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History of Nepal

Around 300 A.D. the Lichhavis arrived from northern India and overthrew the Kirantis.  He married off his daughter Bhrikuti to the famous Tibetan King Tsong Tsen Gampo thus establishing good relations with Tibet. The Lichhavis brought art and architecture to the valley but the golden age of creativity arrived in 1200 A.D with the Mallas..

During their 550 year rule, the Mallas built numerous temples and splendid palaces with picturesque squarews. It as also during their rule that society and the cities became well organized; One among these was the kingdom of Gorkha with a Shah ruler.

The history of the Gorkha state goes back to 1559 when Drava Shah established a kingdom in an area chiefly inhabited by Magars. During the 17th and early 18th centuries, Gorkha continued a slow expansion, conquering various states while forging alliances with others. Prithvi Narayan dedicated himself at an early age to the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley.

The Gorkha state dates back to 1559 when Dravya Shah established his kingdom in a land predominated by Magar people. During the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Gorkha kingdom was slowly expanding, conquering some neighbouring states while forging alliances with others. Eventually it was Prithvi Narayan Shah who led his troops to the Kathmandu Valley. After a long struggle he defeated all the valley kings and established his palace in Kathmandu leaving Gorkha for good. Recognizing the threat of the British Raj in India, he dismissed European missionaries from the country and for more than a century, Nepal remained closed to the outside world.

 

During the mid-19th Century Jung Bahadur Rana became Nepal’s first prime minister to wield absolute power relegating the Shah king to mere figureheads. He started a hereditary reign of the Rana Prime Ministers that lasted for 104 years. But by 1960, King Mahindra had changed his mind and dissolved Parliament, dismissing the first democratic government.

In May 1991, Nepal held its first parliamentary elections. In February 1996, the Maoist parties declared People’s War against monarchy and the elected government.

On May 28,2008, the newly elected Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic, abolishing the 240 year-old monarchy. Nepal today has a President as Head of State and a Prime Minister heading the Government.

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