rewant Kunwar on Wednesday Kartik Badi 12 (Kartik 26), and one from Kaji Rewant Kunwar, stating that he would arrive in ten or fifteen days, have reached us.
After the two Kajis arrive here, we shall consult them, maintain vigilance at the fort, and, by the grace of Goddess, and His Majesty, kill our enemy and repulse them.
In the letter from Nahan, the Kaji has stated: Kaji Jaspau Thapa has been there. You should fight without venturing out of the fort, and protect it. The enemy has sent on campany of troops to Kalsi. We have consulted an astrologer for an auspicious date then when the company should start attacking that company.
We [……….] many of 700 troops armed with rifles, the Kaji attacked the company positioned at Kalsi. About 700 or 800 troops of the enemy were killed, according to information received from the ranks of the enemy.
The Shyamsotha Company was sent overnight to rescue the enemy. We have not received written information about this. A messenger has, therefore, been sent to verify the truth. Once we get correct information, we shall write to you accordingly.
Kindly send us necessary instructions. What more can we write?
Thursday, Kartik Sudi 2, 1871 (Marga 4, 1871).
Letter No. 4
A report on the situation in the western front, sent by Dhanbir Thapa to His Majesty.
On Marga 13, Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat arrived at a hill near Rajapur village located at a distance of three kosh to the north of Gurudwara, and of 1½ kosh from Nalapani.
In the meantime, the British left Dhamabala and took all their forces to a place near the fort of Nalapani and laid siege to it. As a result, Kaji Ranodipa Simha Bansyat could to enter the fort. He is still staying at the hill near Rajapur.
The battle of Nalapani is still going on. Cannon and gun-fire is still being exchanged.
I shall send you whatever accurate information that I shall to receive moring and evening.
The Budha Kaji has sent a written message from his camp asking that the Kamins and Sayanas of Garhwal be rounded up for Jhara (forced labor) services and brought before him. accordingly, I am planning to do so.
The Kandudu Brahmans and their relatives and followers are all loyal to Your Majesty, and are acting dutifully and promptly according to the instructions of the Bhardars
Shivaram, Chitraman and others of the Sakanlyani clan have gone to Dehradun with their families and cattle to join the enemy. Kashiram Sakanvani, son of Sisaram, has also fled from Nahan and defected to the British. Shivaram Bodhal, chief of the Dobhal clan, has also followed suit.
We are maintaining vigilance at all strategic points.
Your Majesty may have received other information form the petition sent from here by Kaji Bakhtwara Simha Basnyat.
The royal order regarding duties to be carried out here by us is in the possession of Jagadeo Thapa. It had been issued in respons to our earlier petition.
I shall abide by whatever commands Your Majesty may graciously send me through the Budha Kaji.
Pleasing for Your Majesty's gracious forgiveness for any error I may have committed.
Your Majesty's loyal servant,
Friday, Marga badi 5, 1871 (Marga 19, 1871), Srinagar
(To be continued)
Revenue Collection in Jumla
The following regulations were promulgated on Falfun Badi 30, 1915 for revenue-collection in Jumla.
1. Prices for procurement of supplies by the army, which had been fixed at seven pathis of rice, twelve pathis of wheat, and 2½ pathis of salt per rupee, in 1894 Samvat, have been reconfirmed.
2. Government officials shall obtain milk cows and buffaloes form the local people with their consent on payment of two rupees for a cow, and four rupees for a bafflo, and return them to the owners after they became dry. In case the animals die, compensation shall be paid at (specified) rates.
3. In 1885, Asmani levy had been imposed on each household in Jumla. However, Jimmawals was Mukhiyas did not apportion the income from judicial fines among the local poepl.e in 1909 Samvat, Jimmawals were abolished, and judicial functions were centralized in the Adalat. From 1916 Samvat the judicial income as collected in the year 1908 Samvat shall be deducted from the revenue stipulated from each village every year.
4. Each Mukhiya shall collect the revenues and hand over the proceeds to the appropriate military office. The office shall not sent officials to the villages to make collections.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 29, p. 272.
Several problems arose in enforcing thse regulations. Mukhiyas did not refund judicial income to the local people as prescribed therein. Moreover, there were nearly 900 village Mukhiyas in the whole of Jumla. It was not possible to supervise their work properly. Because revenue was not collected fully, and also because it was not considered practicable to depute collectors from the military, a new tier of Mukhiya was created in teach dara above the village Mukhiya on Jestha Badi 3, 1923. The commission of 2½ percent of the revenue collection was then shared equality between them. The dara-level Mukhiya was held personally liable for full revenue collection.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 57, p. 517.
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandul: February 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Year 11, No. 2
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. An Explanatory Note 17
2. The Bakyauta Tahasil Adda 18
3. The Hides and Skins Levy 21
4. More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani 23
5. Readings in Nepali Economic History 32
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Compiled by Regmi Research (Private) Ltd for private study and research. Not meant for public sale or display.
An Explanatory Note
Mahesh C. Regmi
(Mahesh C. Regmi, Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces:
Peasants and Landlords in 19th Century Nepal. New Delhi:
Vikas Publishing House (Pvt) Ltd, 1978).
In chapter 7 of Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces, captioned ''The Agrarian Community,'' I have said that the Zaminidari system existed in eighteenth and early nineteenth century Nepal in both the Tarai region and the Paisi region. Further reflection has indicated the possibility that the term Zamindar did not have the same connotation in both these regions.
In chapter 5 of the same study, captioned ''The Village Elltes,'' I have written that the thek-thiti system was used in the Baisai region, as well as in such peripheral districts as Ropla, Pyuthan, and Salyan, for the collection of taxes on both rice-lands and homesteads. Letter in the same chapter I have added: ''Under the thek-thiti system, the village community as a whole, represented by the Mukhiya, and not the Mukhiya in his individual capacity, was held liable for the full payment of the revenue. In matter relating to the assessment and collection of taxes in the Baisi region, the government dealt not with individual peasants, but with the community as a whole. The entire village was treated as one unit for purposes of taxation, leaving it to the headmen to apportion individual shares of the total revenues assessment.
In the Tarai region, the term Zamindar meant an individual landlord whose rights extended over lands occupied by a number of persons. The Zamindar of the Baisi region obviously was not a landlord of the same category, for, in that event, the transition from the Zamindari system to the thek-thiti system would have been too revolutionary to merit credibility.
In the North-West provinces of the northern India (modern Uttar Pradesh), Zamindari alsi meant a system of land tenure in which the whole land of the village was held and managed in common. ''The rents and all other profits from the estate are thrown into common stock, and after deducting the government revenue (malguzari) and village expenses (grama kharcha), the balance is divided among the sharers according to their shares, or the law or custom prevailing in the village.''
(W. Crooke, Rural and Agricultural Glossary for the New Provinces and Oudh. Calcutta, 1888, p. 40. Cited the Diodar Demenand Kosambi, An Introduction to the Study of Inida Histry, Bomaby: Popular Prakashan, 1975 (rev. 2nd, ed.), pp. 384-85).
In his The Land System of British India (Delhi: Oriental Publishers, 1974 (reprint of 1892 ed.), Vol. II p. 101). B. H. Baden-Powell, in his account of land tenure, in the North-Western Province, writes: ''A village community settling with Government through its ''lambardar'' is treated as in form, a case of settlement with a landlord, because, though each sharer has his revenue, in a sense, individually fixed, it is as a share of a lump shum with which alone Governmetnis concerned, the middleman is the person who pays the village assessment as a whole- - i.e. the ideal body, the jointly responsible whole, represented by the seal or signature of the headmen.'' The system was actually known as Zamindari. (Ibid, vol. I, p. 158).
These definitions aptly fit the Zamindari system as it existed in the Baisi region of Nepal before the introduction of the thek-thiti system during the rearly nineteenth century. The transition had no effect on the system of tenure, and revenue continued to be assessed for the entire village. The Zamindar, however, was replaced by the Mukhiya, who, on behalf of the local community apportioned individual shares of the total sum assessed and transmited the proceeds to the government.
The Bakyauta Tahasil Adda
During the nineteenth century, raikar lands, or lands which were taxed by the government, were usually assigned to government employees and functionaries. They were expected to appropriate rents on such lands in lieu of emoluments. Lands so assigned to government employees and functionaries were known as Jagir. Raikar lands which were not assigned as Jagir were known as Jagera.1
Jagera lands were few and widely-separated, hence it was seldom worth while making separate arrangements for the collection of rents and taxes on such lands.
After the emergence of Rana rule, the area of rice-lands under Jagera tenure seems to have increased on a significant scale. Large areas of waste lands were reclaimed in the hill regions, and large areas of birtas and other tax-free lands are brought under the raikar tax sytem. Moreover, Jagirdars preferred cash salaries to land assignments in outlying areas. All these factors increased the area under Jagera tenure.
Collection of revenue of Jagera lands was under the direct supervision of the central lands office in Kathmandu,2 and persons who held lands on Jagera tenure were under obligation to pay revenue on such lands directly to that office.3 No local machinery existed for this purpose; hence officials were deputed from time to time on an ad hoc basis to make such collections.4
During the 1860s, a new office, known as Bakyauta Tahasil Adda, was created in the districts of Kathmandu Valley, the eastern and western hill regions, Palpa and Salyan for collecting revenue on Jagera lands.5
Apparently, Bakyauta Tahasil Adda were initially not eastablished in the far-eastern and far-western hill regions and some areas in the centrl and eastern inner Tarai regions.6 In those regions, the Thek-Thiti system was prevalent, under which the village headman was responsible for the collection of taxes on both rice-lands and homesteads.7 As a result, taxes on Jagera region. In Dullu and Dailekh, for instance no revenue was collected on Jagera lands from 1868 to 1890, because there was no collection machinery.7 A similar situation prevailed in the far-eastern hill areas.
Although the function of Bakyauta Tahasil Adda appears to have been limited to the collection of taxes on rice lands under Jagera tenure, their establishment marked the beginning of a new trend in the revenue administration system of Nepal. it meant the creation of a bureaucratic machinery to discharge a function which was traditionally performed by village headman and other non-official functionaries.
1. Mahesh C. Regmi, Landownership in Nepal, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976, pp. 16-18.
2. This office was known as the Sadar Dafdarkhana. ''Regulaions of the Sadar Dafdarkhana,'' Magh Badi 1, 1919 (January 1863). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 47, pp. 413-16, sec. 8.
3. Cf. ''Order Regarding Reclamation of Waste Lands in Jagir Holdings,'' Ashadh Badi 7, 1909 (June 1852). Regmi Research Collection,, vol. 49, p. 17.
4. Cf. ''Order to Tharis, Mukhiyas, Etc. in Nuwakot,'' Magh Sudi 12, 1907 (January 1851). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 49, p. 1; ''Administrative Arrangements for Collection of Rents on Jagera and Other Lands,'' Falgun Badi 7, 1921 (February 1865), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 21, pp. 493-94, and Kartik Sudi 3, 1923 (October 1866), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 15, pp. 169-77.
