Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Tibet’

My Conversation With the Dalai Lama: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

By Arianna Huffington

At a lunch in the crypt at St. Paul’s before the Dalai Lama received the Templeton Prize today, I was seated next to Canon Mark Oakley. “We need to move beyond relevance to resonance,” he said.

It was a call to move beyond the shallows to the depths, beyond the passing novelties of the moment to the echoes of the soul. The Canon summed up the vicious circle we too often find ourselves caught in: “We are,” he said, “spending money we don’t have on things we don’t want in order to impress people we don’t like.”

To find the peace of mind that alone can replace this aimless search that has led to an epidemic of stress, anxiety, and drugs — legal and illegal — the Dalai Lama is looking to science (specifically neuroscience) to convince a skeptical increasingly-secular society of the power of contemplation and compassion to change our lives and our world.

As he wrote in his 2005 book, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dalai Lama, Arianna Huffington Interview: His Holiness Discusses Compassion, Science, Religion And Sleep

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

His Holiness the Dalai Lama sat down with Arianna Huffington at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to celebrate his Templeton Prize, and discuss the importance of a productive conversation between spirituality and science.

The Dalai Lama’s role in fostering positive interactions between religion and science is one of the reasons why he was honored by the prize.

As the Templeton Foundation notes: “For decades, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama has vigorously focused on the connections between the investigative traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world.”

Arianna Huffington also asked HH Dalai Lama about the importance of sleep; the epidemic of stress, anxiety, and drugs — legal and illegal; and compassion, which is emphasized in the practice of Buddhism.

The Templeton Prize comes with a cash award of $1.7 million dollars, which His Holiness has donated to Save The Children.

Read the transcript of the interview below:

Arianna Huffington: You have been working with neuroscientists for many years now. What do you hope to achieve through this collaboration between science and spirituality?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Two purpose: One purpose, up to date scientific research mainly based on matters. Now, later part of 20th century, and now beginning of this 21st century, now scientific research field now expanding, including human emotions, mind. That’s one purpose. The reason we cannot explain fully what humans are thinking about these thing just on research on brain alone. That’s one purpose. The second purpose: on the basis of scientific finding, more awareness, the how importance of our emotion for our health and healthy society and family. Now, through training of mind, how much can develop our health, our healthy society. So, and me personally, my main effort to promote these values, not through religious field, but without touching religion, simply use our common sense and common experience and then scientific finding, so to make more awareness to public. My main hope is eventually, in modern education field, introduce education about warm-heartedness, not based on religion, but based on common experience and a common sort of sense, and then scientific finding. So in that respect, you see, I’ve found a lot of useful information from scientific research work. Read the rest of this entry »

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LUMBINI REBORN, NEPAL REBORN, BUDDHA REBORN

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2012

[Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement does not endorse the opinions of the author.]

NEPAL: THE NEW RAINBOW NATION?

By Gabriel Lafitte

Among Tibetans and their supporters worldwide, Nepal evokes dread. The news out of Nepal is invariably bad. The 20,000 Tibetan refugees in settlements are prisoners, unable to move freely, unable to obtain certification of their refugee status, unable to find employment or get an education, stigmatized and excluded. They may not publicly vote, protest or even hold religious celebrations of the birthdays of their most revered lamas.

China’s power over Nepal extends to equipping and financing the armed forces to patrol the border with Tibet, to apprehend Tibetans using the only route of escape. China’s ability to get the Nepali army to do its security work is aided by the willingness of Nepali politicians to be seduced by the largesse of China’s aid program, no strings attached, no accountability auditing of where the money went. From the outside, it seems that Nepal, riven by revolution, is agreed on only one thing, right across the spectrum, from Maoists to royalists: no-one likes the Tibetans.

