|Commanders and leaders|
|Ranjit Singh||Amar Singh Thapa|
The confrontation between Nepal and the Sikhs had its genesis in the expansionist poilcy of the Nepalese mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa. The Kumaon Kingdom having been incorporated into Nepal in 1791, he endeavoured to add the hill country to its west as far as the river Sutlej. This expedition was entrusted to the kaji Amar Singh Thapa, who was later reinforced by the kaji Nain Singh Thapa. In 1807, Kangra Fort, on the west bank of the Sutlejt, was put under siege. By early 1809, most of the land of Kangra jagir had been incorporated into Nepal, although the fort still held out. Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra took refuge among the Sikhs.
At first, the Sikh maharaja Ranjit Singh was reluctant to assist the ruler of Kangra, but a Nepalese push towards the Kashmir Valley changed his mind. Kashmir was effectively independent territory, riven by factions and coveted by both Sikhs and Gurkhas. The Sikh ruler dispatched a force which raised the siege of Kangra on 24 August 1809 and forced the Gurkha forces back across the Sutlej. Ranjit Sing then sent a proposal to Amar Singh Thapa to make the Sutlej the boundary between their states. Thapa forwarded the proposal to the Kathmandu Durbar, but Bhimsen Thapa rejected it.