5. ''Order to Dittha Kali Das Regarding Fucntions of Bakyauta Tahasil Addas,'' Baisakh Sudi 4, 1923 (April 1866), Regmi Research Collection, vol. 55, pp. 383-34. A full list of these officers is given in: ''Order to Bakyauta Tahasil Addas in Kathmandu and Elsewhere Regarding Compilation of Registers of Households Enrolled under the Thaple-Hulaki Rakam,'' Falgun Sudi 10, 1949 (February 1893). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 11, pp. 402-404. Regulations for the Bakyauta Tahasil Adda of Gorkha district were promulgated on Jestha Badi 4, 1959 (May 1902). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 37, pp. 197-204.
4. There were no Bakyauta Tahasil Addas in Doti, Dhankuta, Ilam, Dailkeh, Dadeldhura, Jumla, Baitadi, Chisapani, Sindhuli, and Udayapur. ''Order to Gaundas and Gadhis in Doti and other districts Regarding compilation of Registers of Households Enrolled under the Thaple-Hulaki Rakam,'' Falgun Sudi 10, 1949 (February 1893). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 11, pp. 395-402.
7. For a description of the Thek-Thiti system of revenue collection, see Mahesh C. Regmi, Thatched Huts and Stucco Palacesu: Peasants and Landlords in 19th Century Nepal. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House (Pvt) Ltd, 1978, pp. 72-76.
The Hides and Skins Levy
In 1794, household of Bhote, Hayu, and other Praja communities, Sarki, and other communities which lived on hunting and took the flesh of dead cattle as food was ordered to supply two pieces of buffalo or elephant hides, or deer or tiger skins, to munitions factory, or else pay four annas each (in the case of Sarkis), or two annas each (in the case of others). This order was issued for the following regions on Bhadra Sudi 1, 1851 (August 1794):
(1) Trishuli-Madi region.
(2) Trishuli-Dumja region.
(3) Dumja-Dudhkosi region.
(4) Kali-Madi region.
(5) Dudhkosi-Tamor region.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 5, pp. 281-189, 745-46.
The order was repeated for Bhirkot on Aswin Badi 11, 1952 (September 1795).
(Regmi Research Collection, vol. 23, p. 155), and the following regions on Kartik Sudi 9, 1856 (October 1799):
(1) Trishuli-Kali region. Regmi Research Collection, vol. 23, p. 442.
(2) Thak and Thimi. Ibid, p. 444.
(3) Trishuli-Dumja region. (October 1799). Ibid, p. 445.
(4) Kali-Bheri region. Ibid, p. 445.
(5) Dumja-Dudhkosi region. Ibid, p. 445.
Limbu, Bhote, Lapche, Yakha, Lohar, Athpahar, Khamire and Khambu households in the Chanipur region east of the Arun river and west of the Tista river, who took the flesh of dead cattle as food, were each ordered to supply one piece of hide for manufacturing scabbards and other equipment for the Gorakh Bux and Sheodal Companies. Each Sarki household was similarly ordered to supply two pieces of hide, and each Kami household twenty dharnis of charcoal. Aswon Sudi 15, 1861. (October 1804). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 2, pp. 174-75.
In the eastern Tarai districts of Bara, Parsa and Rautahat, Sarkis were under a similar obligation to supply hides for packing saltpeter. Marga Badi 3, 1875 (November 1818). Regmi Research Collection, vol. 42, p. 436.
Gurungs and Lamas in the regions east of the Trishuli river were granted exemption from the obligations to supply hides and skins to the munitions factory when they promised to join the army under Kaji Nayan Singh and proceed to the Kangra front in A.D. 1805, respect Brahmans, and refrain from taking the flesh of dead cattle. However, they did not comply with these conditions. Penalties were, therefore, imposed upon them.
The following regulations were promulgated in this connection on that date:-
1. Gurungs and Lamas who have complied with the order issued in 1862 Samvat (A.D. 1805), respect Brahmans, and do not take the flesh of dead cattle shall not be punished.
2. They shall be punished if they have not respected Brahmans and take the flesh of dead cattle. They shall be ordered to respect Brahmans and not take the flesh of dead cattle in the future.
3. Those who take the flesh of dead cattle but respect Brahmans shall be punished. Orders shall be promulgated to the effect that those how respect Brahmans shall not take the flesh of dead cattle.
4. Those who have not complied with the 1862 Samvat order, refuse to respect Brahmans, and want to continue taking the flesh of dead cattle shall be punished with fines as follows. They shall be under obligation to supply hides and skins to the munitions factory:-
Rates of Fines
Grade of Houshold Amount of Fine
Abal Rs 5
Doyam Rs 3½
Sim Rs 2½
Chahar Rs 1½
5. With the income earned from fines imposed under these regulations, salaries shall be paid to the following employees at the following rates:-
1 Tahabildar Rs 50.
1 do. Rs 35.
1 Bahidar Rs 35.
6 Peons Rs 150.
Poush Badi 12, 1867 (December 1810).
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 38, pp. 696-97.
More Documents on the Battle of Nalapani
Mahesh Raj Pant
''Nepal-Angrej Yuddha Nalapani Ladain Sambandhi Aru 6 Patra'' (Six more letters on the battle of Nalapani during the Nepal-British War). Purnima, Year 1, No. 4, Magh 1, 2021 (January 14, 1965). Pp. 65-82. (Continued from the January 1979 issue).
Letter No. 5
His Majesty King Girban Yuddha Bikram Shah Dev from Ranadipa Simha Basnayt, Rewanta Kuwnar, and Balabhadra Kunwar. Camp. Chamuwa.
We are well here. We shall feel relieved if Your Majesty is well. Thanks to Your Majesty's merit and prowess, the situation here is satisfactory.
In our earlier petitions, we had given an account of the battle against the British as Nalapani, and the manner in which we repulsed their attack.
When the report of that battle reached the camp (of the Senior Kaji), Subba Chandrabir Thapa, and the troops of the Kalanala Company and the Gorakh Paltan, and Subedar Chamu Basnyat, arrived from Nahan at the fort.
Kaji Jaspau Thapa, with three companies under his command, the Jwaladal Company under Lakshavira Shahi, and the Ranadala and Ranajung Companies cammanded by Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, have arrived at Nahan from Arki.
The three companies commanded by Kaji Jaspau Thapa, and the Jwaladal Company, have reached the fort of Nalapani. Wooden palisades have been erected within firing range. They camped at a place overlooking the palisades.
The Ranadala and Ranajung Companies, commanded by Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, subsequently moved from Nahan to a village called Kyarkali.
At about noon time on Friday, Marga 11, and fort was encircled from all sides, and water supplies were cut off. We installed cannon at a place where our arrows could not reach. Eight or nine balls and two or three rounds were fired at the forts when the bombardment was renewed, three of our men were killed. Unable to hold on, some of our men moved into the fort. As a result of the siege, I, and my two companies, were unable to enter into the fort, and had to stay at Timili.
We then built new shelters with the debris of the walls and earth, and fired cannon from behind them. In this manner, there was an exchange of cannon and gunfire throughout Friday and Saturday.
Stone structures built as a cover for protecting the heads of men collapsed when it by shells, causing injuries to some persons. Three pieces of cannon installed on the battlements of the fort fell outside, while one fell inside. We tried to bury the cannon that had fallen on the northern side under the grounds to the south of the fort. The cannon that fell outside just in front of us remained there. One piece of cannon had been destroyed by our own firing during the previous battle. One Garhwali cannon, and three other pieces, had become unserviceable because some stones had fallen on them. Because the enemy alone continued firing, more and more people inside the fort were wounded.
There were two days and two nights of continues bombardment on the northern side of the fort, as a result of which part of the fort was felled to the ground. The enemy continued its unilateral cannon fire on Sunday. But we went on killing the enemy which gunfire and stones from all sides. As a result of the enemy's fire, Subba Chandrabir Thapa, Subba Nathu Majhi, Subedar Dalajit Janwar, and Jamadar Dalajit Shahi of the Mleccha-Kalanala Company were killed. On the enemy's side, eight prominent British officers and about 400 British troops were killed. The enemy continued bombardment until early morning on Monday. Later, it stooped the bombardment and demanded the return of the dead bodies. We pushed down these bodies that had been lying inside the palisades. Even, thereafter, the enemy resumed firing at us, as a result of which several persons on our […………..] were killed. Some ammunition was also destroyed. The few people that remained inside were unable to hold on and, therefore, came out one by one.
In the night of Monday, the colors of all companies were taken away. When we came to know of this, we reprimanded those who were responsible for this act, and persuaded some of them to take the colors back to the fort. Some men have deserved the fort, and some others are hiding in the forests.
On Tuesday, the enemy fired at us with cannon, while we fought with guns. The few men that remained inside the fort also came out one by one. The enemy learnt of this. As the enemy trained his cannon on us, Subba Ripumardana Thapa, Subedar Chamu Bansyat, Subedar Gaja Simha Thapa, Jamadar Bijaya Simha Khatri, Jamadar Smhabira Gharti and Jamadar Chandramani Rana have taken Captain (Balabhadra Kunwar) out of the fort. They went to a village called Dubra and stayed there overnight.
That night, the enemy launched a surprise attack on us. a bullet his Subba Ripumardana Thapa. Jamadar Mangal Rana killed three men with his sword, but was wounded himself with swords and bayonets.
Our troops did all they could inside the fort. They would have done more. But for five days continuously, they could not have get [wa..r] and when cannon shells razed the palisades to the ground, and they could not hold out any longer.
If even new Your Majesty orders the immediate dispatch reinforcements, we would join them and try our best to maintain the honor of this land, as we have done so far.
The survivors from among those who had come from Nahan have joined their colors.
We three persons have assembled as the foot of the Chamuwa hill at Naginisera. We shall assemble those who have dispersed, and try our best to promote Your Majesty's interests.
We request Your Majesty to issue appropriate orders soon regarding arms and ammunition that we may need now. We have also sent men to deliver to the Kaji a message seeking his instructions. We have sent a letter informing Your Majesty of the death of officers, as well as of the arrangements (for the protection) of the fort.
Resident troops have not so far been assembled. We shall send accurate information to Your Majesty after we have collected them.
Thursday, Marga Badi 12, 1871.
Letter No. 6
From Ripumardana Thapa to His Majesty.
We have already sent a letter to Your Majesty giving and tailed account of how we twice repulsed the attacks of the enemy at Nalapani, and even killed eight British officers including a general, and several British soldiers were wounded. We thus won a vistory thanks to the grace of Your Majesty.
Later, the enemy procured three big pieces of cannon from Agra and mobilized troops at different places. On Friday, Marga 12, they besieged us and cut off the flow of water through Nepal, Dandagaun, Lakhwan, Asthal, Nalapani and Dehradun. They also brought small cannon from all sides, they brought the big cannon through Nagal and set up palisades within firing range. They also procured cannon balls and shells from all sides.
In the morning of Sunday, Subba Chandravir Thapa, Subba Nathu Majhi, and Subedar Dalajit Kanwar were killed in the exchange of fire between the two forces when they were climbing the walls of the fort shouting to their men after nearly half of the northern wall had collapsed. The firing lased throughout that day. Several jamadars, huddas, and soldiers were also killed, and many others injured. In the afternoon, the enemy again started bombarding us, as a result of which many men were killed and injured on our side.
