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8 // History of Nepal
Microsoft Encarta 99 Find: Nepal and Map of Nepal
The student will list the major rulers of Nepal. The
student will explain the impact isolationism had on
Nepal and when it was abandoned.
1. Review the geography of Nepal. Discuss how the
natural landmarks might affect the country.
2. Read the information on the history of Nepal either
orally to the class or have each student read it
3. Recap the major rulers of Nepal:
b. The Shahs
c. The Ranas
1. The students will read the information of the
history of Nepal.
2. The students will answer the questions that
correspond to the reading.
1. Have the students research the history of Nepal on
the Internet or in resource books. With the
information the students collect, have them make a
class time line of events.
2. Contrast what was happening in the United States
during important periods in Nepal's history.
3. Research one of the earlier dynasties of Nepal (The
Gopals, The Kiratis, or The Licchavis) and write about
The Kathmandu Valley has been the center of Nepalese
life since before Christ's birth. Some early dynasty
rulers were the Gopalas, the Kiratis, and the
Licchavis. The Malla dynasty came into power in 1200
AD. Under the Malla kings, the culture of Nepal came
into its own. One of the greatest Malla kings was
Jayasthiti Malla. Under his reign, Nepal became a
worldly and notable country in Asia. The Malla kings
split the territory of the Kathmandu Valley between
siblings. This proved to be disastrous because the
territories began to try and outdo each other in all
aspects of the Nepalese culture.
During this time of turmoil and infighting, the
Shahs came into Nepal. After 10 years of skirmishes,
the Shahs overtook the Mallas. By 1769, the Shahs ruled Nepal. The
Shahs were dedicated to
expanding Nepal, and the size of Nepal today is due
much in part to the Shahs. During this expansion
period, Nepal waged war with Britain. The British East
India Company was expanding into the southern part of
present day Nepal. Nepal and Britain were at war by
1814. Two years later a peace treaty was signed
stating that Nepal could have the land, but Nepal and
Britain would become strong allies.
Nepal went through a period of isolationism during the
Rana reign. Jung Bahadur killed members of the Shahs
government, with the exception of the Shah. The Ranas
retained the Shah as leader in name only, but the true
power of the country was Ranas. The Ranas forced Nepal
to be closed off to the rest of the world.
The only exception to this isolation was along the
border with Tibet where some communities were able to
trade goods. This period of isolationism lasted until
1944 when King Tribhuvan was able to visit India and
Europe. During this trip he was able to devise a plan
with outside assistance, which would reinstate the
monarchy rule. On February 18, 1951, the Ranas were
defeated and the Shahs kingdom was
reestablished. This ended the period of isolationism.
1. Who are three of the major rulers in Nepal's
history and when did they rule?
2. What does isolationism mean? How did it affect
Nepal? What was one reason that isolationism was
For more detailed history of Nepal see here.
1. Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt
Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 61-66.
2. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Copyright
1994-1999, Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
State Standard - SS3 E5 Describe natural and human
characteristics of places and use this knowledge to
define regions, their relationships with other regions
and their patterns of change, with emphasis on:
1 common characteristics of regions at local, national
and international scales on the basis of climate,
landforms, ecosystems and culture.
2 patterns of climate, landforms and ecosystems in a
4 the concept of region and how and why regions
5 relationships and interactions among regions.