From Jatland Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Map of Nepal

Nepal (नेपाल) is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia, bordered by the China to the north and by India to the south, east and west.



Nepal derives its name from an ancient Hindu sage called Ne, referred to variously as Ne Muni or Nemi. According to Pashupati Purana, as a place protected by Ne, the country in the heart of the Himalayas came to be known as Nepal. According to Nepal Mahatmya, Nemi was charged with protection of the country by Pashupati.[2]

According to Buddhist mythology, Manjushri Bodhisattva drained a primordial lake of serpents to create the Nepal valley and proclaimed that Adi-Buddha Ne would take care of the community that would settle it. As the cherished of Ne, the valley would be called Nepal.[3]

According to Gopalarajvamshavali, the genealogy of ancient Gopala dynasty compiled circa 1380s, Nepal is named after Nepa the cowherd, the founder of the Nepali scion of the Abhiras. In this account, the cow that issued milk to the spot, at which Nepa discovered the Jyotirlinga of Pashupatinath upon investigation, was also named Ne.[4]

Norwegian Indologist Christian Lassen proposed that Nepala was a compound of Nipa (foot of a mountain) and -ala (short suffix for alaya which means abode), and therefore, Nepala meant "abode at the foot of the mountain". He considered Ne Muni to be a fabrication.[5]

Indologist Sylvain Levi found Lassen's theory untenable but had no theories of his own, only suggesting that either Newara is a vulgarism of sanskritic Nepala, or Nepala is Sanskritisation of the local ethnic.[6] Levi's view has some support in later works.[7][8] The idea that Nepal is a polished form of Newar, the name of the indigenous people of Kathmandu valley, may be gaining support,[9] but it leaves the question of etymology unanswered.

One theory proposes that Nepa is a Tibeto-Burman stem consisting of Ne (cattle) and Pa (keeper), which alludes to the fact that early inhabitants of the valley were Gopalas (cowherds) and Mahishapalas (buffalo-herds).[10]

Suniti Kumar Chatterji thought that 'Nepal' originated from Tibeto-Burman roots- Ne, of uncertain meaning (as multiple possibilities exist), and pala or bal, whose meaning is lost entirely.[11]

Jat clans

Mention by Panini

Nipa (नीप) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [12]


The name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans,[13] and was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders.

Indo-Aryan tribes entered the valley around 1500 BCE. Around 1000 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose. One of the princes of the Shakya confederation was Siddharta Gautama (563–483 BCE), who renounced his royalty to lead an ascetic life and came to be known as the Buddha ("the one who has awakened").

Tej Ram Sharma[14] mentions Nepala (नेपाल) in (No. I, L. 22) Allahabad Stone Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta (=A.D.335-76):

It is mentioned as one of the border states which accepted the subordination of Samudragupta. Some take it to refer to Tippera [15] which is doubtful. [16]

The city is said to have been founded by Ne rsi (ने ऋषि) who performed his religious services at the junction of the Bagmati and Keshavati and who also ruled over the country. [17] The Nepala valley originally contained a lake called Naga Basa or Kalihrada, in which lived Naga Karkotaka. It was fourteen miles in length and four miles in breadth [18]

The former name of Nepala was Slesmatakavana. [19] The famous temple of Pasupatinatha on the western bank of the Bagmati river, is situated about three miles north west of Kathmandu in the town of Devipatan said to have been founded by Asoka's daughter Carumati. [20] The Saktisangama Tantra describes the country of Nepala as placed between Jaṭesvara and Yogini. [21] Sircar equates Yoginipura with Delhi and Jatesvara with Jalpesvara, the famous Siva of the Jalpaiguri district in North Bengal. [22]

Nepala was a buffer state in the 7th century A.D. In the 8th century A.D. she shook of its domination by Tibet. [23] According to the Deopara inscription, Nanyadeva, the ruler of Nepala, is said to have been defeated and imprisoned with many other princes by Vijayasena, about the middle of the 12ih century A.D. 631

Nipa in Mahabharata

Nipa (नीप) is mentioned in Mahabharata (II.46.21),(V.72.13),

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 46 describes game at dice and kings who were present in that assembly. Nipa (नीप) mentioned in Mahabharata verse (II.46.21).[24]... The Nipas, the Chitrakas, the Kukkuras, the Karaskaras, and the Lauha-janghas are living in the palace of Yudhishthira like bondsmen.

