Kings of Bhaktapur

Introduction to Bhupatindra Malla

Bhupatindra Malla was the son of King Jitamitra Malla of Bhaktapur. He ascended the throne at the age of 16 after his father’s death and ruled from 1696 to 1722 CE.

Bhupatindra Malla constructed several feats of Architecture during his reign in Bhaktapur. He built the Nyatpola Temple, Taleju Temple of Bhaktapur and the Golden Gate of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Bhupatindra Malla, like Pratap Malla, engaged in military campaigns and Operations against Gorkha and other Kingdoms.

Bhupatindra Malla was succeeded by his son Ranajita Malla, who ruled for only a few years before the Shah dynasty conquered the Kathmandu Valley and established their own rule.

Reign of Bhupatindra Malla

Chronology of Bhupatindra Malla

Rise to Power

Bhupatindra Malla was born in the Royal Malla Family of Bhaktapur as the son of King Jitamitra Malla. He was the second son of the royal couple and was named after his grandfather, Bhupatindra Malla.

Bhupatindra Malla was educated in various subjects as was the Tradition of the Period. He was particularly knowledgeable in art, literature, and politics. Moreover, he was under the guidance of his father and other learned scholars.

He followed the footsteps of Trailokya Malla and established Bhaktapur as a highly stable Kingdom. He also promoted Trade and Commerce in Nepal and built several temples, palaces and Public Buildings in commemoration of his Successful reign.

Relation with Other Kingdoms

The neighboring kingdoms of Patan and Kathmandu were sacrificed in the pursuit of happiness and success by the ambitious King Bhupatindra Malla. But he was consistently surpassed by the Kings who lived nearby.

He was once trapped when his son, Ranjita Malla, fell into the hands of his enemies at Bisankhu.

The heir apparent was held for ransom and was subsequently freed only when King Bhupatindra made payment. Bhupatindra Malla had to seek peace with King Yoganarendra Malla of Patan and let the latter visit Bhadgaun to worship the original image of Taleju, the tutelary goddess of the Malla family.

Bhupatindra Malla succeeded in convincing Patan’s King Yoganarendra Malla to join him in making a pledge, along with the kings of Makwanpur and Gorkha.

The pledge said that any of the four would have to pay a penalty of Rs. 40,000.00 if they were to enter into a relationship with Kathmandu without the other members’ consent.

Patan and Kathmandu launched four attacks on Bhadgaun during the reign of Bhupatindra Malla.

Nevertheless, Bhupatindra Malla ensured Bhaktapur’s safety and prosperity by consistently repelling the united onslaught of Patan and Kathmandu.

Bhupatindra Malla ultimately died in 1722 A.D. after which his son Ranajita Malla took over the throne of Bhaktapur.

Contributions of Bhupatindra Malla

Bhupatindra Malla
Bhupatindra Malla

Construction of the Nyatapola Temple

Bhupatindra Malla completed the construction of the Nyatapola Temple in 1702 A.D. It is considered as an upfront representation of Newari and Hindu Architecture.

Nyatpola is located in Taumadhi Square in Bhaktapur and is dedicated to Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. The temple has five tiers, each of which represents a different element – earth, water, fire, air, and ether. It was constructed with hundreds of Craftsmen, Artisans and Laborers.

In addition to the Original Construction, Bhupatindra added a Bronze Statute of himself in front of the Palace along with the image of Akash Bhairava.

Treaty with the East India Company

A Treaty was signed by Bhupatindra Malla with the East India Company in 1715 A.D. in order to regulated Trade and Commerce between Nepalese Kingdoms and the East India Company.

The accord permitted trade between the East India Company and Nepal, as well as the shipment of goods from Nepal to India. In addition, the treaty called for the creation of a British residence in Nepal that would function as a commerce hub and diplomatic presence.

It established a frontrunning Commercial and Diplomatic Relations with the East India Company.

Construction of the 55-Window Palace

55-Window Palace was also constructed by Bhupatindra Malla and completed by 1737 A.D. It is amongst the leading Architectural Establishments of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The palace is located in Bhaktapur Durbar Square and was the royal palace of Bhupatindra Malla. It has 55 exquisitely carved wooden windows with a unique design and pattern. The palace also has a courtyard.

Poetry and Drama

Like his ancestor, Pratap Malla, Bhupatindra Malla was a talented poet and dramatist. He composed poems in Maithili and wrote dramas.

He wrote a famous poem which was based on King Dritarastra of Mahabharata where he showed the regret, sadness, and loneliness of the king because of the death of his Sons.

Development

Bhupatindra Malla also attempted to build irrigation cannals and Water Channels throughout Bhaktapur.

Conclusion

Bhupatindra Malla is well-known for his contributions to literature, art, and architecture. He is hailed as one of the, if not the Greatest King to have ruled Bhaktapur in its rich history. He constructed Architectural Masterpieces that have redefined Bhaktapur Durbar Square. He also actively participated in Diplomatic Treaties and Negotiations with the East India company. His reign was short-lived, as he was succeeded by his son before Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the Kathmandu Valley.

Miscellaneous

References

  • Regmi, Dilli Raman. “Medieval Nepal” Four Volumes. Firma K, 1965-66
  • Shaha, R. (2001). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. India: Manohar.
  • Slusser, Mary S Nepal Mandala, “A Cultural Study of the Kathmandu Valley Two Volumes” Princeton University Press, 1982 C.E.
  • Levi Sylvain: Le Nepal, Etuda Historique d’um royaume Izindou, 3 volumes, Paris, 1905
  • Subedi, Raja Ram, 2061, “Nepalko Tathya Itihas,” Sajha Prakashan
  • Sangraula, Narayan Prasad, 2068, “Prachin tatha Madhyakalin Nepal,” Kankai Publishers and Distributors
  • Petech, Luciano. Medieval History of Nepal Volume II. Rome, 1985

Cite

Pokhrel, A. (2023). King Bhupatindra Malla – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/bhaktapur/bhupatindra-malla/

FAQ’s

Who was Bhupatindra Malla?

Bhupatindra Malla was the son of King Jitamitra Malla of Bhaktapur. He ascended the throne at the age of 16 after his father’s death and ruled from 1696 to 1722 CE. He was known for his bravery and military prowess, and he led his army in successful campaigns against neighboring kingdoms such as the Gorkha kingdom.

What are some of Bhupatindra Malla’s achievements?

Bhupatindra Malla was a patron of the arts and literature, and he is credited with the creation of several literary works and compositions. During his reign, he commissioned the construction of various impressive structures such as the famous Nyatapola temple, the Taleju temple, and the Golden Gate of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. He also introduced the first coins minted in Nepal.

What was Bhupatindra Malla’s relationship with other kingdoms?

Bhupatindra Malla was an ambitious king who sought happiness and victory at the cost of the neighboring kingdoms of Patan and Kathmandu. However, he was always outplayed by his neighboring kings time and again.

Who constructed the Nyatpola Temple?

The construction of the Nyatapola Temple was done by King Bhupatindra Malla of Bhadgaon. The temple, which was completed in 1702, is considered a masterpiece of Nepali architecture. The temple has five tiers, each of which represents a different element – earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The temple’s design and construction were a massive undertaking, involving hundreds of craftsmen, artisans, and laborers.

What was the treaty between Bhupatindra Malla and the East India Company?

Bhupatindra Malla’s reign, a treaty was signed between Bhupatindra Malla and the East India Company in 1715, which allowed the British to trade in Nepal. The treaty was signed in Patan and granted the British the right to establish factories, maintain agents, and carry on trade with the kingdoms of Nepal. The treaty also allowed the British to export goods to Nepal, including opium.