The legend and history of 1000 year old Kings of Kiratas

Memories still linger in Nepal of Kiratis

The beginning of the Kirats

The history and the tell tale of the Nepalese Kings, Queens and their people are hard to be precise. There are no witnesses or any clarity or the evidence and data to track their proper existence.The Kirats ruled for about 1225 years (800 BCE-300 CE), their reign had a total of 29 kings during that time.But, still little is known about them, they ruled the country for nearly 1903 years and 8 months.Among all these years 29 kings had ruled Nepal but yet the one and only King came to the limelight and he was no other than the King Yalamber. He was the first known king of the the Kiratis.

Representation of King Yalamber.

King Yalambar was even mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.Yalamber, who defeated Bhuvan Singh, the last king of Ahir dynasty and established Kirat rule in Nepal. He extended his kingdom as far as the Tista river in the east and the Trishuli in the west. It is said that during the battle of Mahabharata, Yalamber went to witness the battle with a view to take the side of the loosing party. Lord Krishna, knowing the intention of Yalamber and the strength and unity of the Kiratas, thought that the war would unnecessarily be prolonged if Yalamber sided with the Kauravas. So, by a clever stroke of diplomacy, Lord Krishna cut off Yalamber’s head.

On the basis of the Puranas and other ancient religious texts, it is presumed that the Kiratas ruled in Nepal after Gopal and Mahipal.So the next 29 royal blood of the Kiratis went to rule for next 1903 years.

Kiratis and the look

The Kirats were the aborigines of north-eastern Himalayas. According to Baburam Acharya, they came to Nepal in about 700 B.C. and ruled over it. They were short and had robust bodies, broad checks, flat noses, thin whiskers, and dark eyes. They were well trained in the art of warfare, and were very skillful archers. They were the ancestors of the present day Kiratas: – Kulung, Thulung and Yellung. By the way the first Kirati King Yalamber was from Yellungs tribe.

The Kirat or Kirati or Kiranti or Kirant people are indigenous ethnic groups of the Himalayas extending eastward from Nepal into India, Bangladesh, Burma and beyond.They migrated to their present locations in Assam, Burma, Tibet and Yunnan in ancient times. Broadly speaking, the Kirat people include the Sunwar, Yakkha, Rai and Limbu, few segments of the Dewan, Bahing, Kulung and speakers of Khaling, Bantawa, Chamling, Thulung, and Jerung; and other related ethnic groups.

ancient version of the kiratis

The Kings of Kirats

(courtesy of the following site)

The 29 Kirat kings were as follows :http://royalnepal.synthasite.com/the-kirat-dynasty.php#:~:text=Nepal%20Monarchy%3A%20Kirat%20Dynasty&text=The%20Kirats%20were%20the%20aborigines,B.C.%20and%20ruled%20over%20it.&text=The%20first%20king%20of%20the,established%20Kirat%20rule%20in%20Nepal.

1. Yalamber 2. Pavi 3. Skandhar 4. Balamba, 5. Hriti, 6. Humati, 7. Jitedasti, 8. Galinja, 9. Pushka, 10. Suyarma, 11. Papa, 12. Bunka, 13. Swananda, 14. Sthunko, 15. Jinghri, 16. Nane, 17. Luka, 18. Thor, 19. Thoko, 20. Verma, 21. Guja, 22. Pushkar, 23. Keshu, 24. Suja, 25. Sansa, 26. Gunam 27. Khimbu, 28. Patuka, 29. Gasti.

During the region of 7th Kirati King Jitedasti, Gautama Buddha visited the Nepal Valley along with his disciples. He visited the shrines of Swayambhu and Guheswari and preached his doctrine. There are also references to the fact that Jitedasti fought in the battle of Mahabharata from the Pandava’s side.

