The History of Nepal, Heritage
The early history of Nepal is quite vague, though pieces of it can be picked up here and there from various historical treasures. Although there is archaeological evidence to suggest that Nepal was already home to quite a few groups of people by the first century BC, very little is known of the early peoples who first inhabited the valley. A massive event that occurred in the Asaka era is thought to have taken place in 78 AD, which makes this the first known period of the area's history. Some time later the Kirata people seem to have arrived to make their home in this fertile valley. Believed to be of Tibeto-Burman origin, the descendants of these ancient people are most like the Rai, Limbu and Sunuwar people of Nepal.
It is thought that the Kiratis arrived during the 7th or 8th century from the east. It would seem that during the time of the Kirata, the Kathmandu Valley was divided up into several self-governed areas that were somewhat united as one larger kingdom. One of the Kirata Chieftains who ruled during this time, Ghatotkacha son of Bhima, was later mentioned in the epic Sanskrit Mahabharata text of ancient India. From this mention it can be known that the ancient Kirata people hunted animals by digging pits and that the King of the Kirata enjoyed favorable political relations with the King of Persia. Archaeological evidence has also revealed that the Kiratas were excellent sheep farmers and that they carried long knives. Despite the fact that so little is known of the Kirata people, several famous Kiratas have made their way into the history books and some still continue to affect the lives of those living today. These are Lord Shiva, Lord Buddha and Valmiki (who later wrote the Ramayana).
From about 400 AD, the Kirata empire fell into a massive decline and was replaced by the Licchavi Dynasty. Sometime later the Malla family picked up the pieces of the Licchavi family and continued to rule over the ever-growing valley empire. The Malla Dynasty was in turn replaced by the Shah Dynasty. Eventually democracy arrived in Nepal and this major development was unfortunately followed by Civil War. Clearly the history of Nepal is quite interesting but the best way to learn more is really to visit Nepal for yourself.
Last updated: January 22, 2019