At midnight on Monday, our soldiers moved from the fort with their colors on panic, and proceeded towards Debradun. We dame to know of this at a time when the Captain, Chamu Bansyat, Gaja Simha Thapa, and myself were eating raw rice. We then tried in every possible way to block their further advance. The enemy continued to fire. As a result, some who had already got out fled, while some others returned to the fort along with their colors.
On Tuesday, many men on our side were killed. The fort was razed to the ground. Our arms and ammunition were destroyed. Then we asked the men to give an under taking in writing to the effect that they would fight to the last and die along with us. eighty-five soldiers signed such pledge. After consultations, it was decided that we must fight to the last with our swords if the enemy again attacked us.
That same might, the Mleccha Malanala Company secretly left along with its arms and colors, and others also followed suit.
The remaining jamadars, huddas, and soldiers came back. Our men then caught hold of the Captain and myself by the arm, and dragged us away, saying, ''The fort has been destroyed and there is no place where one can hide one's head. Most of the men have already been killed or wounded. The Mleccha Kalanala Company, which had come to hepf us, has left. It is no use to fight and die. We must now take away our arms and ammunition and strengthen our position in the hills.''
The enemy too resumed firing. On our part, we passed through the palisades and, proceeding through the Dun route, arrived at the fort built by Kaji Amrit Thapa and then at Dwara, brandishing our naked swords and firing our guns all the way.
Dware, however, was accessible to the enemy. We sent men to occupy the hill on the pretext of fortifying the place of Gopichand.
On Thursday, we halted at the foot of the Gopichand hill. At midnight, the enemy suddenly launched a surprise attack. As a result of firing, some of our men were killed. As the enemy approached near the was poised for an attack, we repulsed them with our naked swords. In the process, a bullet hit me in the right arm. Mangal Rana and the Jamdars were hi in the cheek. Our formation then broke up.
Our troops did not stop even at the Gopichand hill. They halted only at Chamuwa.
The next day, Kaji Rewant Kuwnar joined us.
No physician is available here. It was, therefore, decided that all the injured men be take to Srinagar. Accordingly, Kaji Rewanta Kunwar and Captain Balabhadra Kunwar granted permission and along with the wounded men, I went to Srinagar.
Kaji Bakhtwar Simha Basnyat has arranged for the for the services of a physician here. Those who recover will sent back to their unit. I will rejoin my unit and discharge my duties after my wounds have been healed.
The enemy was able to cut off were supplies, move and fire big cannon, so that the shells penetrated the walls of the fort, thereby killing many of our men. Ultimately, we lost the fort. This was due to the fact that the fort itself had not been completed, and our strength was inadequate. The loss of the fort in these circumstances has created the impression that we are doing nothing. But actually we are doing our best.
By the grace of Your Majesty, we will be able to recapture the lost territories by attacking from our hill positions. We will do anything possible to prove ourselves true to the salt. We pray for forgiveness for any fault we may have committed.
Sunday, Paush 14, 1871.
Letter No. 1
The first of these six letters was jointly written by Krishnanada Khadudi and Kaji Ranadhwaj Thapa from Srinagar, headquarters of Garhwal, on Bikram 1871, Kartik 22. Garhwal had just been conquered by Nepal, and the British were conducting propaganda against Nepal. the local people had been influenced by that propaganda. As a result, some Garwalis had started leaving Garhwal. This naturally worred the administrators of Garhwal. Kaji Amara Simha Thapa made efforts to bring such Garhwalis back home. For this purpose, he dispatched Krishnananda Khandudi and Dhanabir Thapa to Srinagar from Arki, his headquarters, Shravan 1871.
This letter refers to the victory won by Captain Bhakti Thapa in the battle of Tujhar. It is not yet known where Tujhar is located.
Lettter No. 2
The second letter was sent by Chautariya Bam Shah to His Majesty from Almora, headquarters of Kumaon district, on Kartik 29, 1871, Samvat 29.
The British had blocked the main route from Nahan to Nalapani. As a result, the Nepalis could not reach Nalapani from Nahan. Hence Kaji Ranajor Thapa sent a manin the guise of the mendicant to Nalapani through a different route. that man reached Nalapani and met Balabhadra Kunwar.
Following the battle of Kartik 17, Balabhadra Kunwar requested Bam Shah for the supply of munitions. Bam Shah did not have enough arms and ammunition at the tme. However, he sent some of Balabhadra Kunwar through Kaji Rewanta Kunwar. The arms and ammunition thus sent included gunpowder, shells, flints, poisoned arrows, and guns.
At that time, it was the practice to use poisoned arrows. This explains sought because these were used for firing guns.
Pandit Vanivilasa Pande has referred to the use of poisoned arrows by Kiratis in the encounter with Abhiman Simha Basnyat, who had been sent by Prithvi Narayan Shah to conquer the Kirat region. In a stone inscription of 1850 Samvat, which was installed by Daukal Simha Basnyat at the temple of Narayan at Narayanhiti, Pandit Vanivilsa is quoted as saying: ''Kaji Abhiman Simha, brother of Kahari Simha, was a virtuous, kind
good-looking, and intelligent (that is, one who never forgets what he has heard or seen), philanthropi, and religious-mined person. With such weapons such a spears, he exterminated many Bhillas (i.e. Kiratis), who used poisoned arrows and were intoxicated with liquor, and conquered all Kirata territories.'' (The inscription was published by Yogi Narahari Nath in Sanskrita Sandesh, Year 1, No. 5, pp. 7-10).
A large force is needed for fighting after coming out of a fort, while one section of the troops has to defend the fort, another has to fight outside it. Many men are killed or wounded while fighting outside a fort. Thus the Nepali troops suffered heavy casualties when they fought on coming our of the fort at Nalapani. In this latter, Bam Shah states that he had asked both Balabhadra and Rewanta Kunwar to fight without leaving the fort.
Letter No. 3
The third letter was jointly written by Balabhadra Kunwar and his aide to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa on Marga 4, 1871 Samvat, from the fort of Nalapani.
With the death of Gillespie in the battle of Nalapani on Kartik 17, 1871, fighting stopped, and the British started constructing roads, and engaged in espionage activities against Nepal. The letter tells us about this situation.
Balabhadra and others were regularly dispatching accounts of important events in the Nalapani area. Four days before this letter was written , they had sent a letter to Kathmandu. It has been published in the Purnima (Vol. 1, pp. 60-61). The present third letter gives an account of the events that occurred after that letter was dispatched.
Along with Gillespie, his brother-in-law had also been killed in the battle of Kartik 17, 1871. After the death of both her husband and her brother, Gillespie's sister went to Nalapani, accompanied by four or five commanders. She looked at the fort of Nalapani on horse back with a telescope. This information is also given in the third letter.
This letter also shows that the British were planning to attack the fort of Nalapani within eight days. They actually did not eight days later.
Kaji Amara Simha Thapa had sent reinforcements to Nalapani from Arki. These troops were then proceeding to Nalapani through Nahan. Ranajor Thapa, who was then responsible for the defense of Nahan, wrote a letter to Nalapani saying the troops were reaching there. The letter added: ''Fight without leaving the fort.''
The British had deployed one company of their troops at Kalsi, a town situated to the south of Nahan, with the aim of blocking the advance of Nepali troops coming stating that he had consulted an astrologer about an auspicious date for mounting an assault on the British troops.
According to this letter, information was received from enemy sources that Ranajor Thapa, commanding 700 Nepali troops, had attacked the British troops deployed at Kalsi, and killed about 700 or 800 of them.
The morale of Balabhadra and his men, who were at Nalapani, was very high at the time because they had defeated the British troops and repulsed their attack. Their intention to defeat the British troops again is reflected in this letter.
Letter No. 4
The fourth letter was sent by Dhanabir Thapa to His Majesty on Marga 19, 1871 Samvat, from Srinagar, headquarters of Garhwal. One month before, Dhanabir Thapa, and Krishnanand Khandudi had sent a letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa. (see letter No. 1 above).
This British were trying to rally the leading personalities of Garhwal to their side. As a result of their efforts, Brahmans belonging to the Sakalyani and Dobhal clans turned against the Nepal government and sided with the British government. On the other hands, as indicated in this letter, Brahmans belonging to the Khandudi clan and their friends and well-wishers were on the side of the Nepal government.
Amara Simha Thapa had made efforts to see that the inhabitants of Garhwal did not side with the British. As indicated in this letter, he had sent a letter to the leading personalities of Garhwal appealing to them to meet him, and promising to make arrangements for their welfare.
The news of the departure of Balabhadra and his men from the fort on Marga 16, 1871 Samvat apparently did not reach Srinagar until Marga 19. This shows that there were shortcomings in the communication arrangements made by the Nepalis.
Letter No. 5
Kaji Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, who had left Arki for Nalapani for supporting the Nepali troops, but was unable to do so because of the siege laid by the British troops around Nalapani, and Kaji Rewanta Kunwar, who had come to Nalapani from Almora for a similar purposes, and later left, met Captain Balabhadra Kunwar at Chamura. There the three men jointly wrote the fifth letter to His Majesty.
This letter mainly describes the battle of Nalapani. Of the three men who wrote this letter, Ranadipa Simha Basnyat and Rewanta Kunwar did not take part in the battle. As such, the letter mainly reflects the views of Balabhadra Kunwar, who commanded the Nepali troops in the battle of Nalapani.
This letter indicates that Balabhadra had not felft disheartened even after his defeat and retreat. It also indicates that both his collegues, Rewanta Kunwar and Ranadipa Simha Basnyat, shared his desire to regroup his forces for a second battle against the British if reinforcements were received from Kathmandu.
Letter No. 6
The sixth letter was sent by Sardar Ripumardana Thapa to His Majesty from Srinagar on Poush 27, 1871. On the same date, he had sent a letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, which has been published in Purnima, No. 3. This letter may be considered to be a summery of the letter sent to His Majesty.
However, these two letters differ in two respects,. Whereas in his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa gives no hint of his desire to reoccupy Dehradun from the British, the present letter says that with the grace of His Majesty he would certainly do so through attacks from the hills.
In his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa expresses happiness over his promotion. But this letter does not contain any reference to this.
At that time, Girvana Yuddha was on the throne, while the administration was in the hands of Bhimsen Thapa. Ranadhoj Thapa was assistant to Bhimsen Thapa. For this reason, one could fulfil his ambitions if one could please Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa.
The letter sent to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa contains a clear and detailed account of the situation, whereas the one sent to His Majesty in brief. This also gives an idea of the position held by Bhimsen Thapa at the time.
The letter jointly written by Ranadipa Simha Basnayt, Rewanta Kunwar and Balabhadra Kunwar states that troops including those under the command of Ripumardana Thapa, had persuaded Balabhadra Kunwar to leave the fort. On the other hand, in his letter to Bhimsen Thapa and Ranadhoj Thapa, Ripumardana Thapa says that the Mlecche-Kalanal-Company had abandoned the fort. The company appears to have been formed by the Nepalis. The British used to be called ''Mlechha'', hence the company was so called, ''Mlechha-Kalanal-Company'' thus meant '' the company which is the fire of death for the British.''
To Be Released Soon
Readings in Nepali Economic History
Mahesh C. Regmi
Published by Kishor Vidya Neketan, Varanasi. Price: Rs 35.