During the rule of Sthunko, the 14th king of the dynasty, about 250 B.C. the Indian Emperor Asoka came on a pilgrimage to Lumbini, in Nepal. To mark the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Asoka got inscriptions engraved on rocks and set up a stone-pillar. In about 640 A.D., Hieun Tseng, a Chinsese traveller, visited this place. He has described that the stone-pillar was cracked due to thunder. The stone-pillar of Asoka was unknown until 1st December 1985 A.D. when Dr. Fuhrer engraved it. (Now His Majesty’s Government of Nepal has set up a plan, ‘Lumbini Development Project’, to preserve this antiquity.) He also visited different parts of Nepal valley along with his daughter Charumati. To commemorate the visit, he got four stupas erected in four quarters and one in the central part of Lalitpattan, the modern Patan. They exist even to this day. Asoka’s visit to Kathmandu is testified by the fact that he gave his daughter Charumati in marriage to Devapal, a Kshetriya Prince. She settled near Pashupati and founded a town called ‘Devpatan’ in memory of her husband Devapal. She also got a Vihar (nunnery) erected for herself which was called Charumati Vihar. The nunnery and its surroundings are now known as Chabahil. In this way, after the visit of Asoka, Buddhism flourished in the Nepal valley. Jainsim, another religious cult, contemporary of Buddhism, was founded by Mahavir Jain in India. Several disciples of Mahavir Jain preached the doctrines of Jainism in various parts of India. It is said that during the regin of Jinghri, the 15th Kirata king, one of the disciples of Mahavir Jain named Bhadrabahu entered Nepal in about 300 B.C. But his visit to Nepal was society and Buddhism was just being introduced. So, the Nepalese did not accept Jainism.

During the regime of Patuka, the 28th Kirati king, the Soma dynasty kings attacked Nepal several times. Patuka had to leave Gokarna because of the repeated attacks of the Soma dynasty kings from the west. So, he settled in Shankhamul and made it a beautiful town. there he built a palace which was known as the ‘Patuko Palace’. Though nothing but a mound of the palace in ruins now exists, the place is still called Patuko. The last Kirati king was Gasti, who was defeated by Nimisha of the Soma dynasty and the Kirati rule came to an end. Thus, Nimisha became the first king of Soma dynasty.

The best of the kirati kings:

During the rule of the Kiratas, Nepal made considerable progress in the field of art and architecture, trade and commerce. The Kiratis were not only good warriors but also good administrators. Men and women were treated equally. Criminals were given severe punishment. For the administration of justice, law-courts were established at several places-Kuther, Shuli, Lingual, Mapchok, etc.

Kirati currency

Trade and commerce flourished under the Kiratas. Nepal had trade relations with Tibet, China and India. The exports of Nepal mainly consisted of wool, woollen goods, wood and herbs. Kautilya, in his ‘Arthasastra’, says that Nepali wollen blankets were very popular in the market of Magadha (Bihar in modern India). People took more interest in business than in agriculture. Because of its economic prosperity, people from different places, of different tribes and races came to Nepal and settled down. Thus, the people having different customs and practices all merged into a nation. This resulted in the development of a new culture of its own.

The cultural and religious life of the people was highly developed under the Kiratas, The main religion of the Kiratas was Hinduism. they worshipped Lord Shiva, serpents, trees, stones etc. The images of Kiratewar Mahadev and Birupakshya show the standard of architecture of the Kiratas. Buddhism also flourished under the Kiratas. The stupas, pagodas, and temples were all built on the model of Buddhist art.

The Kiratas developed a number of towns. The thickly populated centres were Malatirtha, Shankhamul, Thankot, Khopung (Bhaktapur), Khopase, Sanga, Teku, etc. Nepal exchanged its culture and civilization with India, Tibet and China. The introduced of Buddhism brought intellectual awakening among the people. In this way, the foundation of the vast structure of the Nepalese culture was laid down under the Kiratas. Indeed, this period can be regarded as the foreunner of the future development of the Nepalese society in all aspects.

education during the regime

The last King of Kirat:

King Hilihang Limbu was born in 1783 B.s and started ruled to the country in 1814 B.s at the age of 31 years. exactly he ruled 28 years. He is the last king of Nepal from kirat dynasty ever. For his land he fought seventeenth time and nobody can able to stop and annexed his land and power. eventually it was still got to see and hear in the old place of Kirat. king hilihang was died in 1842 B.s at the age of 59 years. In the history of Nepal, king hilihang palace is still there for identies and prove for kirati people.

Conclusion

Although, it is hard to be precise and to track the past. I believe we should keep these things alive by educating the upcoming generation of Nepal. No matter who ever or which ever dynasty have ruled Nepal, they have left a landmark and raised the bench mark of the country. So much have been through this land that every corner and each stone speaks up for glorious past of this country. One thing was certain, the change needed a sacrifice and the sacrifice was too much for humans to bear as it was the human themselves that were the victim.

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