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 47 mentions the Kings who brought tributes to Yudhishthira: Nipas (नीप) are mentioned in Mahabharata verse (II.47.19). [25] .... I also saw numberless Chinas and Sakas and Udras and many barbarous tribes living in the woods, and many Vrishnis and Harahunas, and dusky tribes of the Himavat, and many Nipas and people residing in regions on the sea-coast, waiting at the gate being refused permission to enter.

Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 72 shloka 13 writes about birth of Janamejaya among the Nepas. Nipa (नीप) mentioned in Mahabharata verse (V.72.13). [26]...."Alas, by Duryodhana's wrath, O slayer of Madhu, the Bharatas will all be consumed, even like forests by fire at the end of the dewy seasons, and, O slayer of Madhu, well-known are those eighteen kings that annihilated their kinsmen, friends, and relatives. Even as, when Dharma became extinct, Kali was born in the race of Asuras flourishing with prosperity and blazing with energy, so was born Udavarta among the Haihayas. Janamejaya among the Nepas, Vahula among the Talajanghas, proud Vasu among the Krimis,etc."


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[27] ने लेख किया है ...नेपाल (AS, p.507): महाभारत, वनपर्व 254,7 में नेपाल का उल्लेख कर्ण की दिग्विजय के सम्बन्ध में है। 'नेपाल विषये ये च राजानस्तानवाजयत् अवतीर्य तथा शैलात् पूर्वा दिशमभिद्रतः'[28] अर्थात नेपाल देश में जो राजा थे, उन्हें जीत कर वह हिमालय पर्वत से नीचे उतर आया और फिर पूर्व की ओर अग्रसर हुआ। इसके बाद कर्ण की अंग-वंग आदि पर विजय का वर्णन है। इससे ज्ञात होता है, कि प्राचीन काल में भौगोलिक एवं सांस्कृतिक दृष्टियों से नेपाल को भारत का ही एक अंग समझा जाता था। नेपाल नाम भी महाभारत के समय में प्रचलित था। नेपाल में बहुत समय तक अनार्य जातियों का राज्य रहा। मध्ययुग में राजनीतिक सत्ता मेवाड़, राजस्थान के राज्यवंश की एक शाखा के हाथ में आ गई। राजपूतों की यह शाखा मेवाड़ से, मुसलमानों के आक्रमणों से बचने के लिए नेपाल में आकर बस गई थी। इसी क्षत्रिय वंश का राज्य आज तक नेपाल में चला आ रहा है। नेपाल के अनेक स्थान प्राचीन काल से अब तक हिन्दू तथा बौद्धों के पुण्यतीर्थ रहे हैं। लुम्बिनी, पशुपतिनाथ आदि स्थान भारतवासियों के लिए भी उतने ही पवित्र हैं, जितने की नेपालियों के लिए हैं। (दे. काठमांडू, ललितपाटन, देवपाटन, लुम्बिनी, पशुपतिनाथ आदि)

नेपाल परिचय

भारत की उत्तरी सीमा के अंतर्गत पश्चिम में सतलुज नदी से पूर्व में सिक्किम तक लगभग 500 मील फैला हुआ स्वतंत्र राज्य है। इसकी राजधानी काठमांडू है। नेपाल 'पोखरा संस्कृति' और रोमांच का केंद्र भी है। हिमालय की तराई में बसा पोखरा नेपाल का प्रमुख पर्यटक स्थल है। पोखरा नेपाल के मशहूर ट्रैकिंग और रॉफ्टिंग स्थलों की ओर जाने का द्वार है।

इतिहास: तीसरी शताब्दी ई. पू. में यह भूभाग अशोक के साम्राज्य का एक अंग था। चौथी शताब्दी ई. में नेपाल राज्य सम्राट समुद्रगुप्त की सार्वभौम सत्ता स्वीकार करता था। सातवीं शताब्दी में इस पर तिब्बत का आधिपत्य हो गया। उपरान्त इस देश में आन्तरिक संघर्षों के कारण अत्यधिक रक्तपात हुआ। ग्यारहवीं शताब्दी में नेपाल में ठाकुरी वंश के राजा राज्य करते थे। इसके बाद जब नेपाल में मल्ल वंश, जिसका सबसे प्रसिद्ध शासक यक्षमल्ल, लगभग 1426 से 1475 ई., था, राज्य कर रहा था।

