The Thakuri Dynasty


After Aramudi, many Thakuri kings ruled over the country up to the middle of the 12th century A.D Raghv Dev is said to have founded a ruling dynasty in October, 869 A.D., when the Lichchhavi rule came to an end. To commemorate this important event, Raghv Dev started the 'Nepal Era' which began form 20th October, 869 A.D. After Amshuverma, the Thakuris had lost power and they could regain it only in 869 A.D. The importance of this for the Thakuris must have been even greater because during Amshuverma's time they were only regents, but they became all powerful as the sovereign in 896 A.D. So, this historical event- replacing the Lichchhavis by the Thakuri rulers signified the start of a new era as 'Nepal Era'.

However, historians are of different opinions about the origin of the Nepal era. Some writers are of the opinion that Nepalese were superstitious. They dropped the unlucky number 8 of the Saka Era 801 and thus, they retained number 1 as the new Nepali Era. Some writers suggest that a new era was started in 869 A.D. to mark the occasion of Nepal becoming independent of Tibet. But our history does not agree with this view as Nepal was never under the Tibetan rule. There are also some other writers who say that there was a merchant called Sakhwal in Kathmandu during the reign of Ananda Malla. By his cunning tricks he changed the sand into gold and paid off all the debts of the people of Kathmandu. He then introduced a new era called 'Nepal Sambat' to commemorate this important event. But the reign of Ananda Malla comes three hundred years later, so this view also cannot be accepted.

All these opinions, except that about Raghav Dev, lack historical as well as logical proof. So, it can be concluded that the Nepal Era was started in 869 A.D., during the reign of Raghav Dev to commemorate the occasion of the Thakuri dynasty coming into power and the end of the Lichchhavi dynasty.

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After the death of King Raghava Dev, many Thakuri kings ruled over Nepal up to the middle of the 12th century A.D. During that period, Gunakama Dev was one of the famous kings. He ruled form 949 to 994 A.D. During his rule, a big wooden house was built out of one single tree which was called 'Kasthamandup'. Kasthamandup was the root word form which the name of our capital town 'Kathamndu' is derived. Gunakama Dev founded a big town called Kantipur, the modern Kathmandu. According to Bamsavali, it cost him a hundred thousand rupees a day to build this town. He built more than eighteen thousand houses there. It was also Gunakama Dev who started the 'Indra Jatra' festival. He repaired the temple that lies to the northern part of the temple of Pashupatinath. He also initiated the practice of worshipping Lumadi, Raktakali, Kankeshwari, Panchalinga, Bhairab and Manamaiju. He introduced Krishna Jatra and Lakhe Jatra as well. He also performed Kotihoma.

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Bhola Deva succeeded Gunakama Dev. The next ruler was Laxmikama Dev who ruled form 1024 to 1040 A.D. He built Laxmi Vihar and introduced the custom of worshipping a virgin girl as 'Kumari'. Then, Vijayakama Dev became the king of Nepal. He was the son of Laxmikama Dev. Vijaykama Dev was the last ruler of this dynasty. He introduced worshipping of the "Naga" and "Basuki". After his death, the Thakuri clan of Nuwakot occupied the throne of Nepal.

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Bhasker Dev succeeded Vijayakama Dev, who was a Thakuri form Nuwakot. Thus he established Nuwakot-Thakuri rule in the country. He is said to have built Navabahal and Hemabarna Vihar. After Bhasker Dev, four kings of this line ruled over the country. They were-Bala Dev, Padma Dev, Nagarjun Dev and Shanker Dev.

1) Shanker Dev : Shanker Dev was the most illustrious ruler of the Nuwakot-Thakuri dynasty. He ruled from 1067 to 1080 A.D. He established the image of 'Shanteswar Mahadev' and 'Monohara Bhagawati'. The system of pasting the pictures of Nagas and Basuki on the doors of houses on the day of Nagapanchami was introduced by him. During his time, the Buddhists wreaked vengeance on the Hindu Brahmins (especially the followers of Shivism) for the harm they had received earlier from Shankaracharya III. Shaner Dev tried to pacify the Brahmins harassed by the Buddhists.

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Bam Dev, a descendant of Amshuverma defeated Shanker Dev in 1080 A.D. He suppressed the Nuwakot-Thankuris with the help of nobles and restored the old Solar Dynasty rule in Nepal for the second time. Harsha Dev, the successor of Bam Dev was a weak ruler. There was no unity among the nobles and they asserted themselves in their respective spheres of influence. Taking that opportunity, Nanya Dev, a Karnatak king invaded Nepal from Simroungarh. According to chronicles, he made his residence at Bhadgaon and began to rule for some time. Mukunda sen, the king of Palpa, was another invader of the Nepal valley. He plundered and destroyed many houses and looted a huge amount of property. It is said that after the ivasion of Mukund Sen, the tradition of making Hakuwa rice, Gundruk and Sinki began in our country.

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Shivadeva III

: After Harsha Dev, Shivadeva, the third, came to the throne. He ruled from 1099 to 1126 A.D. He was a brave and powerful king. He founded the town of Kirtipur and roofed the temple of Pashupatinath with gold. He introduced twenty-five piece coins. He also constructed wells, canals and tanks at different places.

After Sivadeva III, Mahendra Dev, Mana Dev, Narendra Dev II, Ananda Dev, Rudra Dev, Amrit Dev, Ratna Dev II, Someswar Dev, Gunakama Dev II, Laxmikama Dev III and Vijayakama Dev II ruled Nepal in quick succession. Thus, there was the rule of many kings after the start of the new era introducd by Raghav Dev. Historians differ about the rule of several kings and their respective times. After the fall of the Thakuri dynasty, another dynasty's rule started in Nepal which was founded by Arideva or Ari Malla. This dynasty is popularly known as the 'Malla Dynasty' which has authentic historical records.

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