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Efforts of Unification Campaign

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Nepal before unification was divided into many small kingdoms which were fighting in the east known as the Koshi region. While there were Malla Kingdoms in the Kathmandu valley, Kathmandu was known as 'the Nepal Valley'. Similarly, the Gandaki Region was known as the Baise States. Due to different battles among them for annexation, the number of states changed very often.

The states were getting weaker due to the internal rivalry and frequent battles. Tibet and British East Company were expanding their territories. This led, Prithivi Narayan Shah's father, Nara Bhupal Shah, to make efforts for the unification of these bickering kingdoms, but he could achieve very little. King Prithivi Narayan Shah launched a successful campaign for unification.

Read these lines:

On reaching Chandragiri, I asked which of the places was Nepal and they showed me one place, calling it Kathmandu, another calling it Bhadgaon and another place calling it Patan. Suddenly an ardent wish to become the king of those townships developed in my mind.


King Prithivi Narayan Shah wrote these lines to reflect his feelings and experiences he fell while reaching the Chandragiri hill on his way back from Makawanpur, the place of his first in-laws house. The wish he expressed in these lines took a form of campaign for the unification of states, which he launched later.

Political obstacle

It was not an easy task to unify Nepal, divided into Baise, Chaubisi, Sen and Mall states. The division stood as a big obstacle to unification campaign. Many of this kingdom were better off politically and economically. Lamjung, in particular, was a great enemy of Gorkha. In the event of the Gorkha force, marching towards Nuwakot, Lamjung could strike from behind. Prithivi Narayan Shah consulted his maternal uncle, the prince of Palpa on the problem. The letter said in reply, Lamjung in a large vulture, Gorkha, a snake and Nepal, a frog. Everyday the large vulture, then the snake will have the frog to eat. In the course of time, there was an agreement reached between Gorkha and Ripu Mardan Shah, the king of Lamjung through the efforts sought by Kalu Pandey (Banshidhar Pandey). Prithivi Narayan Shah promoted Kalu Pandey to the post of 'kaji', as per the wishes of his caretaker mother Chandraprabhavati and his courtiers although he wanted Biraj Bakheti to hold that post.

Economic obstacle

Gorkha with twelve hundred households was not better off economically as compared to Chaubisi states. The poor economic condition of Gorkha was a handicap to the unification venture for the Prithivi Narayan shah. Being aware that help from Makwanpur, lying in the terai was potential for the unification campaign, he had the nuptial relation with Makwanpur state which was strong politically and economically. But the King of Makwanpur, Hemkara's son (Digbandhana Sen) refused to give him 'Naulakha Haar' a necklace, worn by Indra Kumari, his sister at the time of the wedding and also single-tooth elephant used in the farewell procession. All this was intolerable to Prithivi Narayan Shah and he left behind the bride. He married Narendra Lakshmi, a Kanshi princess afterwards. In order to expedite his programme of unification, he appealed his countrymen to cooperate him with cash and kinds for strengthening the army. The people responded positively.

First attack on Nuwakot

After his accession to the throne of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah launched a place of unification venture. Ultimately, the king sent a force, led by a courtier, Vijaya Thapa to Nuwakot for its aggression. He was attracted towards Nuwakot for its crossroad position between Tibet and Kathmandu valley and for avenging his father's defeat at the hand of Nuwakot. Vijaya Thapa was waiting for a favourable time for the attack on his camp by the side of Trisuli river. In the meantime, King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who grew suspicious on Vijaya Thapa, sent another force, headed by Prakash Malla of Kantipur. Jayanta Rana was a former Sardar of Gorkha and had led the Gorkhali army to Nuwakot When Nara Bhupal Shah had attacked Nuwakot. Since Gurkhas were defeated at that time, He was having the protection from Jaya Prakash Malla. But due to various factors such as lack of geographical knowledge and trained soldiers in the attacking force, Prithvi Narayan Shah's aggression on Nuwakot was not a success. Actually, the attack was quite hasty and reckless and followed a heavy loss.

Strengthening of Army


During Prithivi Narayan's time, Gorkha had 8-10 thousand army men, who were capable of fighting in the battle. Defeat at Nuwakot had taught him the lesson. Instead of giving up hope, he began preparations for next attempt. He bought guns and Muslim repairers from Banaras, along with them extra persons were brought from other places for repair of arms. However, his emphasis was more on the use of sword than the guns. He gave top priority to the army service. He made provisions for the training of youths and appointment of people of various castes in the army. He brought substantial reformations in the army administrations. In order to encourage countrymen to enter into an army, he made provision of Marawat, a compensation for a soldier's death pad to his family. After the victory achieved in the battle of Kathmandu, he had abundant arms and ammunition which were instrumental for him to be successful in the east in his campaign

Diplomatic relations

Prithvi Narayan Shah was very effective to have good relations with different states for making his unification campaign a success. As a representative of his father, Narbhupal Shah, he had a pact with Lamjung, the old age enemy. Later he himself singed a treaty with King Ripumardan Shah of Lamjung through the efforts sought by Kalu Panday. He also brought Tanahun, Kaski, Palpa in his favour.

Relations with the Malla kingdoms were also important. King Prithvi Narayan Shah signed separate treaties with Kantipur and Bhaktapur in order to develop trade and facilitate his unification campaign.