It is not just the elite that is prejudiced. The Tibetans, like the landless urban poor in the Kathmandu slums along the riverbanks, are considered sukumbasi, a term so broad it includes all the excluded, the displaced, landless, unacknowledged refugees, with no means of subsistence, suspected of thievery, gold smuggling and an inclination for criminality. Sukumbasi are feared and sneered at, especially by the upper caste Bahun Hindus who depict them as dangerous outsiders, despoilers, polluters of the rivers, a threat to the nation. The slum dwellers are seen as puppets of the Maoists, a rent-a-mob willing to swarm into the city on command to fill rallies with their shouts. The sukumbasi are said to have toppled the king, and that behind the scenes, they are tools of foreign meddlers or get undeserved help from NGOs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indian Police Charge a Tibetan Spiritual Leader with Financial Conspiracy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 9, 2011

By HANNAH BEECH

The waiting room in the Tibetan Buddhist monastery in northern India is unremarkable, save for the small signs pasted on the wall: “Kindly do not make any offerings in foreign currency.” Many of the pilgrims who have come to pay homage to the Karmapa—the third-most senior cleric in Tibetan Buddhist cosmology who is believed to be the 17th incarnation of a 900-year-old holy spirit—are Chinese travelers, who stuff thick bundles of Indian rupees into envelopes. There is not a Chinese yuan in sight.

The signs are a consequence of a kerfuffle earlier this year that erupted in Dharamsala, the Indian hill station where the Tibetan exile community has coalesced. On Dec. 8, Indian police announced that they had officially charged the Karmapa with conspiracy nearly a year after the authorities found more than $1 million in various foreign currency at the monastery where he lives. The charge sheet was filed at a district court in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where Dharamsala is located, even though earlier this year the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi indicated the Karmapa, whose full name is Ogyen Trinley Dorje, had been absolved of wrongdoing. The senior Tibetan monk’s aides say that the money, much of it Chinese yuan, was from his devotees and that he is not involved in any of his order’s financial dealings. Since then, the waiting-room signs have gone up, they say, to avoid further controversy.

After fleeing Tibet in 1999 in a dramatic voyage that echoed the snow-bound escape of the Dalai Lama four decades before, the Karmapa has resided in India. But his flight to freedom has not brought him full liberty. After he arrived as a 14-year-old in Dharamsala, whispers circulated among excitable members of the Indian media circles that the Karmapa might be a Chinese spy. How else could he have escaped Beijing’s watchful eye, they wondered—even though he and his supporters dismiss such allegations. Then as India’s relations with China have warmed and the surviving Tibetan community in northern India views this geopolitical development with wariness, the Karmapa’s movements have been carefully circumscribed by the Indian government. He cannot travel freely in India without prior government approval. Until 2008, the Karmapa was not even allowed documents to go overseas. Read the rest of this entry »

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China – India Relations Heading Towards Deep Freeze – Analysis

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 28, 2011

By SAAG By Dr Subhash Kapila

Concurrent with winter freeze setting in on the Himalayan heights separating India from China-Occupied Tibet, gathering trends over the last year or so strongly suggest that in end 2011 China-India relations are headed towards a deep freeze.

China-India relations were always in a freeze over the last six decades despite the veneer that both China and India gave by rhetorical flourishes that China and India were committed to peace and tranquility on the contested border between India and China-Occupied Tibet.

Regrettably, it was India and the Indian policy establishment only that gave credence to China’s peaceful protestations. China succeeded like in the run-up to 1962 to induce a sense of complacency in Indian war-preparedness against China’s not so benign intentions against India.

China - India RelationsChina – India Relations

China craftily utilized these two decades – 1990s and 2000s under cover of this veneer for a massive militarization of China-Occupied Tibet including India-specific targeting of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons on the Tibetan Plateau.

China could achieve this being encouraged by two factors. First the complacency it succeeded in inducing in the Indian policy establishment which led to political de-emphasizing of the China Threat against India and as a consequence a tardy war preparedness against the China Threat not by the Indian Armed Forces but by the political leadership. Secondly, China correctly counted on the strategic timidity and feeble responses of the Indian political leadership to Chinese political and military coercion. Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Latest Bid to Flex Its Regional Muscle and Intimidate Tibet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2011

By Ellen Bork

Kathmandu—After four prime ministers in four years, Nepal might finally be entering a period of stability. On November 1, Nepalese politicians reached a deal on demobilizing nearly 20,000 Maoist fighters who have been in limbo since a 2006 peace agreement ended the ten year insurgency. A second priority, drafting a constitution, may now also be within reach thanks to a compromise on power sharing among the major political parties.

