The Malla and Shah dynasties in Nepali history. ProfessionalNov 2nd, 2023 at 15:54 Blogs Kathmandu 48 views Reference: 852
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The Malla and Shah dynasties in Nepali history.
The Malla and Shah dynasties are significant periods in Nepali history, each contributing to the shaping of the country's culture, politics, and society. Let's explore both dynasties:
Overview: The Malla dynasty ruled over various parts of the Kathmandu Valley, which includes present-day Kathmandu, Patan (Lalitpur), and Bhaktapur. The Mallas were a prominent Newar dynasty that played a crucial role in the development of art, culture, and architecture in Nepal.
Cultural Contributions: The Malla period is often referred to as the "Golden Age" of Nepali art and architecture. The Mallas were great patrons of the arts, and during their rule, many of the famous temples, palaces, courtyards, and sculptures in the Kathmandu Valley were built. They encouraged the creation of intricate woodwork, stone carvings, and Newari-style architecture.
Durbar Squares: Each of the three major cities in the Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square) has a historical complex known as a "Durbar Square," which served as the royal palace squares during the Malla period. These squares are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and showcase the rich architectural and cultural heritage of the Malla rulers.
Decline and Unification: The Malla period saw periods of both prosperity and conflict. By the late Malla period, the Kathmandu Valley was divided into smaller city-states ruled by different Malla kings. This division made the valley susceptible to external invasions. Ultimately, King Prithvi Narayan Shah of the Gorkha Kingdom conquered the Kathmandu Valley in the mid-18th century, leading to the end of the Malla rule and the unification of Nepal.
Unification of Nepal: The Shah dynasty, founded by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, marks the beginning of a unified Nepal. Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, envisioned and executed the unification of various small principalities and kingdoms into a single nation, laying the foundation for modern Nepal.
Contribution to National Identity: The Shah kings not only united Nepal geographically but also established a sense of national identity among the diverse ethnic and cultural groups within the country. They helped create a common language (Nepali), and their rule played a significant role in shaping Nepal's political structure.
Rise of the Rana Dynasty: The Shah dynasty continued to rule Nepal, but during the 19th century, real power shifted to the Rana rulers. The Rana period saw a centralized and autocratic regime where the Ranas held significant control over the monarchy. This period lasted until the mid-20th century when the country transitioned to a democratic system.
The Malla and Shah dynasties are crucial in understanding Nepal's historical evolution, from the cultural heights of the Mallas to the unification and political transformation brought about by the Shahs.