As per the treaty with Kantipur, the two kings had agreed upon the following terms:

  1. To calculate the currency of either state in both the states
  2. To carry joint trade with Tibet and share the incomes there on equal basis
  3. To enjoy the right to depute a state representative to Tibet from either state
  4. To allow Kantipur to use the territory of Nuwakot for trade with Tibet

  • It was not an easy task to unify Nepal, divided into Baise, Chaubisi, Sen and Malla states.
  • Prithivi Narayan Shah promoted Kalu Pandey to post of ‘kaji’, although he wanted Biraj Bakheti to hold that post.
  • The poor economic condition of Gorkha was handicapped to the unification venture for Prithivi Narayan shah.
  • After his accession to the throne of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah launched a place of unification venture.

Questions and Answers

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers

A woman's life undergoes a major change once her child is born. She has to focus a lot of her attention and also be aware of the physical, cognitive and social development of her child. A child's academic performance depends a lot on the encouragement; praise and moral support of the family than objective indicators. Mothers play a responsible role in childrens' education and health. If there were not to be mothers, then a child wouldn't succeed in his life. A child's behavior completely describes the family background, his mother and his family. A mother encourages her child to achieve good in his life, supports and prepares her child to cope up with the life ahead. She prepares her child physically, mentally and socially to fight against the world. A mother plays a vital role in all round development of child.

Prithivi Narayan Shah instead of losing hope started preparing his armies and swords. He gave top priority to army service and made provisions for training youths, and appointed of people of various castes. He also made provision of Marawat, a compensation for soldier' death paid to his family.

Among the four queens of Narabhupal Shah, the eldest queen Chandraprabhawati was childless; Prithivi Narayan Shah, Dalmardan Shah and Prithivipal Shah were born to Kausalyawati, the second wife. Buddhinath, the third wife gave birth to Brindkeshar Shah and Surpratap Shah. Similarly, the last queen Shuvadra gave birth to Mahoddam kriti Shah and Daljit shah. Brindkeshar Shah died after few days of his birth and Prithvipal shah also died before his "Bratabandha" ceremony. The rest of the five sons' of three mothers had a good relationship like Pandavas. All played great roles in the unification campaign. There was respect to elders and love to younger. Evaluating their brotherhood, unity, friendship and tilt towards unification, Prithivi Narayan shah called his brothers "five pandav from the three mothers".

Narabhupal shah attacked Nuwakot but couldn't conquer it. Prithivi Narayan shah also attacked Nuwakot but he also became unsuccessful. Nuwakot was a trade route through which traders could enter Tibet. It was suitable place to collect information of Kathmandu valley and a productive place to grow crops. Such failures and advantages of Nuwakot inspired Prithivi Narayan shah to conquer Nuwakot.

The Gorkhali troops were unsuccessful twice in the war against Nuwakot because

  • Gorkha had poor economic condition, so they could not supply the army with food, clothes and other necessary things.
  • They had lack of understanding between Pandey and Magar.
  • They had lack of geographical information of Nuwakot.
  • They had lack of provisions of army and ammunitions.

The first invasion of Nuwakot by Prithivi Narayan shah failed. Then, Prithivi Narayan shah decided not to attack Nuwakot again unless he analyze the situation and strengthen army having enough arms and ammunition. He pretended to change "Gotra", collected money from the people and went to Banaras. But his real objectives were to worship the God, meet his father-in-law (Abhiman Singh) and seek help and import arms, ammunition, trainers and technicians.

Narabhupal shah was extremely shocked by the defeat with Nuwakot. He used to roam away leaving the palace. He was not interested in ruling. So, Chandraprabhawati, the eldest wife made Prithivi Narayan shah as informal King and managed the rule the country. She provided lesson and opportunity for Prithivi Narayan shah to rule.

Prithivi Narayan shah made friendship with Bir Narsingh Malla (son of Ranjit Malla) and stayed for three months in Bhaktapur. The following were the reasons behind his stay in Bhaktapur making the friendship treaty:

  • To become close to states of Kathmandu valley.
  • To understand the political, economical and social condition of valley states.
  • To understand the ways, how the condition of the Gorkha could be strengthened to attack the valley.

Prithivi Narayan shah went to Makawanpur to fetch his bride and have view over Kathmandu valley. But due to few irresponsible acts the relation was degraded. The soldiers of Makawanpur saluted Prithivi Narayan shah without removing their shoes. He considered it as an insult. There were serious exchanges of hot words between Prithivi Narayan shah and the prince of Makawanpur, Digbandhan Sen. After these conflict, Prithivi Narayan shah returned Gorkha without his wife.

  • Before unification there were ______ in the Kathmandu valley

    Shah kingdoms
    Kirat kingdoms
    Pandey kingdoms
    Malla Kingdoms
  • Lamjung in particular was a great enemy of ____.

  • Who promoted Kalu Pandey to post of kaji?

    Prithivi Narayan Shah
    None of the avove
    Narabhupal Shah
  • How many households were in Gorkha before unification?

    ten hundred
    fifteen hundred
    twelve hundred
    nine hundred
  • Out of these places which place Prithvi Narayan Shah launched an early attack _____.

  • The first attack on Nuwakot met with instance failure because it was

    not planned at all.
    at very bad time
    with too low no. of soldiers
    too hasty and reckless
  • How did Prithvi Narayan Shah strengthen his military force

    Training and enlarging it
    More weapons
    Building more soldiers
    All of the above
  • How did prithvi Narayan Shah tackle the economic obstacle of his unification campaign?

    Give up
    Threaten the countrymen
    Appealing countrymen to cooperate with cash
    Prepare for next attempt
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ASK ANY QUESTION ON Efforts of Unification Campaign

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Forum Time Replies Report

Neg n positive impact of unification

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aashish sultaniya

Difficulties faded by PN shah during unification

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Ask any queries on this note.why Prithibinarayan shah shifted the capital to Kathmandu ?

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