But at the same time, Nepal has become the subject of a high stakes battle for influence between China, which occupies Tibet on Nepal’s northern border, and India, which surrounds the country on all other sides. Nepal’s current prime minister, Baburam Bhattarai, sent a signal by making his first trip abroad to Delhi last month, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit next year. But Chinese officials have responded with a full-court press of their own: Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport has seen a steady stream of Chinese officials, including the head of China’s People’s Liberation Army, who inked a $20 million military-aid deal with the Nepalese army. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, for his part, will visit Nepal in December.

At this stage it’s unclear who will prevail in this Sino-Indian struggle for influence, but one issue that is shaping up to be an important bellwether is Nepal’s role as a haven and way station for Tibetan refugees. In recent months China has set its sights on closing off this avenue to Tibetans, and it has stepped up the pressure it exerts on Nepal accordingly. India, which provides a home for the Dalai Lama and the democratic, exile government of Tibet, has a strategic stake in seeing Nepal stand up to Chinese pressure. How Nepal responds to China’s aggressive new campaign to cut off aid for Tibetans will indicate just how much influence the Chinese have in Kathmandu.

NEPAL’S COMMUNITY OF an estimated 25,000 Tibetan refugees dates mainly from China’s conquest of Tibet in the 1950s. Some are resistance fighters or their descendants. New refugees no longer settle in Nepal, but under the 1990 “Gentleman’s Agreement” between the Nepalese government and the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), Tibetans who make it across the mountainous frontier—anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand each year—are brought to the capital, Kathmandu, several hours away by car. Once there, they are documented and quickly sent on to India. Nepal has been a part of the escape path for numerous important Tibetans, including the Karmapa Lama, a young, charismatic monk who fled Tibet in a dramatic escape in 1999 when he was 14 years old. Some hope he will assume an important leadership role in the Tibetan cause when the current Dalai Lama, now 76, dies.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Arniko, the Great Architect From Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 27, 2011

Nepal’s temples, stupas, and many more structures are examples of this nation being a former leader in architecture. 

Today’s generation sees Nepal as a poor country lacking high-tech and engineering skills. But Nepal’s past shows skilled manpower and a highly developed society. One example of this skilled manpower is Arniko, the greatest architect of Nepalese history.

Arniko was forced to live in China, where he drew great respect. He made lots of sculptural works which are still a great asset of China.

Nepalese author Satya Mohan Joshi who has researched Arniko said his works in China are really a great challenge to modern engineering. The works he did in the 13th century are unbelievable.

Nepalese history doesn’t have any proof of where in Nepal Arniko grew up. But Joshi claims Arniko was from Patan, a famous place for sculpture.

Many Nepali architects made statues of special historical importance. However, Arniko was the only one who became famous not only in Nepal but also in Tibet, China, Mongolia and as far as Indonesia.

During Arniko’s time, renowned Mongol emperor Kublai Khan was a great lover of art and architecture.

He wanted to build a golden stupa (a Buddhist shrine) in Lhasa for his teacher Pags-pa. In 1260, he decided to ask Nepal to send a skilled architect to supervise the work.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Magnitude 6.8 quake with epicenter in Sikkim

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2011

Intensity of Earthquake. Source:USGS

Nepal: 5 died, 27 injured. British embassy compound wall collapsed in Kathmandu.

Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Magnitude 6.9
Date-Time
Location 27.723°N, 88.064°E
Depth 19.7 km (12.2 miles)
Region SIKKIM, INDIA
Distances 68 km (42 miles) NW of Gangtok, Sikkim, India
119 km (73 miles) NNW of Shiliguri, West Bengal, India
272 km (169 miles) E of KATHMANDU, Nepal
572 km (355 miles) N of Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.5 km (8.4 miles); depth +/- 3.5 km (2.2 miles)
Parameters NST=344, Nph=348, Dmin=371.8 km, Rmss=1.21 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=”moment” magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=C
Source
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005wg6
  • Did you feel it? Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

15 minutes ago: NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit a remote area in northeastern India on Sunday evening, killing at least two people and damaging buildings and blocking roads, as well as killing four in neighboring Nepal, officials said.

One child died in Sikkim state, the epicenter of the earthquake, and another person died in Bihar state as a result of a stampede sparked by the quake, CNN-IBN broadcaster said.

The Himalayan region is prone to landslides and many high-rise buildings have come up in Sikkim’s mountain towns over the last few years of economic boom. There were concerns that the toll could rise as information arrived from remote areas.

In neighboring Nepal, four people died.