1. Some Questions on Nepali History.
2. From the Marsyangdi to the Kali.
3. Gorkhali State and Administration.
4. Economic Conditions in Morang District.
5. Some Errors in An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal.
6. Land Reclamation in the Eastern Tarai Region.
7. Munitions Production.
8. Famine Relief Measures.
9. Administrative Decentralization.
10. The Rajya of Salyan.
11. Resettlement Projects.
12. Prelude to a Banking System.
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandul: March 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Year 11, No. 3
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. Bondage and Enslavement 33
2. Regulations for Khumbu 40
3. The Unification of Nepal 40
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Compiled by Regmi Research (Private) Ltd for private study and research. Not meant for public sale or display.
Bondage and Enslavement
(''Jiu Masnya bechnya'' (Enslavement and traffic in human beings). Shri 5 Surendrabikrama Shahadevaka Shasanakalama Baneko Muluki Ain (Legal Code enacted during the reign of King Surendra Bikram Shah Dev). Kathmandu: Ministry of Law and Justice, His Majesty's Government 2022 (1965), pp. 335-61).
1. If a father and his son, or daughter, or two brothers, or two sisters, or a brother and his sister, of castes which can be enslaved have worked as bondsmen or bondswomen at the house of any person since before A.D. 1857, and the two agree that one be enslaved and the other obtain freedom, and, accordingly, one of them is enslaved at any government office or court (adalat, amil, thana) the creditor, or the father who permits such enslavement, shall not be held guilty, because this was done at a government office or court.
The other person shall then sign a bond undertaking to work as a bondsman or bondswoman in consideration of himself previously provided to the person who enslaves himself voluntarily in this manner. He shall not be enslaved.
If the chief of any government office or court permits the enslavement of any person after the enactment of this law, he shall be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees. If the creditor has enslaved that person without the permission of a government office or court, his loan shall be appropriated by the chief of such office or court. The father or mother who permitted such enslavement in consideration of money shall be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees. The person who has been enslaved be free.
The enslavement of a child who is below sixteen years of age of making him sign a bond to that effect at a government office or court shall not be held valid. The creditor shall not be permitted to recover his loan; the chief of the government office or court and the relative who permitted the enslavement shall each be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees, and the enslaved person shall be set free.
2. If any person belonging to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or to a liquor-drinking caste, takes up a his wife a slave-girl owned by another person, and begets children from her, the father or other relatives of such children shall have no right to redeem them if the owner of the slave-girl is not willing to sell or redeem them. If the sells them to other persons, or is about to do so, the father or other relatives shall have the right of preemption at the price offered by the prospective buyer and thus redeem the children from slavery. If they are
unable to pay the full amount immediately, and undertake to sign a bond stipulating payment within a stipulated time, they can obtain redemption only after making payment. No undertaking for the extension of time limit can be accepted.
If the father or other relatives live at a distant place and receive information about the sale only later, and then demand redemption, their demand shall be granted at any time even if the child has been taken away from the home where it was born. If it is a son; if it is a girl, she may be redeemed only before she reaches the age of eleven years. No redemption shall be allowed after she reaches that age. The prachers shall allow the father or other relatives to redeem the child from slavery on payment of the amount that he had actually paid. After the parents, or other relatives redeem the child from slavery and set it free, they shall not be allowed to sell it to others. Such child shall be free. If it is sold, this shall be regarded as the enslavement of a free person. The money paid by the purchase shall be refunded to him, and a fine of Rs 360 shall be imposed.
3. If any person has employed a servant on monthly wages, but no period of days, months, years of service has been stipulated, such servant may leave his service after getting wages for the period during which he has worked. If the period of service has been stipulated, he must work during that period, and shall not be allowed to leave before it expires. He shall not be allowed to do so even if he can get higher wages elsewhere. He may leave after the expiry of the stipulated period. If he absconds before the expiry of the stipulated period, he must work without wages for the remaining period. If the employer does not pay the stipulated wages in due time when asked to do so, and if a complaint is filed, the amount of the arrears, along with an additional payment of one rupee for each month of default, shall be realized from him. it shall depend upon the pleasure of the servant whether to continue working for his employer or quit.
4. Government officers and courts shall realize the value of slave-boys and slave-girls in disputes concerning them at the rates mentioned below:
Slave-boys below three years of age Rs 20
Slave-girls do. Rs 25.
Slave-boys aged between three
years and six years Rs 30
Slave-girls do. Rs 35
Slave-boys aged between six
years and twelve years Rs 50
Slave-girls do. Rs 55
Slave-boys aged between twelve
years and forty years Rs 100
Slave-girls do. Rs 120
Slaves of either sex aged between
forty years and fifty years Rs 60
Slaves of either sex aged between
fifty years and sixty years Rs 50
If any person claims any slave-boy or slave-girl as his property, but fails to prove his claim when required to do so, he shall be punished with a fine at the rates mentioned in this schedule. One-fourth of the fine shall be collected as Jitauri fee.
5. If there is no documentary evidence, but only witnesses, in a dispute concerning slaves, money, goods, jewelry, cattle, grain, etc. and both litigants agree to have the dispute settled on the basis of the evidence of the witnesses, the matte shall be noted accordingly, the witnesses made to take oath on the Harivamsha, and the dispute settled on the basis of their statements. The party which loses the case shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount of the claim, and one-fourth of the fine shall be collected from the winning party as Jitauri fee. In case the fine is not paid, (the losing party) shall be imprisoned at the rate of one month for each five rupees of the fine. The Jitauri fee shall be realized from the goods in which the claim has been unheld.
6. Creditors shall execute deeds stipulating the bondage of individuals, not families, only at courts and local bodies (amal). They shall not be entitled to claim rights over other members of the bondsman's family, even if such bondsman dies in the creditor's house or in his own house. If a complaint is submitted to the effect that any creditor had claimed rights over any member of the family of his bondsman on the letter's death, such creditor shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount claimed by him. if he defaults in the payment of such fines, he shall be imprisoned according to the law.
7. If the debtors are parents belonging to a caste which can be bonded who have both sons and daughter, no daughter shall be bonded in consideration of the loan even at courts and local bodies, because she is not entitled to a share in the paternal property. If any court or local body has witnesses such a transaction, the chief thereof shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees, and the creditor and debtor with a fine of five rupees each. The deed of bondage shall be cancelled and converted into a personal bond in the name of the person who offered a bondsman in consideration thereof. The daughter or sister shall then be free.
8. If a slave commits a crime which is punishable with death of life imprisonment, he shall be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, as the case may be. If the crime is punishable with imprisonment, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment. If he pays money in lieu of the term of imprisonment, action shall be taken according to the law. If a slave commits a crime which is punishable with confiscating of property, he shall not be so punished, because a slave cannot be punished with confiscating of his property.
9. If parents have been freed from slavery, but their sons are still slaves in the same district or elsewhere, and if the parents redeem some of their sons from slavery, leaving others still in the status of slaves, and die in the meantime, their personal property shall be used to meet their funeral expenses. From the balance, an amount equal to what had been spent to redeem some of the sons from slavery shall be given to those sons who are still slaves, and the rest divided equally between the two. If the value of the property (left by the deceased parents) is not equal to the amount spent to redeem some of the sons from slavery, no share therein shall accrue to such sons. The entire property shall then be inherited by those sons who are still slaves. If (the deceased parents) had begotten any son after they were forced slavery, the paternal property left after meeting the funeral expenses shall be divided equally among such sons as well as those sons who are still slaves.
10. If any person who has several members in his family has executed a deed stipulating bondage, and if through mutual consent the bondsman mentioned in the deed has stayed at home and another member of the family has gone in his stead to work for the creditor, or if they work for the creditor by rotation, and if the person who is working for the creditor dies, the creditor may oblige the person whose name has been mentioned in the deed to work for him. if such person dies, the creditor shall not be entitled to claim rights over the person who had been working on behalf of the deceased person, or any other member of (the deceased bondsman's family). In case he does so, he shall be punished with a fine amounting to ten percent (of the amount of the loan).
11. In case any person sells free persons (ajaputra) claiming that they are slaves, the person who writes the deed of sale to the effect that they are slaves, even though knowing well that they are free persons, the main person responsible for the sale, and the witnesses shall each the punished with a fine of Rs 100. In case these persons did not know that those who were being sold were free persons, they shall each be punished with a fine of twenty rupees. In case they do not pay the fine, they shall be imprisoned according to the law. If the purchaser knew (that those who were being sold were free persons), the money paid by him as the price shall be forfeited, and a fine of an equal amount shall be collected from him. if the purchaser did not know (that those who were being sold were free persons), the money shall be refunded to him if the seller is able to repay it; otherwise, the seller shall be let off after signing a personal bond for that amount in favor of the purchaser.
12. A person ho offers or accepts children below the age of sixteen years as bondsmen shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees. A person who forcibly offers or accepts persons above the age of sixteen years as bondsmen without having the transaction witnessed by a court, a police station, or a local body shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees. The amali who signs a witness in such a transaction shall also be punished with a fine of five rupees.
13. If a person has only a daughter who is more than sixteen years old, and no son, and if the daughter signs a bond as a court, a police station, or a local body, indicating her willingness to be bonded in consideration of a loan as valid. It shall not to be valid if the daughter who has signed the hold is less than sixteen years of age. In that case, the chief of the court, police station, or local body where the bond was signed, the creditor, and the borrower shall each be punished with a fine of five rupees. The bond shall be cancelled, and the parents shall be made to sign a personal bond for the amount.
14. If slaves of either sex belonging to any person complain before a court, a police station, or a local body that they are freemen, and if any relative confirm this claim, and agrees to undertake liability for any fees or fines, that may be imposed if they win or loss the case, and if, after hearing both sides, it is held that they are freemen, the person who claims that they are slaves shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount paid for them. One-fourth of the fine shall be collected from the plaintiff as Jitauri fee and they shall be set free.
If, however, it is proved that they are actually slaves, and not freemen, the person who claims that they are freemen shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount paid for them. If he does not pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned according to the law.
If no relative comes forward to confirm the claim that the complainants are freemen, and if it is found that slaves have made such a claim of their own accord, and that they have been slaves from the beginning, their complaint against their owner shall not be heard. A Baksauni fee of five rupees per head shall be collected from the owner in considerable of the recovery of his slaves, who shall then be handed over to him.
If any person has wrongly claimed the complainants to be his slaves, so that the letter have been compelled to submit a complaint maintaining that they are freemen, the case shall be disposed of on the evidence of documents and witnesses. If they are found to be slaves, one-fourth of the fine shall be collected as Jitauri free from the owner, and the slaves shall be handed over to him. If, on the other hand, they are found to be freemen, a fine equal to the amount paid for them shall be collected.
15. If one of several brothers who is over sixteen years of age is offered in bondage with is consent by his parents with any court, police station, or local body as witness, and if subsequently the bondage is redeemed by his parents or brothers after repaying the creditor, he shall bear his due share of loans due to other creditors obtained while living in an undivided family. But if he has obtained his freedom through his own personal property or earnings, or by winning the favor of his creditor, he need not pay loans due to other creditors. However, he shall be entitled to his share of the paternal property. Loans due to other creditors shall be repaid by the other brothers who have stayed home. Other creditors shall be no claim against the person who has been freed from bondage as mentioned above.
