Open main menu

Gorkhali soldiers in the Kathmandu palace courtyard

Before the Shah dynasty united Nepal, only Kathmandu was known as Nepal or Nepal Mandala. After conquering all the small kingdoms of Nepal in the mid-eighteenth century, King Prithvi Narayan Shah moved his capital to Kathmandu from Gorkha and named the newly created empire, Nepal.

Establishment of expanded Gorkha kingdomEdit

Gorkha was a small hilly kingdom with little wealth. After Prithvi Narayan Shah became king on 25 Chaitra 1799 BS, he started unification of Nepal. He began his campaign from Nuwakot.

Invasion of NuwakotEdit

Nara Bhupal Shah, Prithvi Narayan Shah's father, had already tried to invade Nuwakot in 1794 B.S. during his reign, and failed. At that time, Nuwakot was under the administrative control of Kantipur (today known as Kathmandu). Kantipur supported Nuwakot against the invasion. Following his defeat, Nara Bhupal Shah gave up his efforts and handed the administrative power over to Prithvi Narayan Shah and Chandraprabhawati (the eldest queen of Nara Bhupal Shah). Nara Bhupal Shah died in 1799 B.S. and Prithivi Narayan Shah ascended to the throne on 25 Chaitra 1799 B.S.

Nuwakot was the trade route between Tibet and Kathmandu, and the western gateway to Kathmandu valley. Prithvi Narayan Shah sent Gorkhali troops, under Kaji Biraj Thapa, to attack Nuwakot. Biraj Thapa waited at Khinchet by the side of Trishuli River for an appropriate time to launch the attack. Prithvi Narayan Shah didn't like the strategy of Biraj Thapa and began to mistrust him following the report by Maheshwor Panta. So, he sent another Gorkhali battlegroup under Maheshwor Panta. The troops under Maheshwor Panta were defeated.

After his conquest of the Kathmandu Valley, Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered other smaller territories south of the valley to keep other smaller fiefdoms near his Gurkha state out of the influence and control of British rule. After his kingdom spread from north to south, he made Kantipur the capital of expanded country, which was then known as Kingdom of Gorkha (Gorkha Samrajya).[1][2]

Shifting capitalEdit

Prithvi Narayan Shah in his Dibya Upadesh suggested a shift of the capital from Gorkha Durbar to Nepal.[3] The expanded Gorkha kingdom was renamed with the name of its capital.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Joseph Bindloss (15 September 2010). Nepal. Lonely Planet Publications. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-74220-361-4.
  2. ^ Less of a hero
  3. ^ "Nepal Law Commission Dibya Upadesh" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Nepāla Ki? Gorashā". 1955.

Further readingEdit

  • Fr. Giuseppe. (1799). An account of the kingdom of Nepal. Asiatic Researches. Vol 2. (1799). pp. 307–322.
  • Reed, David. (2002). The Rough Guide to Nepal. DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Wright, Daniel, History of Nepal. New Delhi-Madras, Asian Educational Services, 1990