Kings of Bhaktapur

Introduction to Visva Malla

Visva Malla was the Malla King of Bhaktapur from 1545 to 1559 AD, succeeding his father King Prana Malla. He was known for his religious devotion and activities. He was also the husband of the renowned Regent Queen Ganga Rani. Ganga Rani later became the Co-Ruler of Bhaktapur.

During his short reign, Visva Malla made impactful contributions to the religious development of Bhaktapur. Some of his Conributions are: repairing and improving the design of the Dattatreya Temple, establishing hermitages for Shiva monks, and promoting religious tolerance between Shaivism and Vaishnavism. He also initiated the famous Bhairava Ceremony.

Reign of Visva Malla

Visva Malla was born to the Royal Malla Family of Bhaktapur as the son of King Prana Malla. King Prana Malla was the son of King Bhuvana Malla and great-grandson of Yaksha Malla. Visva Malla was married to a woman famously named to be Ganga Rani. The Name of his sons is Trailokya Malla and Tribhuvana Malla. They succeeded him together as Co-Rulers.

Chronology of Visva Malla

The reign of Visva Malla began with the end of the reign of his Father Prana Malla. Prana Malla had jointly ruled the Kingdom of Bhaktapur with his Uncle Jita Malla. In 1534 A.D. he started to rule Bhaktapur alone and by 1545 A.D. he died.

After the passing of Prana Malla, Visva Malla was crowned the King of Bhaktapur. In one of the Copper Plate Inscriptions of Pashupatinath, it is stated that his Grand-Uncle, Jita Malla was helping him rule the Kingdom of Bhaktapur.

The Reign of Visva Malla was short lasting only 15 years but it was very prosperous from a religious and architectural perspective. Also, it was during his reign, Visnusimha and his sons (The Feudal Overlords) were ruling Patan.

Inscription found in a small brick Temple of Bhaktapur has shown that he had stopped to reign by the time of 1559 A.D. His son Trailokya Malla and Tribhuvana Malla had climbed the throne of Bhaktapur. He could have retired to live a religious life or simply died.

After his death, Trailokya Malla and Tribhuvana Malla climbed the throne of Patan and actually ruled it for multiple decades under the guidance and Co-Ruler Ganga Rani.

Contributions of Visva Malla

In the History of Bhaktapur, he is the first King to have significantly contributed to the religious development of the Kingdom. Along with his wife Ganga Rani, they have been credited with a large number of religious deeds as well as acts of Dharma and Purity.

Among some of the Contributions of Visva Malla is the repairment of the Dattatreya Temple while improving its design as well. Dattatreya Temple was known for its unique mixture of Tribute to the Trinity of Hinduism (Shiva, Brahma, and Visnu).

Not only that, but he also established many hermitages. He had established those Hermitages for the Shiva Monks of the area. Despite the Malla Kings being the main devotee of Taleju Bhawani, they also showed religious tolerance. Visva Malla treated Shaivism and Vaishnavism with equality which goes to show the religious Freedom in Bhaktapur during the period.

One of the Sanksrit Chronicles credits him with initiating the Famous Bhairava Ceremony in Bhaktapur. Visva Malla can be said to be the King of Artistic and Religious taste for his construction of Temples and Initiation of various ceremonies.


The Reign of Visva Malla was a turning point for the Kingdom of Bhaktapur. It also marks the end of the eventless Period of Bhaktapur. His Wife Ganga Rani emerged as one of the most Powerful Regents in the History of Nepal.


  • 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


Pokhrel, A. (2023). King Visva Malla – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.