16. In case any person signs a bond in the presence of witnesses granting personal liberty to his slave, but not freeing him from the obligation to work, such slave shall not leave work and go elsewhere in contravention of the stipulation made in the bond; nor shall the owner be entitled to sell such slave and appropriate the proceeds. In case any person submits any complaint to the court, police station, or local body in such matters, judgment shall be pronounced to the effect that (the owner) cannot sell the slave, nor can the latter leave working for him.
17. In case any person belonging to the Brahman and other sacred-thread-wearing caste is involved in sexual, or commercial relations, or in the use of water, with a member of any caste which can be enslaved, or is untouchable, or any caste contamination from whose touch must be purified through the sprinkling of water, and in case such person is, consequently, degraded to such caste, and subsequently commits any crime, he can neither be bonded nor enslaved. In case he is enslaved, (the person who has enslaved him)
shall be punished under the law relating to the enslavement of freemen. In case he is bonded, the loan shall be cancelled, and (the person who has bonded him) shall be punished with a fine of an equal amount.
In case the person who has been degraded to a lower caste marries a woman of an equivalent caste, and in case the children born of such a union commit any crime, they shall be punished according to the law relating to the caste of their mother.
18. In case any person has enticed, children of either sex who are below twelve years of age belonging to others to work for anybody without the knowledge of their parents, brothers, sisters, or other relatives, and in case he has denied any knowledge of the matter when such relatives seek information, a fine of fifty rupees shall be imposed if the guilty person is a man. If the guilty person is a woman, she shall be punished with a fine of twenty-five rupees. The child shall be procured and handed over to the relative.
19. In case a son born of a person who belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste which cannot be enslaved from a slave woman owned by another person commits adultery or any other crime, and in case his father, uncle, or brother redeem him and give him the sacred thread if his father belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or sets him at liberty if his father belongs to a liquor-drinking caste which cannot be enslaved, he shall not be regarded as a gharti. Action shall be taken in the matter according to the law relating to the caste to which he belongs. In case (the father, uncle, brother, etc.) has not redeemed him, so that the remains a slave, he shall be regarded as a slave, even though he was born of a high-caste person. Action shall be taken in the matter according to the law relating to slaves.
In case the crime had been committed while such person was a slave, and action has already been taken according to the law relating to slaves, and in case, subsequently, his father, uncle, or brother redeems him and gives him the sacred-thread if (his father) belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or sets him at liberty (if his father) belongs to any other caste, the office, court, or local body which had previously sentenced him to punishment according to the law relating to slaves while he was yet a slave shall not be considered to have acted in contravention of the law.
Regulations for Khumbu
The following regulations were promulgated under the royal seal in the name of the inhabitants of the Nepal-Tibet border in the Khambu-Ghet region north of Thodung on Baisakh Badi 9, 1867 (April 1810):-
1. The amali shall collect the prescribed taxes, and dispense justice, in the presence of the headman (budhyauli) of the village.
2. The person who is appointed as dware there shall be supplied with provisions (manachamal) and six goats every month.
3. Conduct trade through your regular establishments (kothi) without creating any obstructions (dhesa).
4. The local people shall engage in trade as usually done in that region. The amali shall not impose any restrictions.
5. Charge interest at ten percent according to the system prevalent throughout the country. Do not charge more.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 39, pp. 149-50.
The Unification of Nepal
(Shri 5 Badamaharajadhiraja Prithvinarayana Shaha (The Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah). Kathmandu: His Majesty's Press Secretariat, 2024 (1967), pt. 2, chapt. 5. ''Nepalako Ekikaranaka Namitta Mileko Prerana ra Yojana'' (Inspiration and plans for the unifications of Nepal), pp. 201-20).
The exemplary character of King Shivaji of Maharastra, who had died only 42 years before the birth of Prithvi Narayan Shah, had begun to influence Gorkha. This had further influenced Prithvi Narayan Shah during his visit to Banaras. The Peshwas of Poona were spreading the Marhatta glory throughout India by following the path Peshawa by Shivaji. It is the influence of this very Brahman Peshawa that led to Jagatjaya Malla of Kantipur to authorize the Brahmans of Maharstra to become the chief priests of the Pashupati temple.
(Note: the Pashupati sect, which has emerged as a special group among the ancient Shaiva communities, had succeeded the Vaishnava sect in North India by the time the Gupta empire was established there. Pashupatacharyas
used to propagate the Pashupata sect. following the establishment of the rule of the Licchavis in Nepal, the Pashupata community also arrived in Nepal together with the Vaishanava community. At the request of the Pashupatacharyas, an idol and temple of Pashupati was established on the right bank of the Bagmati river during the early part of the fifth century. This community had made special progress during the Licchavi period, and Kings like Amshu Varma of the later Licchavi dynasty had become follower of the Pashupata sect.
The idol and temple of Pashupati was destroyed by the Muslim invasion in 1349 A.D. during the early Malla period. However, the kingdom of Vijayanagar was established in Karnatak, South India, in 1350 A.D. with the responsibility of protecting the Puranic religion. First of all when an exact replica of the old Pashupati idol was installed in 1360 A.D. in the newly reconstructed temple of Pashupati by the Mahapatra of Kathmandu, Jaya Simha, during the reign of Arjuna Malla, the last king of the first Malla dynasty, the tradition must have been laid down appointing the priests of the temple by inviting vegetarian Brahmans from Karntak. Sthiti Malla and other kings of the later Malla dynasty seem to have observed this tradition. The idol of Kritimukha Bhairava south-east of the Pashupati temple seems to have installed by the Brahmans priests from Karnatak during the reign of King Yaksha Malla. That the idol of Unmatta Bhairava in front of Kritimukha Bhairava was established during the reign of the same King in 1468 by the Karnatak Brahman Narayana is stated in the stone inscription that was installed there three years later. King Pratap Malla of Kantipur later seems to have enclosed it in a room because of its obscene appearance. He also constructed [Meuktimandapa] and Yajhashala on the south-eastern side of the Pashupati temple. This kind of idol was not considered obsecene according to earlier Tantrik tradition.
When the destructionof the Kingdom of Vijayanagar in 1565 stopped the influx of Karnatiak Brahmans from there, and their descendants in Nepal degenerated by becoming meat-eater, the Mall Kings of Kathmandu seem to have established the tradition of appointing the priests of the Pashupati temple by bringing in Sanyasis from Banaras. The houses situated on the southern side of the Pashupati temple that have so far remained the residence of the chief priest of Pashupati seem to have been built by King Pratap Malla. It is known from Thyasafu 'A' that Raghavananda Swami had lived in that house during the rule of the Pratap Malla's son King Pathivendra Mala. That Raghavananda Swami had gone to live in Lalitpur when he was insulted by the murderersof Parthivendra is started in the Vamshavali. But other Sanyasi prients remained there this is understood from the accounts heard as the Pashupati temple. However, the Maharastra priests state that when these Sanyasis too became defiled as meat-eaters, and as the Rajopadhyaya and Tirhut Brahmans of Nepal too were meat-eater, Jahajjaya Malla set up the tradition of appointing the priests by bringing in Maharashtra Brahmans from Banaras. Because peace was restored in India after the
establishment of British rule there, and the influx of Karnatak Brahmans resumed, both kinds of Brahmans can now become priests of the Pashupati temple. At the time when the new idol of Pashupati was installed, the Pashupata sect had been uprooted in India. Therefore, Karnatak Brahmans who came from there to become priests belonged to an orthodox Puranic sect. however, owing to the inability of the Shaiva Malla to ignore the Shaiva Bhairava of the Buddhistic Tantrik sect followed in Nepal, the priests of Karnatak also were constrained to install an idol of Shaiva Bhariva. The Sanaysi priests were the monists and were not therefore followers of Bhairava. But in view of the connection that Pashupati had with Kritimukha Bhairava, they could no longer ignore it. In view of the glory attained by Banaras at the hands of Maharashtra Brahmans when Poona had witnessed the ascendancy of the Peshawa dynasty during the reign of the last Mugal Emperor, the appointment vegetarian Maharashtra Brahmans as priests at Pashupati, instead of Sanyasis during the period of the King Jayajjaya Malla of Kantipur, was a timely-step. Although there is some Tantrik influence on the present rituals of worship followed at the Pashupati temple, most of it is purely Puranic. The tradition set by the Maharashtra priests, therefore, seems to have been maintained till now.
The secret copper plaques, palmleaf manuscripts, and other documents in the store of the Pashupati temple, if made public, may verify most of the speculations made here.)
During Prithvi Narayan Shah's visit to Banaras, a reputed intellectual, politician, patriot and wealthy person named Balakrishna Dikshit used to live there. He was an advisor of the Peshwas, and the Emperor of Delhi also was desirous of his favor. (Hamsha Monthly, Kashi Issue,
It was not impossible that Prithvi Narayan Shah had a meeting with him. Prithvi Narayan Shah might probably have acquainted himself with the contemporary situation of India by meeting the intellectuals of other provinces residing in Brahams. Right at this moment talks were held at the Delhi court on the question of incorporating well-known Hindu pilgrimage centers, such as Mathura, Gaya, and Banaras into the Peshwa Kingdom. All this information reached Banaras at that time, hence Prithvi Narayan Shah set into capitalizing his designs out of his impending political unrest.
Prithvi Narayan Shah might have learnt from a deep study of the contemporary Indian situation that through pursuit of policies like keeping plans secret, refraining from hurting the religious feelings of others, and protecting farmers and craftsmen who do not participate in armed combats, as well as the women and children of even enemies, it would not be difficult to attain success.
Prithvi Narayan Shah engaged himself in the plan of the unification of Nepal immediately after his return to Gorkha from Banaras. First of all, he had to appoint the Minister or Kaji, as the appointment had been delayed because of the coronation.
(Note: A minister was called Kaji in Gorkha. The term is in no way connected to the same word in Arabic. It is connected in same degree, with the Sanskrit word Karyi meaning a functionary.)
Everybody was sure that Kalu Pande was a suitable candidate. He was born in the family of Ganesh Pande, the first Kaji of Gorkha. He was also a son of Bhimaraj Pande, who had been a Kaji for some time during the Narabhupala Shah's reign.
(Note: A statue of the bearded Kapardar, Bhotu Pande, is installed on the ground floor of a building situated south of the Pashupati temple. The inscription that he was installed on the Bishnumati bridge, which he had constructed, refer to his relationship with Ganesh Pande, Minister of Drabya Shah, the first King of Gorkha. The Pande Brahmans of the Upamanya clan of Khopling in Gorkha also mention Ganesh Pande as their ancestor. Bhotu Pande was a Chhetri, his family had marital ties with Bhim Sen Thapa's family. A Brahman's son through a Khas or Chhetri wife becomes a Chhetri. It is not known whether Bhotu Pande was a Chhetri because Ganesh Pande had taken a Khas or Chhetri wife or one of his descendants had done so. Bhotu Pande's stone inscription, and documents about his lineage mention Ganesh Pande's son as Vishwadatta, and Vishwadatta's son as Birudatta. Birudatta had two sons Baliram and Jagatloka. It is not known whether they were Brahmans or Chhetris. Bhotu Pande mentions Tularam, Baliram and Birudatta respectively as his ancestors of three generations. This shows Vishwadatta also to be an historical person.
