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A Glance at Nepal's Ruling Saha Dynasty
Saha the current ruling dynasty of Nepal
Ram Hari Sapkota (rajusharma)     Print Article 
Published 2006-03-03 16:06 (KST)   
Saha Dynasty of Nepal
©2006 Ramhari
Nepal's history can be divided into seven:

1. The Legendary 2. The Gopalas 3. The Kiratis
4. The Lichchhavis 5. The Thakuri Period 6. The Mallas
7. The Sahas

Prithivi Narayan Shah

Prithivi Narayan Shah was born in 1723 AD being the son of Narabhupal Shah and Kaushalyawati. He ruled in Nepal from 1743 to 1775 AD. The present structure of Nepal is the result of Prithivi Narayan Shah's tireless efforts. He is rightly called the builder of modern Nepal. He merged the smaller principalities into the strong nation. He was the lonely personality who infused a feeling of nationalism into the hearts and minds of the people.

Pratap Singh Shah

Pratap singh Shah was the son of Prithivi Narayan Shah and Narendra Rajya Laxmi born in 1752 AD. He ruled in Nepal from 1775-1778 AD. He introduced certain reforms in the land tenure system, and made it a rule that the farmer had to pay one sixth of their gross product to the state. The custom of erecting Linga in the Indra Jatra festival at Hanumandhoka was, for the first time, introduced by him.

Rana Bahadur Shah

After the death of Pratap Singh Shah, his infant son named Rana Bahadur Shah born in 1776 AD ascended the throne. He ruled from 1778 to 1808 AD. Since the king was an infant, his mother Rajendra Laxmi and Uncle Bahadur Shah conducted the affairs of the state, until he came of age. This period of 17 years, from 1778 to 1795 is called the period of Regency. (A regent is the one who runs the affairs of the state, so long as the king doesn't reach a matured age). During the reign of Rana Bahadur Shah, first Rajendra Laxmi, then Bahadur Shah ruled as regents. In 1795 AD Rana Bahadur withheld all powers into his hands, and deposed Bahadur Shah of all his powers as a regent.

Girvan Yudha Bikram Shah

Girvan Yudha Bikram Shah was born in 1798 AD. He ruled in Nepal from 1799 to 1817 AD. He was also infant, so Rajrajeshwori was nominated as the regent. In his regime, different battles like Nalapani (Khalanga), Jaithak, Jeetgarh, Devthal, Gadwan continued. The Nepal-British war was also conducted during his reign and the Sugauli treaty was signed, favoring the British, while Nepal suffered a great loss.

Rajendra Bikram Shah

Rajendra Bikram Shah the elder son of Girvan Yudha Bikram Shah was born in 1817. He ruled in Nepal from 1817 to 1849 AD. The king lacked determination and a will to stick to it. He failed to bring about a balance between the various selfish actions of the Nobles. As a result, assassinations and great massacres occurred. It helped that the shrewd and ambitious Jung Bahadur Rana to come in power and the Rana regime started in Nepal.

Surendra Bikram Shah

Surendra Bikram Shah was the eldest son of Rajendra Bikram Shah, born in 1830. Jung Bahadur Rana disposed Surendra Bikram Shah and eclipsed the monarchy. He placed Rajendra Bikram Shah on the throne and declared him the king from 1847. He abandoned his executive powers and surrendered his whole legislative and judicial authority to Jung Bahadur. He ruled from 1847 to 1882 in Nepal, getting only the name of "King" The first census was taken during his regime.

Prithivi Bir Bikram Shah

Prithiva Bir Bikram Shah was born in 1876, being the eldest son of Surendra Bikram Shah. He ruled in Nepal from 1881 to 1914. The automobile was introduced for the first time in Nepal during his regime. Nepal was also recognized as the sovereign state. Water and sanitation systems were also applied in Nepal at this time. The Rana regime remained within his period. Sati (a woman who ends her life by sitting on the burning pyre of her husband) system was also abolished and the High Court was established in this period.

Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah

King Tribhuhvan Bir Bikram was born in 1906 and Shah Dev ruled from 1911 to 1955. He ascended to the throne at the age of five, but his mother acted as regent. At the time, the power of the country resided in the powerful, conservative Rana family, which supplied the country with its hereditary prime minister. He wanted to eliminate the Rana regime so Ranas imprisoned him in the palace, but Tribhuvan managed to escape the palace, along with most of the royal family, and found asylum in the Indian embassy.

When the king made his way to India, Gyanendra became king as a small child from 1950 to 1951 when Tribhuvan, Mahendra and Birendra had fled the country to escape from the Rana family. But this move was rejected by the general population, which revolted, and the international community, especially Britain, which refused to recognize the new king.

With their authority threatened, Prime Minister Mohan Shamshere Jung Bahadur Rana eventually conceded to democratic reforms, and on Feb. 18, 1951, King Tribhuvan returned from India as constitutional monarch. By November of that year, the prime minister resigned, ending the Rana rule in the country. Therefore, Feb. 18 (Falgun 7) is considered "Democracy Day" and celebrated with lots of happiness. The International Airport of Kathmandu is named after him.

Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah

Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev born in 1920 and became the king of Nepal from 1955 to 1972. After years as a puppet of the Rana family, he finally managed to break their 150-year domination over the country. Unlike his father, however, Mahendra was not a supporter of parliamentary democracy, and he banned opposition parties in the 1960s. Panchayat was introduced in Nepal for the general welfare of the people. Nepal became a member of the U.N.O. in December, 1955 and diplomatic ties were also established with China on the basis of the five major points.

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, who born in 1945, ruled in Nepal from 1972 until 2001. He was more open to parliamentary democracy than his father and announced Nepal as a democratic country in 1990 after a popular movement. The Panchayat system was abolished and a multi-party system was introduced. However, the quarrels between various political parties and numerous social problems caused a Maoist rebellion called the Nepalese People's War, which has been escalating since 1996.

Nepal's stability was threatened even more when he and most of his family (including Queen Aiswarya) were killed by his eldest son and heir, Dipendra. He is one of the most loved and respected kings in Nepalese history.

Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev

His Majesty King Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev became the king of Nepal from June 1 to June 4, 2001. In 1972, he was declared as the "Heir Apparent to the Throne of the Kingdom of Nepal." At the time of his death, he was preparing to submit a doctoral thesis to Tribhuvan University. He was commissioned the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Nepal Army in 1990 and the patron of the National Sports Council, Royal Nepal Golf Club and Nepal Olympics Committee. He was intelligent and well-liked and the crown prince was thought to have a good future ahead of him, until he suddenly slaughtered his family at a royal dinner on June 1, 2001. Either by his own hand or at the hands of the palace guard, Dipendra was also mortally wounded and admitted to an army hospital. Even though, he became king for three days while being in a coma.

Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev

King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was born in 1947 and has been the King of Nepal since June 2001. As the second son of King Mahendra, the infant Gyanendra was declared king for two months in 1950-1951, when the rest of his family was in exile in India, but was not internationally recognized. His grandfather, Tribhuvan was returned to the throne after the Rana family conceded power.

As king he has sought to exercise active control over the government, twice in three years dismissing the prime minister to appoint governments of his choosing. His brother Birendra negotiated a constitutional monarchy in 1990 in which he, as king, played a minor role in government, and Gyanendra's changes to this constitutional settlement have been met with censure from critics of his government. Gyanendra took control once again on Feb. 1, 2005, accusing Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's government of failing to make arrangements for parliamentary elections and of being unable to restore peace in the country, which currently suffers from widespread terrorism and insurgency from Maoists.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ram Hari Sapkota

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