History of Nepal
Nepal has been a Kingdom for over 1500 years from now. The Newars are thought to have lived in the Nepal Valley since the 4th century AD, developing a Hindu-Buddhist culture. Cited below is a brief chronology of the important events that happened in Nepal.
The history of Nepal can broadly be divided in to three phases, Ancient, Medieval and Modern. The history of the Nepalese monarchy has been the integral and inseparable part of the history of Nepal.
Ancient History of Nepal
The history of Nepal dates back to 11000 years. The recent excavation in the Kathmandu valley has found out Neolithic tools. These tools were used at the advent of Neolithic era and many of them date back to 9000 B.C. This tells about the pre-Aryan settlement in the then Nepal. These people were of Bhutanese-Mongoloid parentage. Nepal once again gets mentioned in the Hindu epic of Ramayana. It is said that Janakpur, in the Tarai Nepal, has been the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Rama. Nepal is mentioned as Kirat Pradesh in the epic Mahabharata that is said to be composed around 1000 B.C. This place has been mentioned many a times in the epic. It is mentioned that the concerned king supported Kaurvas against the Pandavas in the battle. In the years around 500 B.C, Nepal had many small kingdoms and the most powerful among them were Shakyas of Kapilvastu. It was in the house of one of the Shakya kings that Gautam Siddhartha was born. He got the name of Buddha when he was enlightened. In the later era Nepal fall under the rule of the Maurya. Ashoka finds mention in many of the rock edicts. In the post-Christ era, the Licchhavis of Bihar ruled Nepal. There are many historical edicts that glorify the reign of Licchhavis.
The Medieval History of Nepal
Nepal remained largely undisturbed in the medieval period. Mallas used to rule Nepal and were largely confined to their own territories. In the sultanate era, there were some attempts of assault on Nepal but they were met with sporadic successes only. The relief and the climate of Nepal have always served as its military generals. It was king Jaisthitimalla who tried to bring Nepal under one reign in the late 14th century. The unification was short-lived and Nepal got divided in to 3 kingdoms namely, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon. Apart from these, in the medieval period, Nepal was largely peaceful. May be that lull was going to bring a severe storm.
The Modern History of Nepal
The modern history of Nepal starts with the establishment of the Gorkha kingdom by Prithvi Narayan Shah in the 18th century. He had his own designs and wanted to unite the various warring kingdoms of Nepal. He was largely successful in his attempts of invasion. He annexed a large area of Bhutan and Tibet. His designs were later put to action by his successors. Their attempts hit a roadblock at the advent of the 19th century. The British East India Company got apprehensive of their maneuvers and took them head on. The kingdom was soundly humiliated and routed in the Anglo-Nepalese war of 1816. They had to agree to some of the very insulting terms, on the negotiation table. They conceded the entire Gadhwal and Kumaon region to the British India. In the same decade, Jung Bahadur, one of the valiant generals of Shahs tried to topple the regime. The queen met the efforts with the bloody counter initiatives. This led to various massacres on both sides. The Kot massacre is considered to be the bloodiest of them all where close to 30,000 Nepalese were chopped to death in matter of hours. This started the century long conflict between the Shahs and Ranas, the descendants of Jung Bahadur. In later years close to 20th century, both the warring dynasties established matrimonial relations between them and started to rule Nepal jointly. This pact is evident on the flag of Nepal as well. The two triangular flags, that are the part of a single flag, represent these two dynasties.