“Four people were injured when a wall collapsed after the quake. All of them were rushed to hospital but 3 died during treatment,” said Kedar Rijal, the chief of Kathmandu police.

Several buildings collapsed in Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, and widespread power cuts were reported across the northeastern state, television channels said.

There were also reports of landslides in Sikkim and West Bengal state. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ancient Kathmandu

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 20, 2011

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The place where Buddha attained face

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 7, 2011

As you know, every big mountain, being literally the navel of the Earth, eventually accumulates a lot of myths and legends, and becomes the axis of the foundation and the fantastic, yet very real stories. The perturbation vertical space bizarre twists of fate and age. For myths and legends of the local population is responsible, the heroes byley – different kinds of adventurers, mountaineers and other violent “surfers”.

It would be interesting to make something like a historical chronicle, for example, for each eight-, but it does take a lot for them to wander:) On Everest, I’ve tried to write , now part of Nanga Parbat, the more that this mountain will give good odds that the same Everest , and Kashmir – the place is not easy.

1. Nanga Parbat. Painting by Nicholas Roerich

Brief introduction: Nanga Parbat – the first ever eight-to which people have tried to ascend, the first-ever eight-, conquered by man alone. Prior to Everest climbing became popular in the environment, Nanga Parbat kept the championship in the number of dead climbers.

This mountain has witnessed the birth and development of Buddhism in the region, not far from it came the first image of the Buddha. Her foot was held Alexander of Macedon, the Muslim conquerors (ie, Tamerlane and his descendant Babur founded the Mughal dynasty), Sikh invaders. Nanga Parbat knows first hand what a big game of British and Russian empires. Roerich painted the mountain. In the end, this mountain long before the whole of Europe saw the swastika neinduistskuyu – at the top in the early 1930s, tried to climb the Nazis.

***

Once part of Afghanistan, part of the Pamirs, the whole of northern Pakistani-administered Kashmir and Ladakh were Buddhist. About Ladakh is known to many, but here’s what Baltistan (Gilgit Baltistan, now known as the northern part of Kashmir) had a different name – Tibet-i-Khurd, little is known. Translates it as a Small Tibet, the vast majority of people here and now speaks the language of the Baltic States – one of the western dialect of Tibetan language, but it is Muslim.

A little farther west, in the valleys of Dir and Swat in the XX century, excavated six years of Buddhist temples and villages of the world’s greatest Tibetologist Giuseppe Tucci (incidentally, the teacher Michelle Pesselya, which show the way to go in Pesselya forbidden kingdom Mustang). Tucci found in Swat as many Buddhist antiquities, that the excavation could not stop until now.

However, once from 2007 to 2009 he held down the valley of the Taliban, a Buddhist heritage was dealt a severe blow. The Taliban began destroying bodrenko “idols”, as in his time destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. This is despite the fact that none of the Muslim invaders of the early period up to Tamerlane’s finger to these monuments were not touched. Yes, and “idols” are in fact older than Islam in a couple of hundred years.

In 326 BC through the Khyber Pass connecting Afghanistan with Pakistan today, in the kingdom of Gandhara Alexander of Macedon invaded. He went with his army across Kashmir, crossed the Indus and Jhelum and even went to the Ganges.

2. Jhelum River (also known as Gidaspov). Here Macedonian army defeated the Indians along the river lay our way to Nanga Parbat

Read the rest of this entry »

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SINO-NEPAL RELATIONS: ECONOMIC AGENDA FOR A 21ST CENTURY STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 29, 2011

[China is an opportunity for Nepal and South Asia –at least the Hindu Kush Himalayan regions of it – because, with China’s new economic and development policy, the centre of gravity of its  economic growth has and will move towards the hinterland of South West China and Central Asia from its currently dominant eastern seaboard. In the process, unfolding right before our eyes, unimagined opportunities with many new Silk Routes. It may be hypothesized that the ‘centre’ of Asia, henceforth, shall be in the regions of Tibet, Qinghai, Guansu, Sichuan, Kunming and Xianjian, which are all in the immediate neighbourhood of  South and Central Asia.]
By Madhukar Shumshere  J B Rana
Journalist  Kanak Mani Dixit has just written that ‘Between Sycophancy and Adventurism’  (Republica; July 27-

Image: Naxi Manuscript collection

28,2011) that “China’s diplomacy is meant to serve China and not Nepal” , as if Indian diplomacy or US diplomacy or Norwegian diplomacy is to serve Nepal and not their own national interests? Perhaps, he’s been smitten by the once-upon-a-time Bush-Blair’s airy- fairy ‘ethical diplomacy’ that saw nations as ‘good’ and ‘evil’ albeit with Christian lenses.

