the SHAH dynasty of Nepal
30th August, 2021
History, true stories, and real events/incidents have always been my favorite subject. I am always watching/reading it and trying to grasp things whenever time allows. This brief article on “The Shay Dynasty”, I actually prepared it for our “Khukuri Gallery” in Unit 2, but since it directly and indirectly associates with the kukri I felt why not post it in the Blog as well.
We all know that to become a king you must have your own kingdom; to build up a kingdom you must have an army; to have a strong army you must have arms and armors; and whenever we are talking about weapons in Nepal, the Kukri simply rules. We have such a proud and proven history on how from a layman to a soldier to the king carried his kukri and fought valiantly for his country and belief. The Shah era is such a phase in the Nepalese history that forever established Nepal as a free and sovereign country with its own flagship that we know of today. So folks without further ado here is a brief history of the Shah dynasty from its rise to its key event to the fall of the regime. I hope you enjoy it and learn something about the crucial and powerful rulers of modern Nepal.
Thank you and Namaste,
Founder and MD of KHHI nepal
the SHAH dynasty of Nepal
The Shah dynasty was the founder and administrator of the modern Nepal for around 449 years if we take it from the Gorkha kingdom period. King Drabya Shah is the 1st recognized king of the dynasty and his descendants the great king, Prithivi Narayan Shah, is the most powerful and influential king who united his Gorkha kingdom as Nepal and became the father figure of the dynasty. The actual origin or the history of the dynasty is sketchy with no proven evidence. There is a lot of debate to it. However the Rajput version from Chittor, Rajasthan (India) is the most convincing and recognized one.
Briefly speaking, one of the royalties of the Rajput family’s from Rajasthan who had fled to Nepal (mid-western region) to avoid the Muslim’s invasion and atrocities, Manamth Ranaji Rao’s generations, Kulmandan Khand, managed to become the 1st king of Kaski in late 15th Century AD. He took up the title, SHAH, after becoming king which was believed to be bestowed to him by the Baadshah of Delhi, India. Then his son Yasho Brahma Shah succeeded him. Later his youngest son, Drabya Shah, conquered Gorkha and became its king in 1559 which is actually considered as the pinnacle point of the shah dynasty. The Shah era actually began from mid-16th century until its fall with the 12th king, Gyanendra Shah, when the absolute power was handed over to public and the country become Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
TURNING POINTS >>
- Drabya Shah – 1st king of Gorkha in 1559
- Ram Shah – Gorkha at its zenith point with boarders extension, administration and judiciary system, ca 1606–1636
- Prithivi Narayan Shah – Gorkha unification and expansion into a larger kingdom, Nepal. 1st king of Nepal, 1768-69
- Pratap Sing Shah, Bahadur Shah, Rana Bahadur Shah – Further expansion of Nepal from Sutlej river (West) to Teesta River (East), 1773 - 1814
- Girvana Yudha Bir Bikram Shah – infamous Treaty of Sugauli 1816, “Bir Bikram” titled embraced
- Rajendra Bir Bahadur Shah – King under house arrest and the Rana regime begins, ca 1846
- Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah – Rana regime collapses, 1951
- Birendra Bir Bikram Shah – Maoist insurgency begins, accepts constitutional monarchy with a system of multiparty democracy, 1990’s
- Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah – the Shah era ends. King abolished, May 2008