Nepal Brief History

Nepal Brief History


Nepal is one of the most beautiful countries you can visit and hike in!

Nepal history in brief

Nepal history, older

Historically, culturally and linguistically, Nepal has for millennia been a meeting place for people belonging to the Tibeto-Burmese and Indo-European language groups. Legend has it that the Kathmandu Valley was once a large lake dried up by a prince. With a sharp sword he cut a deep wound in the mountain range that surrounded the lake and emptied it of water. The cut can still be seen today in the Chobar Gorge, near the city of Patan.

Already during the Neolithic, the area we today call Nepal was inhabited, but not until the millennium BC is the area mentioned in Indian scriptures. At the time of the Buddha’s birth in Lumbini in 560 BC, the Kiranti people dominated the country. Between 400 AD and around 750, the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding area were dominated by the Licchavi dynasty. In 879, the Newar people began a new dynasty. At the same time, the name Nepal is mentioned for the first time, which means “the beginning of a new era”.

According to computerannals, the next few centuries were marked by Indian conquests and power struggles between indigenous groups. In the 12th century, the rulers of Nepal began to add the title template to their names. The Malladin dynasty came to dominate the Kathmandu Valley until the 18th century. During the Malla period, Nepal’s historic high point, great prosperity prevailed and many of the beautiful temples we can see today were built by the Malla kings.

In the 14th century, a division of the kingdom into smaller kingdoms began. In the Kathmandu Valley, three strong kingdoms emerged with Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur as capitals.

In 1372, the third Mallady dynasty was founded, which had its peak under the leadership of Regent Yaksha Malla, 1428 – 82. At that time, the kingdom was reunited, but fell apart again into smaller kingdoms after his death.

In 1768, Ghorak king Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the Kathmandu Valley and founded the Shah dynasty.

During the 18th century, British expansion began in the Far East, and in 1792, the first British envoy arrived in Kathmandu. The Nepalese came to war with the British in the early 19th century, which led to the loss of large tracts of land.

From 1816 to 1951, Nepal was virtually completely closed to foreigners.


a palace revolution took place and Jung Bahadur Rana seized power. He then had hundreds of prominent ministers executed. “Ranas” became a second royal family after the coup and several of their members became leading politicians.

During the Rana Dynasty, development stopped and in many areas the country remained at a medieval level

Nepal history, modern

1901 – 1929

Reigns Chandra Shamsher. During this period an opposition began to emerge, among the opposition were officers who served in the British Army and came into contact with democratic ideas

1926 Slavery was abolished


The Nepalese Congress Party (NCP) was formed, which allied with the royal family to overthrow the Rana dynasty. To achieve its goal, the NCP launched an armed struggle, which led to the Rana dynasty being forced to relinquish power. Nepal was then a very underdeveloped country and life expectancy was only 35 years
At the end of the year, King Tribhuvan fled to India due to unrest


King Tribhuvan returned to Nepal and formed a government which also included Rana members, thus ending the Rana dynasty that ruled the country since 1846


King Tribhuvan was succeeded by his son Mahendra who gave the country a new constitution with a popularly elected lower house. Even during Mahendra’s reign, the country developed very slowly and corruption flourished


In the general elections in February, the NCP won 74 of the 109 seats and Bisweswor Prasad Koirala was appointed Prime Minister. The government’s reform attempt quickly brought it on a collision course with the social elite

In 1960, the king imprisoned Koirala and other leading NCP members


Parliament was dissolved and political parties were banned. Instead, the non-partisan panchayat system of indirectly elected councils, panchayat, was introduced at four levels. As a replacement for parties, organizations were created for different social groups. The supreme council consisted of the powerless parliament, rashtriyat panchayat


After King Mahendra’s death, the people of the country hoped for reforms, but the king’s son, the new heir to the throne, Birendra, made only cosmetic changes to the political system.


The people’s dissatisfaction with the policies pursued led to major riots. As a result, the king promised to reform the political system


The first elections were held under the new guidelines, but political instability continued


In February, the NCP and a number of other left-wing groups formed a loose alliance that, among other things, demanded a multi-party system.
After government soldiers shot dead at least 50 protesters in Kathmandu on April 6, the party ban was lifted. One week later, the government was dismissed and the parliament was dissolved. A transitional government was formed where the opposition parties received most of the posts. All religious and political prisoners were granted amnesty, the death penalty was abolished and the laws restricting freedom of the press and organization were repealed.

In November, a new constitution came into force


In the spring, the first free election in 30 years was held. The NCP won 110 of the 205 seats and the Communist CPN-UML became the second largest party with 69 seats. The expected reforms did not materialize, however.
After protests against corruption, rising prices for basic goods and water shortages, such severe tensions arose within NCP that the government was forced to resign in 1994 and call new elections.


The election was a narrow victory for the CPN-UML, which formed a minority government with Manmohan Adhikari as prime minister. But even this government quickly abandoned many of its radical election promises and managed to retain power for just one year.

1995 – 1999

Between these years, Nepal had four more governments of different constellations. However, all were marked by corruption scandals and internal conflicts. The constant changes of government largely paralyzed the state administration and slowed down economic development. In addition, residents’ confidence in democracy diminished when they saw how politicians fought among themselves and were not able to make any decisions.


In February, the Nepalese Communist Party-Maoists (NCP-M) launched an armed uprising in the backward districts of the western part of the country. Through attacks on isolated police stations and wealthy landowners, the Maoists wanted to crush the feudal system and eventually replace the monarchy with a communist people’s republic. The uprising was fueled by general dissatisfaction with the political system and spread rapidly


Despite the growing conflict, new elections could be held in May. The NCP won big and formed, as it seemed, a stable majority government under the leadership of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. It tried to overcome the Maoist revolt with economic stimulus measures for the countryside, but also began to plan a new anti-terrorist law, which was feared to undermine legal protection.
The uprising continued, however, and when Bhattarai could not show any improvement in the security situation, dissatisfaction with him grew.

Nepal Brief History