The fundamental question we, as Nepalese, must ask ourselves is this: is China a threat or an opportunity for Nepal? This author believes that it’s an opportunity not just for Nepal but all of South Asia. And that is why all South Asian nations welcomed it into the SAARC as Observer—albeit India reluctantly: since, other than the George Fernandez who sees China as an undiluted threat, India is yet ambivalent. Being still undecided as to what, where and how much cooperation, coordination, competition, conflict or just communication for confidence building?
Asia has emerged as the new geo political and geo-economical power house of the globe after around 300 years of imperialism and colonialism with total marginalization of the once flourishing Asian economies; exploited and left to forcibly trade with the metropolitan country only as slaves.
This structural change has been made possible, firstly, by the post-WW II rise of Japan from the ashes with its spellbinding economic miracle and its judicious adaptation of tradition with modernity during 1945-80. Japan laid the seeds of Asian geo-political and geo economic independence and self reliance: and implanted geo-psychological self confidence by virtue of its modernization found on its own civilization and cultural ethos. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dalai Lama Birthday Rallies Banned By Nepal Bans Tibetan Rallies On

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2011


Nepalese certainly don’t want the repetition of 2008 riots by Tibetan refugees. And India could try to fish in the dirty water as usual with its neighborin­g countries. This point also could be very important here. India could not establish good relationsh­ip with its neighbors, however; banning rallies should not be happened. Just carefulness is necessary.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Buddhist Teachings

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2011

Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Gautama Buddha (“Buddha” means “enlightened one”), who born in Lumbini, Nepal in the 6th Century B.C. The Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely to liberate sentient beings from suffering.

The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core of Buddhism are-

The Three Universal Truth
The Four Noble Truth
The Noble Eightfold Path

In Buddhism, the law of karma, says “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.” Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions is born by the person who commits them.

After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This marked the beginning of the Buddhist community. For the next forty-five years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Dalai Lama’s Political Replacement: Lobsang Sangay Wins Election To Take Over As Head Of Tibetan Government-In-Exile

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2011


What about his Spiritual replacemen­t?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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ANGLO-NEPAL War with East India Company

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 15, 2011

By Mira

ANGLO-NEPAL WAR (Gorkha &; British East India Company war):-
By the end of the 18th century, the British East India Company was firmly established in India. The East India Company had occupied almost all the princely States of India. They were looking for an opportunity to enter Nepal. The British were welcomed to Nepal during the Malla rulers. But Prithvi Narayan Shah did not allow them to stay in Nepal and a troop of British soldiers under the command of General Kinloch was badly defeated by the army of Prithvi Narayan Shah at Sindhuli in 1765 A.D. So, the British were aware of the strength and courage of the Gorkha soldiers. During the regency period of Bahadur Shah, East India Company put forward a proposal that the British might be allowed to trade in the boarder areas between Nepal and Tibet. But Bahadur Shah rejected that proposal. In 1792 A.D., a commercial treaty was concluded between Nepal and British India, but that was not enforced. Later, when Rana Bahadur Shah was in Banaras, Damodar Pande concluded a commercial treaty in 1801 A.D. That treaty did not favour British interest. East India Company always tried to maintain friendly relations with Nepal.
The East India Company wanted to trade in Tibet. The only way to Tibet was through Nepal and Nepal would never allow the British to go to Tibet through her territory. Moreover, giving permission to the British to go to Tibet through Nepal meant loosing her own market, i.e., Tibet. In such a situation, the East India Company thought to threaten Nepal with war.
Another reason for British aggression to Nepal was that they wanted to reside in cool and healthy hill stations like Dehradun, Kumaon, Shimla and Darjeeling. These places were under Nepal at that time. But the immediate cause of the war was annexation of Shiva Raj and Butwal to Nepal in 1806 A.D. For some time there were meetings and talks to settle the disputes over Shiva Raj and Butwal. Ultimately, in 1814 A.D. the East India Company declared war against Nepal.  Read the rest of this entry »

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