Introduction to King Sivadeva

King Sivadeva or Simhadeva is one of the most celebrated Kings of the Dark Ages who is praised in many chronicles and Manuscripts. He ruled Nepal for 28 years from 1098 A.D. to 1126 A.D. and was the son of King Sankaradeva, The Peace Lover.

King Sivadeva made huge donations to Pashupatinath Temple and build a palace in Kirti-Bhaktapur which is Modern Day Kantipur. He also minted Gold and Silver Coins and removed other Kings from the Throne.

Reign of King Sivadeva

Early Years

King Sivadeva was the son of King Sankaradeva who was deposed by Vamadeva, a descendant of Amshuverma. After the event, Vamadeva and Harsadeva ruled as Kings of Nepal from 1082 A.D. to 1098 A.D. for 16 years. Then, he reclaimed his ancestral throne and started Ruling Nepal in 1098 A.D. He adopted the Title of Rajadhiraja Paramesvara.

Sivadeva or Simhadeva

A serious hurdle has arrived to identify King Sivadeva. Another King by the name of Simhadeva has also surfaced. The Manuscripts of his reign of 28 years mention King Simhadeva in six other documents.

These Manuscripts range from 1105 A.D. to 1122 A.D. which has raised the question if Sivadeva and Simhadeva are the same people.

Sylvain Levi and Dhanabajra Bajracharya have mentioned that Sivadeva and Simhadeva are the same kings. Dilli Raman Regmi treated them as Distinct Kings considering it a period of Dual Reign.

Dhanabajra Bajracharya reached this conclusion by analyzing the possible evidence and the pros and cons of both assumptions according to Rishikesh Shaha.

According to Dilli Raman Regmi, Simhadeva ruled as a separate individual for 11 years from 1110 A.D. to 1122 A.D. Gopal Raja Bansawali has mentioned only one King by the name of Shivadeva and so has William Kirkpatick’s Chronicle.

Therefore, it would be a rational decision to consider Sivadeva and Simhadeva as the same King.

After his death, his family ruled Nepal till 1200 A.D. after which Ari Malla claimed the Throne of Nepal. One of his most famous Successors is his young son Aanandadeva.

Contributions to King Sivadeva

The Contribution of Sivadeva/Simhadeva should be revered and respected as that of King Gunakamadeva, King Amshuverma, and King Manadeva. His Contributions are widespread and varying and are quite unrecognized.

Copper Roof for Pashupatinath

King Sivadeva succeded in covering the Entire Pashupatinath Temple with a Copper Roof. It is considered to be an achievement of much importance for a King of the Dark Ages.

Contributions to Kirtipur

King Sivadeva was also known for his faithful devotion to the gods. He performed penance to Valvaladevi in Kirtipur. The Penance was successful for him as he was granted with several blessings. He also built a famous building in Kirti-Bhaktapur which is present-day Kirtipur.

Infrastructural Reforms

He erected several dhungedharas, wells, and ponds at various sites around the Kathmandu Valley. Additionally, he dammed the Balkhu River, which provided much-needed irrigation and water supply to the surrounding areas.

Devotee of Pashupatinath

King Sivadeva’s devotion to the gods extended to Sri Pashupatinath. He presented the temple with a silver lotus and pindika.

Minting of Coins

King Sivadeva was also an astute ruler who promoted Nepalese Coins through its Trade Regime. He promoted silver coins bearing his name, “Sreesingh,” imprinted on them.

Religious Tolerance

King Sivadeva has been addressed in one of his manuscripts as Paramasaugata which means follower of Lord Buddha. Therefore, he would have provided equal love and respect to Buddhism and Buddhist Deities.

He himself wasn’t Buddhist as seen because of his devotion to Pashupatinath and his children also becoming followers of Pashupatinath.

Wearing Suki

King Sivadeva‘s reign also saw the renovation of the gold suki which is a traditional garment worn by Nepalese rulers. The suki was adorned with the words “Shri Shiva,” a testament to the ruler’s devotion to the god.

Gopal Raja Bansawali

Gopal Raja Bansawali on King Sivadeva
Gopal Raja Bansawali on King Sivadeva

The Precise Translation of Gopal Raja Bansawali is as follows:

Sri Sivadeva assumed the throne in Nepal in Samvat 219 and ruled for 27 years and 7 months. He covered the entire Sri Pashupati Bhattarak temple with a copper roof. Also, he performed penance to Valvaladevi in Kirtipur and dammed the Balkhu River.

A few sites had dhungedhara, wells, and ponds erected. Together with Panchpur, Charat built the foundations for Shrirajgriha.

Thereafter Sri Pashupatinath was presented with a silver lotus and pindika. Dramma was not practiced in the past; Sunaka Raktika used to act. Shivadev used to promote silver coins bearing his name, “Sreesingh,” imprinted on them.

He is clothed in a gold suki that has “Shri Shiva” carved on it. It was renovated by Purva Shikhardeva (Changunarayan) and his family.


King Sivadeva is among the important Kings of the Dark Ages. He contributed to the Religious, Social, and Infrastructural Development of Nepal.


  • Regmi, D. R. (1965). Medieval Nepal: Early medieval period, 750-1350 A.D. India: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
  • Shaha, R. (2001). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. India: Manohar.
  • Vajracharya, Dhanavajra, and Kamal P. Malla. “The Gopalraja Vamsavali” Nepal Research Centre Publications, 1985
  • Levi Sylvain: Le Nepal, Etuda Historique d’um royaume Izindou, 3 volumes, Paris, 1905
  • Kirkpatrick: An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, London, 1811.


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