मिथिला के शासक नान्यदेव ने नेपाल पर अपना नाममात्र की प्रभुता स्थापित कर ली। यक्षमल्ल ने मृत्यु के पूर्व ही राज्य का बंटवारा अपने पुत्रों और पुत्रियों में कर दिया था। इस विभाजन के फलस्वरूप नेपाल, काठमांडू तथा भातगाँव के दो परस्पर प्रतिद्वन्दी राज्यों में बँट गया। इन झगड़ों का लाभ उठाकर पश्चिमी हिमालय के प्रदेशों में बसने वाली गोरखा जाति ने 1768 ई. में नेपाल पर अधिकार कर लिया। शनैः शनैः गोरखाओं ने अपनी सैनिक शक्ति में बुद्धि कर नेपाल को एक शक्तिशाली राज्य बना दिया। 19वीं शताब्दी में उन्होंने अपने राज्य की दक्षिणी सीमा बढ़ाकर ब्रिटिश भारत की उत्तरी सीमा से मिला दी। सीमा सामीप्य के कारण 1814-1815 ई. में नेपाल और अंग्रेज़ों में युद्ध हुआ, इस गोरखा युद्ध के उपरान्त दोनों देशों में 'सुगौली की सन्धि' हुई, जिसके अनुसार नेपाल ने अपने राज्य के कुछ भूभाग ब्रिटिश सरकार को दे दिए।

नेपाल का ध्वज: सन्धि की एक धारा के अनुसार नेपाल की वैदेशिक नीति भारत की ब्रिटिश सरकार के द्वारा नियंत्रित होती रही। इस प्रकार कुछ प्रतिबन्धों के साथ नेपाल स्वतंत्र देश बना रहा। नेपाल के बहुसंख्यक लोग हिन्दू धर्म के अनुयायी हैं और अल्पसंख्या में बौद्ध धर्म के अनुयायी हैं। नेपाल में संस्कृत के बहुत से हस्तलिखित महत्त्वपूर्ण ग्रंथ उपलब्ध हुए हैं। नेपाल के वर्तमान शासक महाराज वीरेन्द्र हैं। उनके पिता स्वर्गीय महाराजा महेन्द्र ने नेपाल में एक नया संविधान प्रचलित किया था।

संदर्भ: भारतकोश-नेपाल


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[29] ने लेख किया है ...खसमंडल (AS, p.255) कुमायूं उत्तराखंड का एक भाग है। खस-जाति के लोग मध्य हिमालय प्रदेश के प्राचीन निवासी हैं। नेपाल में भी इनकी संख्या काफ़ी है। 10वीं शती से 13वीं शती ई. तक भारत के कई राजपूत - वंशों ने इस प्रदेश में आकर शरण ली थी और छोटी-छोटी रियासतें स्थापित कर ली थीं। पुराणों में खस जाति की अनार्य या असंस्कृत जातियों में गणना की गई है। बरनौफ (burnouf) के अनुसार, दिव्यावदान पृष्ठ 372 में खस राज्य का उल्लेख है। तिब्बत के इतिहास लेखक तारानाथ ने भी खसप्रदेश का उल्लेख किया है। (इण्डियन हिस्टॉरिकल क्वार्टरली, 1930, पृष्ठ 334)

Jats kingdoms in Nepal

Mauryan Empire

By 250 BCE, the region came under the influence of the Mauryan Empire who were the Maurya Jats of northern India.

Gupta Empire

It later became a puppet state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. According to historians KP Jayaswal and Bhim Singh Dahiya the Guptas were Dharan gotra Jats. From the late 5th century CE, rulers called the Licchavis governed the area. The Lichhavi Dynasty went into decline in the late 8th century.