Ranajit Pande, the second son of Tularam was born in 1809 A.D. Assuming that Tularam was 27 years old at that time, he must have been born in 1782 Samvat. Allowing 25 years for each generation, Vishwadatta seems to have been born in 1707 Samvat. This means that he could not have been the son of Ganesh Pande, who was living in 1616 Samvat, when Drabya Shah was crowned King of Gorkha. In other words, the names of two more generations seem to be missing. Bhotu Pande must have mentioned Vishwadatta as Ganesh Pande's son by mistake. Birudatta's sons, Baliram and Jagatloka, appear to be Brahmans from their names. However, Tularam, Baliram's son, and Bhimaraj, Jagatloka's son, appear to be Chhetris. It is possible that Bhimaraj was Jagatloka's grandson. A deep study is required in this regard.
The genealogy mentions the name of Bhimaraj's son as Vamshidhar or Kalu. Because he was dark in complexion, he became well-known as Kalu. Kalu had three sons, Vamsharaj, Ranashur,and Damodar. The document mentions Jagadhar Pande
as Vamsharaj's nephew, but the geneology does not mention his father's name. possibly Bhotu Pande did not know their names, because both Jagadhar Pande and his father died early. Kalu Pande's sons and grandsons too were probably of a dark complexion, hence Mathbar Singh derisively called them Kala Pande (i.e. Black Pande). Mathbar Singh Thapa was son of the grand-daughter of Tularam Pande, hence Tularam Pande's descendants were called Gora Pande (i.e. White Pande). Moreover, Kalu Pande has already shown his diplomatic skill while negotiating a treaty with King Ripumardana of Lamjung when Prithvi Narayan Shah was yet a Crown Prince.
(Note: In Dibya Upadesh, Prithvi Narayan Shah has written" ''I met King Ripumardana Shah of Lamjung at Chepe-Ghat, and Kalu Pande conducted negotiations in the manner I had desired. This greatly surprised me.'')
In addition, Kalu Pande had demonstrated sufficient administrative skill while working together with the senior Queen Chandraprabha, Chautara Mahoddama Kriti Shah, and Ranarudra Shah during the Prithvi Narayan Shah's visit to Banaras.
(Note: Shri Pancha Prithvi Narayan Shah Ko Jivani (Biography of King Prithvi Narayan Shah) states Kalu Pande was one of the two high officials who stayed at Gorkha while Prithvi Narayan Shah had gone to Banaras. The Bhasha Vamshavali states that he had accompanied Prithvi Narayan Shah to Banaras. The statement of the Bhasha Vamshavali seems wrong).
For these reasons, Queen Chandraprabha supported Kalu Pande's name for appointment as Kaji. But during his visit to Banaras. Biraj Bakheti had sufficiently impressed Prithvi Narayan Shah.
(Note: in Dibya Upadesh, Prithvi Narayan Shah has said: ''I had intended to appoint Biraj Bakheti as Kaji. However, Kalu Pande appeared wiser, so he was appointed Kaji.'').
in these circumstances, Prithvi Narayan Shah thought in proper to take the advice of all the notable persons of Gorkha. On the unanimous recommendation of the nobility, as well as the common people including Bisya Damai, and the support of the friendly Baisi and Chaubisi kings, he appointed Kalu Pande to that high post.
(Note: In Dibya Upadesh, Prithvi Narayan Shah has said: ''The people, as well as the Baisi and Chaubisi kings all supported the appointment of Kalu Pande as Kaji.'' Friendly relations had been established at that time with the kings of Jajarkot among the Baisi, and Lamjung and Palpa among the Chaubisi. Therefore, they too might have been consulted).
Prithvi Narayan Shah had already seen the fertile lands of the three principalities of Kathmandu Valley when he visited the capitals of the mutually hostile principalities of Bhaktapur and Kantipur. The Kingof Kantipur was an obstacle for the Gorkhalis to extend their way to Bhaktapur. The hill district of Nuwakot, which belonged to Kantipur and which adjoined Gorkha was lying undefended, and this led King Prithvi Narayan Shah and Kalu Pande to realize that it was easy to occupy it. But the principalitiy of Kantipur was rich owing to its income from trade with Tibet. Prithvi Narayan Shah had the foresight to realize that unless Kantipur was impoverished by seizing that trade, it could not be uprooted. A portion route in Nuwakot district, but the kuti route was more frequented. The kings of Kantipur had, therefore, occupied Sindhupalchok and Dolakha districts. Kantipur had trade relations with Tibet, which was under the control of the Chinese Emperor, and under the administration of the Dalai Lama. The letter had friendly relations with the Kings of Kantipur. This trade had continued even though more than 100 years had passed since the death of the Bhima Malla, who had first established these trade relations. The trade route was very long and hazardous. The Malla Kings had not been able to extend their territories beyond the Himalayan ranges. As a result, the Tibetans had established trade centers of Kerung and Kuti. The Kerung trade center lay at a distance of 141 Kilometers from Kathmandu, which could be covered in 8 stages. It formed part of the principality of Kantipur. The Kuti trade center lay at a distance of 131 Kilometers, which could be covered in 9 stages. It was under the administrative control of the Dalai Lama. Routes running through Kerung and Kuti converged at Digarcha in Tibet, which was 19 stages and 373 kilometers from Kerung, and 16 stages and 331 kilometers distant from Kuti. From Digarcha the Tibetan capital of Lhasa lay at a distance of 11 stages and 263 kilometers.
(Note: After the 1854-55 war with Tibet, a book was written during the reign of King Surendra in 1856 on Tibet and China. In view of Prithvi Narayan Shah's efforts to established relations with the Dalai Lama and strengthen trade relations with Tibet, a detailed account of the route as far as Lhasa, capital of Tibet, is given in that look, which is in the possession of Pandit Komal Natha Adhikari).
Yaks, sheep and Chyangra (mountain goats) are abundant in Tibet. As such, the Tibetans used to live on their meat by some unknown reason they did not the meat of Chyangras. They, however, wove cloth with the wool of sheep and Chyangra goats. Instead of visiting the borders of China for food-grains, it was more convenient for them to visit Kerung, Kuti, Khartang (Kirat region) and Bhutan through the upper reaches of the Trishuli-Gandaki, the Sunkoshi, the Arun (Chhung) and the Tista respectively.
But the Bhutan and Khartang routes were not used. Moreover, the Swayambhu shrine in Nepal, and the Khasa Chailtya, constructed during Pratapa Malla's reign, were popular pilgrimage centers from ancient times for the Vajrayani Buddhists of Tibet. The Kerung and Kuti routes were, therefore, open, and the salt of Tibet used to traded with the foodgrains of Nepal through these routes.
Besides salt, ponies, yak-tails, harital, and musk also used to come from Tibet, which Nepali traders used to resell to the traders in the plains of Oudh and Bihar. Garlic, chillies and Lapsi fruits were exported to Tibet from Nepal. sheep and Chyangra goats constituted the main items that were sold in Kathmandu Valley. Caskets made of ivory, ivory-hlted daggers, and handicrafts made of dar wood were the main items that were exported to Tibet. Gold in crude or refined form from Monglian mines constituted the main items imported by Nepal through Lhasa. Only silver coins stamped with the seal of the Kantipur kings circulated in Tibet. The main communities trading in both Kantipur and Tibet were Shakyas and Udas mostly of Kantipur, and a few of Lalitpur. The number of their establishments at one time reached as many as thirty-two. As such, they were known as the ''Battis kothi mahajan''.
Tibetan gold seems to have started to come to Kantipur during the reign of King Mahendra Malla (1560-1574 A.D.), and joint King of both Kantipur and Lalitpur, before the time of Bhima Malla. The largest quantity, however, came during the reign of King Pratap Malla (1614-1674 A.D.), the killer of Bhima Malla. The gold plates that he and his grandson King Bhupalendra Malla gave to the copper roots of the temples of Guhyeshwari, Taleju, Pashuapti, and other in Kantipur, and the status installed there had created among the Nawabs of Nengal and Bihar the impression that there were piles of gold in Kantipur. Pratapa Malla's nephew, King Srinivasa Malla of Lalitpur, had not been able to erect a gold-plated statue owing to the small number of Lalitpur traders in Lhasa. However, one trader, Jodhaju Sakya of Laliptur, who owned shops in Tibet, had presented him with a magnificent gilded throne. (Abhilekhasangraha, pt. 6, p. 12).
After Akbar's occupation of Kashmire toward the end of the 16th century, Kashmiri Muslim traders spread all over northern India, and opened shops selling Kashmiri shawls, woolen caps, saffrons, etc. in principa towns there. One Kashmiri who had a shop at Patna came to Kantipur and opened a shop there near the city gates.
(Note: The Capuchin priest Desideri, who had come to Kathmandu in Janu 1722 A.D., had seen the shops of Kashmiri traders near the Ranipokhari in Kantipur. Medieval Nepal, pt. 2, p. p. 1012)j.
This shop was later turned into Kashmiri mosque. This Kashmiri Muslim belonged to the hill region, hence he began to earn double profits by going to Tibet and trading there.
During this very period, King Mahendra Simha, and Chutara Jhagal Thakul permitted two Capuchin priests Prancois Felix and Anthony Marie, when they came to Kantipur, to propagate Christianity and establish a church there. But leter because of the opposition Brahmans, both priests went to Bhaktapur, where king Bhupatindra Malla welcomed them. There are priests cured some patients of plague and converted them to Christianity. When Jagatjaya Malla was crowned King in 1722 A.D., permission church in Kathmandu also. Father Horrace, who had come at this time from Lhasa as chief of the Bkaktapur church, had been able, by virtue of his qualifications and intelligence, to regain there old place in Kantipur. But king Jagatjaya Malla later feft displeased at his mishebavior and confiscated all his property, imprisoned him and employed in road construction. Harrace was a clever man. He sent a petition to Jagatjaya Malla, who later freed him from imprisonment and gave permission to propagate Christianity in Kantipur.
Lhasa was the principal base of the Capuchins. When Joachim, the chief priest of Lhasa and Horrace, the chief priest of Bhaktapur requested Rome for retirement owing to their age, Vitto was appointed as the chief for Bhaktapur. When he arrived at the Patna church, King Ranajit Malla of Bhaktapur sent his relative to fetch him to Bhaktapur, and gave him lodging in a house there was as well as permission to erect an iron cross on the house. Later, Ranajit Malla gave him a magnificent house and garden that had been acquired as the intestate property of a noble, and also a copper-plate decree permitting him to convert the people to Christianity with their consent. (1740 A.D.)
(Note: This account is based on pp. 120-21 of the English translation of Le Nepal by Sylavain Levi. The inscription was as follows: ''King Ranajit Malla of Bhaktapur hereby grants all European priests the night to propagate among the convert my subjects into Christianity, and also his subjects the right to adopt Christianity without fear from any authority. However, such conversion should be done not through force but on a voluntary basis. Marga 861 Nepal Samvat).
Joachim was one of the priests who had accompanied Vitto to Bhaktapur. He request King Jaya Prakash Malla of Kantipur for permission to set up a Church, Jaya prakash Malla, however, did not grant the privilege to propagate
Christianity among the people of Kantipur as Ranajit Malla had done in Bhaktapur. However, he granted a building and garden, and also issued a copper-plate decree (December 17, 1741) in the same of the Capuchin priests.