Lichhavi Dynasty

The Lichhavi Period is the first documented period in the history of Nepal. The Lichhavi, having lost their political fortune in India, came to Nepal and attacked and defeated the last Kirati king, Gasti. Lichhavi Dynasty (I to 340 AD) was a Jat dynasty according to historian Ram Swarup Joon. Dr. K. P. Jaiswal has mentioned, on the basis of some stone tablets unearthed earlier, and with reference to the Puranas that Patliputra and Magadha were the capitals of Lichhavi Bharshiva Jats. According to a rock edict of Raja Jai Dev, found in Nepal, his ancestors had ruled on Patliputra in the first century AD, for 100 years after having come from the Punjab. The Lichhavi Dynasty originated in Peshawar. They ascended and relinquished the throne of Magadha many a time.

In 344 AD, Chandragupta, who was married into this dynasty, changed the name of the dynasty to Gupta. It is a classical period of Nepal history and is very well documented by epigraphic records. Stone water spouts and the icons of gods and goddesses are abundant.

The Lichhavis gave Nepal its first great historical figure, Manadeve I, in the 5th century. He was said to be a talented and brave king, responsible for conquests in the east and west. He struck copper coins and started the numismatic history of Nepal.

Thakuri Dynasty

In 602 AD, the first Thakuri dynasty began with the ascent of Amsuverma. Though he was not a Lichhavi, he married a daughter of the Lichhavi king, Shivadeva. He impressed his father-in-law and became de facto ruler. He was an able, true servant of the people. He was a far-sighted king in the aspect of making family connections making him a great diplomat. Amsuverma married his sister to an Indian prince. According to Thakur Deshraj, Thakuri people were Jats. Thakur Deshraj mentins in Jat history that when Mahmud Gazanavi attacked Chittorgarh around 1046 AD, Jat rulers around Chittor moved from here to other places. W. Crook in his book ‘Tribes and Castes of North west provinces’ has mentioned that Dashand Singh was a ruler of Bijnore. After seize of Chittor by Muhamad Gori out of two persons of this Royal clan one moved to Nepal and other to Bijnore. It shows that those who went to Nepal were Thakuri and those at Bijnore were Thakurela.

Visit by Xuanzang in 637 AD

Alexander Cunningham[30] writes that From Vriji the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited Ni.po.lo, or Nepala, which he places to the north-west at 1400 or 1500 li, or 233 to 250 miles.[31] From Janakpur there are two routes to Nepal, one by the Kamala river, and the other by the Bhagmati or Bhagavati river ; but the distance is not more than 150 miles by either of them. The circuit of the country is said to be 4000 li, or 667 miles, which is much too small, unless the estimate refers to the district of Nepal Proper on

[p.451]: the Sapta Kausiki, or seven streams of the Kosi river. But in this case the hill country on the Gandak river must have been a separate territory, which is very improbable. I would therefore assign to Nepal the basins of both rivers, and alter Hwen Thsang's esti-mate to 6000 li, or 1000 miles, which is about the actual size of the two valleys.

The Raja of Nepal was a Kshatriya of the race of Lichhavi named Ansu-Varmma, who is probably the Anghu Varmma of the native histories, as he belonged to the Newarit or Newar dynasty of conquerors. As a Lichhavi, Ansu Varmma must also have been a foreigner, that is one of the Vrijis of Vaisali. The dates likewise correspond, as Anghu Varmma is the fifteenth ruler prior to Raghava Deva, who established the Newar era in A.D. 880. Allowing seven-teen years to each reign, the accession of Anghu Varmma will be fixed in A.D. 625, and Hwen Thsang's visit in A.D. 637 will fall towards the end of his reign.

It is curious that the kings of Tibet and Ladak also trace their descent from the Lichhavis. But if their claims are well founded they must have been offshoots from the Nepal branch of the family. Now the Lichhavi conquest of Nepal is assigned to Newarit, who preceded Anghu Varmma by 37 reigns, which at 17 years each, will give a period of 629 years, equivalent to B.C. 4 for his accession. The Tibetan history begins with the accession of Nyah-khri-Tsanpo, whose date is roughly fixed at 500 years prior to Lha-Thothori in A.D. 407, or about 93 B.C. But as Lha-Thothori's fifth successor was born in A.D. 627, there must be an error of about one century and

[p.452]: a half in the date of 407. Applying this correction to the date of the first king, the Lichhavi conquest cannot be fixed earlier than A.D. 50, or about two generations after the conquest of Nepal.

Further Reading

External links

See also


  1. Tej Ram Sharma: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Place-Names and their Suffixes,p.259, s.n. 9
  2. Prasad, Ishwari (1996). The Life and Times of Maharaja Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House. ISBN 817024756X
  3. Hasrat, Bikram Jit (1970). History of Nepal: As told by its own and contemporary chroniclers. Hoshiarpur. p. 7.
  4. Malla, Kamal P. (1983). Nepāla: Archaeology of the Word (PDF). 3rd PATA International Tourism & Heritage Conservation Conference (1–4 November). The Nepal Heritage Society Souvenir for PATA Conference. Kathmandu. pp. 33–39.
  5. Lassen, Christian (1847–61). Indische Alterthumskunde [Indian Archaeology.]
  6. Levi, Sylvain (1905). Le Nepal : Etude Historique d'Un Royaume Hindou. 1. Paris: Ernest Leroux. pp. 222–223. Majupuria, Trilok Chandra; Majupuria, Indra (1979). Glimpses of Nepal. Maha Devi. p. 8.
  7. Turner, Ralph L. (1931). "A Comparative and Etymological Dictionary of the Nepali Language". London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  8. Hodgson, Brian H. (1874). Essays on the Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet. London: Trübner & Co.,p.51
  9. Malla, Kamal P. (1983). Nepāla: Archaeology of the Word (PDF). 3rd PATA International Tourism & Heritage Conservation Conference (1–4 November). The Nepal Heritage Society Souvenir for PATA Conference. Kathmandu. pp. 33–39.
  10. Malla, Kamal P. (1983). Nepāla: Archaeology of the Word (PDF). 3rd PATA International Tourism & Heritage Conservation Conference (1–4 November). The Nepal Heritage Society Souvenir for PATA Conference. Kathmandu. pp. 33–39.
  11. Chatterji, Suniti Kumar (1974). Kirata-Jana-Krti: The Indo-Mongoloids: Their Contribution to the History and Culture of India (2 ed.). Calcutta: The Asiatic Society. p. 64.
  12. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 213, 425
  13. Saartje Verbeke (22 March 2013). Alignment and Ergativity in New Indo-Aryan Languages. De Gruyter. p. 146. ISBN 978-3-11-029267-1.
  14. Tej Ram Sharma: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Place-Names and their Suffixes,p.259, s.n. 9
  15. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta 1837, p. 973.
  16. Historical Geography of Ancient India by B. C. Law. p. 113.
  17. History of Nepal by Daniel Wright. p. 89 : Regmi, K. pp. 4-5, 11-12.
  18. Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India by N. L. Dey. p. 140.
  19. Historical Geography of Ancient India by B. C. Law. p. 113
  20. Historical Geography of Ancient India by B. C. Law . pp. 113-14.
  21. Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India by D. C. Sircar. p. 77
  22. Book III, ch. VII. v. 36 : "जटेश्वरं समारभ्य योगिन्यन्तं महेश्वरि। नेपाल देशो देवेशि...।"
  23. Historical Geography of Ancient India by B. C. Law. p. 113.
  24. आवर्जिता इवाभान्ति निघ्नाश चैत्रकि कौकुराः, कारः करा लॊहजङ्घा युधिष्ठिर निवेशने (II.46.21)
  25. चीनान हूनाञ शकान ओडून पर्वतान्तरवासिनः, वार्ष्णेयान हारहूणांश च कृष्णान हैमवतांस तदा (II.47.19)
  26. हैहयानाम उथावर्तॊ नीपानां जनमेजयः, बहुलस तालजङ्घानां कृमीणाम उथ्धतॊ वसुः Mahabharata (V.72.13)
  27. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.507
  28. महाभारतम्-03-आरण्यकपर्व-255, 6-7
  29. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.255
  30. The Ancient Geography of India/Vajji, p.450-452
  31. Julien's 'Hiouen Thsang,' ii. 407.

Back to Places