(Note: This account is based on the English translation of Le Nepal, pp. 129-30).
At this time, the Raja of Bettiah (Champaran district) had sent a request to Vitto to establish a Christian church in his territory. As a result, a church was built there under the jurisdiction of the Bhaktapur organization. (1743 A.D.).
European missionaries used to get secretly involved in the politics of Nepal in the interests of Europeans, and also rendered assistance to the Malla Kings in buying guns and flints, but did not interfere in trade. The permission granted by Ranajit Malla and Jaya Prakash Malla to them to propagate Christianity in a manner detrimental to the culture and religion of their people for the sake of buying guns and flints for use in their mutual conflicts was sign of cultural degeneration. This assured Prithvi Narayan Shah of success in his mission of unifying Nepal.
(To be continued).
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandul: April 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Year 11, No. 4
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. The Unification of Nepal 40
2. Thak and Thini, 1811 52
3. Serma Tax Rates in Palchok 54
4. Brahmans and the Plow 55
5. Cash Emoluments of Bhardars, 1851 55
6. Miscellaneous Documents of Magh 1856 63
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
The Unification of Nepal
(Continued from the March 1979 issue)
When the wealthy Sanyasis of the Vana and Puri sects from Oudh and Bihar saw that Kashmiri Muslims are making huge profits through trade, they too came to Kathmandu for the same purpose on the pretext of propagating Shaivism. King Ranajit Malla of Bhaktapur welcomed one the these Sansyasis, Kamalavan, and sold him as much land as he wanted near the Dattatreya monastery for the establishment of a Vana monastery. The Vaneswara Shivalinga and a new monastery were thus established there. (January 20, 1744).
(Note: This monastery is now called Chikan Phale. It has not Mahanta. The former Mahanta's widow is the chief of the monastery. Purna Prasad Vana, who lost the case in whch he had claimed the right of succession to this monastery, had provided transcripts of the copper-plate decree, issued for the establishment of this monastery. The date of the establishment of the monastery according to this decree is Saka 1667, Vikrama 1802, srikali 4846, Nepal Samvat 865, Magh Sudi Sri Panchami. Nepal Samvat 865, however, does not coincide with Saka 1667. The correct figure is 866. There must, therefore, have been a mistake while transcribing the figures from copper-plate decree. The text mentions Nepal Samvat 863, Magh Sukla Sri Panchami, Monday. This date has been found to be correct.
Kamal Vana is mentioned as the founder of the Guthi. The witnesses were King Ranajit Malla's Pramanes, Yajnarayan Chhenbhadel, Krishna Das. Jasaraj, Dhanaman Singh, Anirudra, Samarasundara, and Bhagi Singh, and the writer is Baibajnya Jayanarayan. A foreign Sanyasi could not have owned land in Bhaktapur. The mention of the names of royal officials as witnesses indicates that the endowed lands were purchased from King Ranajit Malla. The King certainly must have executed a deed of sale. However, the deed is no longer available).
Sanyasis of the Puri sect were welcomed and granted land by King Vishnu Malla of Lalitpur. They, therefore, established a monastery in Lalitpur. These Sanyasis then collaborated with the kashmiri Muslims in hampering then trade of Shakyas and Udas with Tibet.
Kantipur's trade relations with Tibet were thus weakening. In the meantime, Prithvi Narayan Shah was preparing his plans of annexing Kantipur by occupying Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok and Dolakha, breaking Kantipur's trade relations with Tibet, and rendering that principality insolvent. This plan was prepared in four or five months, but its implementation was likely to offend the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. But there was not time to lose. Prithvi Narayan Shah, therefore, prepared this plan in a way that would keep the Tibetans satisfied in matters of trade.
Sale of Slaves
(''Kamara Kamari Bechdako (Sale of Slaveboys and Slave-girls). Shri 5 Surendra Bikrama Shahadevaka Shasankalama Baneko Muluki Ain (Legal Code enacted during the reign of King Surendra Bikram Shah Dev). Kathmandu: Ministry of Law and Justice, His Majesty's Government, 2022 (1965), pp. 352-54).
1. If one brother among several brothers living in a joint family sells slaves, animals, or other property without consulting his brothers, and if the other brothers complain that he has no right to sell their share of such property, the sale shall be held to be valid only in the following circumstances:-
If the property has been sold to meet the living expenses of the family, or
If the seller has sold only his share of the property.
If he has sold more than his share without consulting his brothers, and has not done so to meet the living expenses of the family, and if his brothers complain, within thirty-five days if they are at home, and within the same period after they come back home if they have gone abroad, that their brother had no right to sell the property without setting aside their shares even though they were all living in a joint family, the seller be made to refund be restored to the brothers. If the price cannot be recovered from the seller, he shall be made to sign a personal bond for the amount. Fees amounting to ten percent and five percent shall be collected from the two parties.
2. If anybody sells or mortgages slaves, animals, or other property to two persons, the first transaction shall be held valid. The seller shall be made to refund the price to the second purchaser if he can do so, or else to sign a personal bond for the amount. A fine of an equal amount shall be imposed on him. if he cannot pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned at the rate of one month for each five rupees of the fine.
3. Children belonging to castes which may be enslaved shall not be enslaved even if the parents are so willing, nor shall any court, police station, or local body do so. if any person enslaves such children, the price paid in consideration thereof shall be forfeited, and both the seller and the purchaser shall be punished with a fine of Rs 100 each. If they do not pay the fine, they shall be imprisoned according to the law.
4. Any person may offer his son, who is above sixteen years of age, as a bondsman to his creditor at a court, police station, or local body, which shall ask the prospective bondsman whether he is willing to be bonded. If he says
he is willing, he shall be made to sign a statement accordingly. He may be bonded in this manner with his consent, but not even his parents shall be permitted to offer him as a bondsman forcibly. If they do so, and if the son submits a complaint, the letter shall be set free, and the father shall be made to sign a personal bond for the loan. If the son submits such a complaint after the death of his parents, he shall himself be made to sign a personal bond for the loan.
5. If anybody falsely complains that any person has enslaved a freeman, and if an interrogation proves that he complaint is false and has been made only out of spite, the complainant shall be punished with a fine of Rs 100 if he is a man, and of Rs 50 if he is a woman. If the fine is not paid, the complainant shall be imprisoned according to the law.
6. If anybody falsely claims children belonging to castes which may be enslaved to be his slaves, and sells them, he shall be held to have enslaved freemen and shall be punished with a fine of Rs 360. If he does not pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned until the fine is remitted at the rate of five rupees for each month of imprisonment. If such person has sold (children) belonging to liquor-drinking castes which cannot be enslaved, falsely claiming them to be his slaves, he shall be punished with a fine of Rs 540. If he has thus sold children belonging to sacred-thread-wearing castes, he shall be punished with a fine of Rs 720. If he does not pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned according to the law.
7. If any person desires to sell slaves inherited by him or acquired by him through his own efforts, he shall inform his co-parceners of his intention and offer them the preemptive right to purchase such slaves at the price offered by other persons. If the coparceners agree to buy the slaves, they shall be entitled to do so in preference to other persons. If the coparceners live at a distant place, and the owner sells the slaves because of his urgent need, both the seller and the purchaser shall write to the coparceners accordingly. The coparceners may redeem the sale within thirty-five days at the price paid by the purchaser even f a deed of relinquishment of title ([dipatra]) had already been signed. If no coparcener offers to redeem the sale within thirty-five days, the sale shall be considered absolute even if no coparcener had witnessed it or appropriate gaurain (?).
8. If a slave owner complains that any government officer responsible for the sale or purchase of slaves has done so at prices below these mentioned in the law, the shortfall shall be realized from such officer and paid to the owner, and the officer shall be punished with a fine of an equal amount. Half of such fine shall be imposed on each witness who has endorsed prices below those mentioned in the law in collusion with the officer. If they do not pay the fine, they shall be imprisoned accordingly to the law.
9. If common people other than government officers have sold or purchased slaves at prices above or below those mentioned, in the law through mutual agreement and have excuted Parambhatta deeds (of sale) accordingly in the presence of witnesses, the sale shall be held valid. No complaint shall be entertained. If no such deed has been executed in the presence of witnesses, this hall be held to be an act of force, and action shall be taken according to relevant law.
Thak and Thimi, 1811
Discrimination in Jagat Taxation
Royal order to Thituwa Bishta of Barhagaun:
''The inhabitants of Barhagaun had been submitted the following petition to our father (i.e. King Ran Bahadur Shah): ''Formerly, when Thak and Thini constituted a separate territory under the rule of Jumla, the inhabitants of these areas used to pay Jagat duties while visiting the place called Chhokar for purposes of trade. Because all these territories are now under (Gorkhali) rule, it is not proper that discrimination should be practised, so that people have to pay these duties, whereas others are free from that obligation, in the same country.''
''Our father had then abolished the Jagat duties levied at Chhokar. Subsequently, in the Samvat Year 1865, the inhabitants of Thak and Thini submitted another petition to us, complaining that because of some arbitrary actions, Jagat duties were again being collected from them from the year 1862, although not from anyone else. Another royal order was then issued reconfirming the abolition of the Jagat duties paid by the inhabitants of Thak and Thini at Chhokar.
'A delegation from Thak and Thini, consisting of Buuddha Chhayaram and Buddha Pratiram, has now again come to us with the complaint that Jagat duties are eve now being collected from the inhabitants of those areas at Chhokar. For us, all subjects are equal. Inasmuch as it is not proper that these duties should be collected only from the inhabitants of Thak and Thini, and not from others, at the same place, we hereby remit these duties. Do not collect these duties.
''At the Jagat checkpost of Kagbeni, we have received reports that the goods of erring traders are being confiscated. If traders commit any offense, collect only an amount twice the Jagat duty due from them. If any additional amount has been collected, refund, it to them.
Chaitra Badi 8, 1867 (March 1811).
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 4-5.
Collection of Nirkhi Tax
Royal order to officials responsible for the collection of Nirkhi tax in areas west of Dana:
''Pratiram Budha and Chayaram Budha of Thak-Thini have submitted the following petition: Formerly, the inhabitants and traders of Thak and Thini did not have to pay export duty on general merchandise (Kirana) wherever they visited beyond Dana. They only paid the following duties:
3 pathis of salt on each load supplied to the south (madhes).
6 or 7 pathis and 3 manas of salt from each dhakre trader.
However, nirkhi tax is also being collected from them at present. This is not justified.''
The order stated that duties should be paid only at customary rates sanctioned through royal order. It prohibited the collection of new impositions.
Chaitra Badi 8, 1867.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 45, p. 8.
Judicial Authority of Village Headmen
Royal order to Chhayaram Budha: ''In all matters concerning Rajanka levies, other taxes and levies, asmani levies, etc. hold consultations with local headmen (thelu, budha), and refer such matters to us if necessary, and take action as ordered. If your can dispose of such matters on your own authority, dispense justice accordingly, and impose penalties according to the nature of the offense. Collect such amounts, and transmit the proceeds to us, in addition to the payment stipulated earlier on thekbandi basis. We hereby order that the Adalat shall not make any collections there, and that Bicharis shall not raise any dispute. With due assurance, keep the village populous and dispense correct justice.''
Chaitra Badi 8, 1867.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 6-7. contd….
Jurisdiction of Bicharis
Royal order to Bicharis deputed to Thini: ''In the Samvat year 1867, the thalus, budhas, and ryots of Thini have submitted a petition to us, and we have promulgated administrative regulations (thiti) under royal order. Do not raise any dispute in the Thani area. Refund the amount you have collected there, if any. In case you act in contravention of the regulations we have promulgated, the matter shall be investigated and referred to us. the amali shall then impose penalties or inflict corporal punishment as ordered by us, as the case may be. The amount of such fine shall be transmitted to us, in addition to the payment stipulated on thek bandi basis, through the amali. We hereby reconfirm those regulations.
Chaitra Badi 8, 1867.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 7.
Repayment of Loans
Royal order to the debtors of Samgram Dani in Thak, Thini, Berhagaun, Mustang, Manag, and elsewhere: ''Your creditor has submitted a complaint to the effect that you pay him neither the principal amount nor interests on the loans you have obtained from him. you must pay your creditor interest at the rate of ten percent on loans. We have also received reports that Bahaudr Singh Newar is creating disputes with regard to transactions conducted while his elder brother was living. If the accounts of such transactions have been cleared off, he cannot raise any objection. Punishment shall be inflicted if anybody makes false claims.
Chaitra Badi 8, 1867.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 3-4.
Serma Tax Rates in Palchok
On Poush Sudi 9, 1885 (December 1828), the rates of Serma tax on Pakho holdings under Raikar tenure was fixed as follows:
Hale R. 1
Pate 12 annas.
Kodale 8 annas.
Holding belonging to non-resident persons
(Fadke) According to the area.
(Kharka) Kharchari tax.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 43, pp. 162-63.
Brahmans and the Plow
Orders were sent to local officials and other people in (1) the Marsyangdi-Kali region, (2) the Sanga/Sindhu-/_Tista region on Poush Sudi 14, 1869 directing that Brahmans who drew the plow should be punished. The orders added: ''Relatives shall not take rice from the hands of such Brahmans, nor enter into matrimonial relations with them. In case any Brahmans who had drawn the plow repents, he shall be granted expiation by the Dharmadhikar. Any person who thereafter refuses to take cooked rice from the hands of such Brahmans shall be punished.''
/_Marsyangdi region, and (3), the Sangu/Sindhu
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 225-26.
Cash Emoluments of Bhardars, 1851
The following is a list of the cash emoluments paid to the Prime Minister and other Bhardars during the Samvat year 1908 (A.D. 1851). Inasmuch as these persons were granted Jagir lands also, these payments do not represent their total emoluments. The figures are in the 16-anna rupee, whether Kaldar (Indian) rupees, or Mohar rupees minted in Nepal. it should be noted that the payments are often charged to specific sources of revenue, and not to the central treasury.
1. Prime Minister Jung Bahadur
Payment inclusive of compensation
for resumed Jagir lands:
Kaldar Rs 23,568 - 8
Mohar Rs 19,762 - 12
Total 43,331 - 4
2. General Krishna Bahadur Kunwar Rana
Compensation for Jagir land which
had been assigned twice Mohar Rs 7-8
From Kapas-Bhansar (duties on
cotton and yarn) Mohar Rs 70-12
Total Rs 78-4
3. General Jagat Shumshere Jung Kunwar Rana
From Kapas-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,835
4. General Ran Uddip Singh Kunwar Rana
From Bhot-Bhanar (duties on
Nepal-Tibet trade) Mohar Rs 8,001.
From Kapas-Bhansar Mohar Rs 3,402-14
Total Rs 11,403-14
5. General Bhaktabir Kunwar Rana
From Kapas-Bhansar Mohar Rs 7,660-7½
From the Kausi (central treasury) Mohar Rs 3,603-12½
Total Rs 11,262-4
6. Commanding Colonel …..
From Kapas-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,705-13
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 2,166-3
Total Rs 3,872
7. Colonel Khadga Bahadur Kunwar Rana
From Palpa Mohar Rs 809-6.
8. Colonel Krishnadhoj Kunwar Rana
from Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 619-12
9. Colonel Prithvidhoj Kunwar Rana
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,164-7
10. Gunuraj Pandit Dharmadhikar
Vijaya Raj Panditju
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,164-7
11. Guru Nagendra Raj Panditju
From Sair-Bhansar Mohar Rs 2,522-5
12. Guru Tirtha Raj Panditju
From Sair-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,834-6
13. Chautariya Shumshere Jung Shah
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 2,000
From Sair-Bhansar Mohar Rs 3,483-1
Total Rs 3,483-1
14. Chautarni Bhadralaxmi Devi
From Sudi-Rakam (Liquor excise)
In Kathmandu Mohar Rs 421-13
15. Kaji Umakanta Padhya
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 905-4
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,000
From the Pota tax in
Kathmandu Mohar Rs 1,000
From the Rukum mines Mohars Rs 1,307-9
Total Rs 4,212-13
16. Kaji Kulaman Singh Basnyat
Salary Mohar Rs 2,484-9
Compensation for resumed Jagir lands Mohar Rs 10
do. for revenues from Chitaun Mohar Rs 696-9
Total Rs 3,191-2
17. Kaji Hemadal Singh Thapa
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,000
From the Rukum mines Mohar Rs 1,193-7
From the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 400
Total Rs 2,593-7
18. Kaji Dilli Singh Basnyat
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 769-2
From the Pota tax in K
Kathmandu Mohar Rs 2,719-12
From the Sudi-Rakam, collected
through the Thana:
Banepa - Paisa Rs 27-8
Bhadgain - Paisa Rs 600
Panauti - Paisa Rs 12-8
Total Paisa Rs 640
equivalent to Mohar Rs 648-5
19. Kaji Dirgha Singh Bhandari
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,000
From the Sudi-Rakam,
Collected through the Thana:
Patan - Paisa Rs 501
Kathmandu - Paisa Rs 171-3
Total - Paisa Rs 672-3
Equivalent to Mohar Rs 488-14
From the Rukum mines Mohar Rs 1,362-4
Total Rs 4,451-2
20. Khajanchi Shiva Prasad Arjyal
From the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 178
21. Bada Sardara Kirtibir Karti
from the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 765-8
22. Sardar Karna Singh Bokate
From the Bhainsi-Bansar Mohar Rs 1,000
From the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 871-15
Total Rs 1,871-15
23. Sardar Kanak Singh Mahat
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 2,417-10
From revenue collected
In the markets (mandi) Mohar Rs 497-14
Total Rs 2,915-8
24. Sardar Ravidhwaj Adhikari
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,034-9
From the Haseli tax in
Paisa Rs 500-1½
equivalent to Mohar Rs 363-15
From the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 1,030-10
From the Sudi Rakam, collected
Through the Thana, in:
Panchmane - Rs 7
Jitpur - Rs 25
Nuwakot - Rs 61
Paisa Rs 93 equivalent to Mohar Rs 67-10
Total Rs 2,496-9
25. Captain Maharudra Khatri
From Bhainsi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,286-1
26. Senior Lieutenant Devidas Padhya
From the Sudi-Rakam in
through the Thana Mohar Rs 1,055-13
Total Rs 2,341-14
27. Subedar Krishnaman Karki
From the Pota tax in Kathmandu Mohar Rs 304-8
28. Mir Subba Ratna Man Singh Rajbhandari
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,556-15
29. Amin Subba Siddhiman Singh Rajbhandari
From the Kausi Mohar Rs 1,600
30. Subba Dhanasundar
From Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,202-7
31. Subba Kashinath Padhya Mohar Rs 741
32. Subba Chet Nath Padhya
From Nirkhi Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,260-13
33. Subba Shivanarsingh
From the Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,199-11
34. Subba Vidyanath Arjyal
From revenue collected in mandis Mohar Rs 275
35. Subba Umanath Padhya
From the Nirkhi-Bhansar Mohar Rs 1,217-14
36. Subba Rudra Prasad Pandit
From the Kausi Mohar Rs 175
37. Subba Birabhanjan Majhi
From Palpa mines and mint Farrukhabadi Rs 1,350
Mohar Rs 450
38. Subba Hridayaratna
Salary for post of Dittha from Kausi Mohar Rs 784-5
39. Subba Mehar Man Singh Rajbhandari
From the Kausi Mohar Rs 2,000
Others cash disbursements were as follows:-
Name Amount Source
(in Mohar Rs)
1. Dittha Kirtiman Singh
Rajbhandari Rs 1,000 Kausi
2. Dittha Benimadhav
Padhya Rs 111-1 Sadar Dafdarkhana
3. Dittha Pradyumna Padhya Rs 150 Kausi
4. Dittha Revatiraman Satyal Rs 229-5 Pota tax in Kathmandu
5. Dittha Biradhwaj Karti Rs 263-14 Pota tax in Kathmandu
6. Dittha Abir Khadka,
Thimi Gunpowder Factory Rs 3-14 Sudi-Rakam in Kathmandu
7. Dware Kashiram Rs 112-7 Pota tax in Kathmandu
8. Dware Aiman Rs 198-9 do.
9. Dware Atibal Rs 130-14 do.
10. Dware Magan Singh Rs 270-1 do.
11. Chopdar Rabilal Jaisi Rs 118-5 Sudi-Rakam
12. Durga Laxmi Narayan Jaisi Rs 237-5 Pota tax in Kathmandu
13. Daroga Kirtidatta Rimal Rs 220-5 do.
14. Chief Putwars Rs 93-9 do.
15. Employees of chhebhadal
(public works office) Paisa Rs 1,118-15 Not mentioned
The following bhardars were granted the following increments for the Samvat year 1908:-
Name Mohar Rs
1. Chautariya Shumsher Jung Shah Rs 333-3
2. Kaji Gambhir Singh Adhikari Rs 1,747-11
3. Kaji Dilli Singh Basnyat Rs 1,817-8
4. Kaji Hemadal Thapa Rs 907-5
5. Bada Sardar Kirtibir Karki Rs 1,920
6. Sardar Ravidhwaj Adhikari Rs 597
7. Sardar Karna Singh Bokati Rs 535-14
8. Subba Kashinath Padhya Rs 829-2
9. Subba Umanath Padhya Rs 900
10. Subba Chet Nath Padhya Rs 400
11. Subba Shivanarsingh Rs 675-13
12. Subba Dhanasundar Rs 900
13. Amin Subba Siddhiman Singh Rs 2,140-1
14. Dware Magan Singh Rs 701
15. Dware Kashiram Rs 584-5
16. Dware Aiman Rs 630-6
17. Dware Atibal Rs 605-8
18. Chopdar Ravilal Jaisi Rs 27-15
19. Dittha Revatiraman Satyal Rs 700
20. Dittha Biradhwaj Karki Rs 200
21. Dittha Abir Khadka,
Thimi Cunpowder Factory Rs 325
22. Daroga Kirtidatta Rimal Rs 25
23. Daroga Laxmi Narayan Jaisi Rs 25
Total amount disbursed to Bhardars:
(The discrepancy in the total amount is due to the fact that fractions of one anna have been ignored in the list).
Kaldar Rs - 23,568-8
Farrukhabadi Rs 1,350
Mohar Rs - 123,018-7
Paisa Rs - 1,118-14