Kings of Gorkha

Introduction to Kings of Gorkha

The Kings of Gorkha, from Drabya Shah to Prithvi Narayan Shah, consistently increased Gorkha’s Power, Territory, and Economy. It was a Small Hill Kingdom of North-Central Nepal ruled by Khadka Kings before the 16th Century. After Drabya Shah attacked Gorkha for the second time, he was proclaimed the King of Gorkha.

The Kings of Gorkha constantly attempted to expand their Borders with attempts from Ram Shah, Prithvipati Shah and Narbhupal Shah. After the rise of Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1799 A.D., he expanded Gorkha to Sikkim in the East and Tanahu in the West.

List of Kings of Gorkha

Drabya Shah

Drabya Shah was the founder of the Gorkha Kingdom in 1558 A.D. He defeated the Khadka King and established the Shah Dynasty. He ruled Gorkha for 11 years before his death. Drabya Shah was born as the youngest son of King Yasobikram Shah of Lamjung.

Drabya Shah conquered Ligligkot and then attacked Gorkha. He successfully killed the Khadka King and became the King of Gorkha. He established the Cha Thar Ghar.

Purna Shah

Purna Shah was the King of the Gorkha Kingdom from 1569 A.D. to 1604 A.D. Purna Shah extended the territory of Gorkha and maintained relations with Tanahu and Barpak. He also faced a Blockade and tried to expand to Dhading.

Chatra Shah

Chatra Shah was the King of Gorkha for one year from 1605 A.D. He succeeded to the throne after his father’s death. He successfully conquered Barpak after defeating its King. He also planned to attack the Kathmandu Valley. King Ram Shah succeeded him.

Ram Shah

Ram Shah was one of the greatest kings of Gorkha, reigning from 1606 A.D. to 1633 A.D. He brought developments and Reforms in the domains of Economy, Administration, Judiciary and Law. He also wrote the 26 Thithis, which prescribed the Royal Decorum in Gorkha, complimented with additional Laws.

He also improved his Diplomatic relations of Gorkha with the Kathmandu Valley, but it worsened with the Kingdoms of the West with several attacks. He established Gorkha as a Kingdom of Justice and Fairness. He hired Administrators from the Cha Thar Ghar and brought changes intimate to the daily lives of his Citizens.

Dambar Shah

Dambar Shah served as the King of Gorkha from 1633 A.D. to 1642 A.D. He ascended to the throne following a dream of his father, King Ram Shah. He was the most powerful King in the Kathmandu Valley. He also visited Lalitpur but got attacked.

Krishna Shah

Krishna Shah was the sixth Shah King of the Gorkha Kingdom and ruled for 11 years from 1643 A.D. to 1654 A.D. He was a Peaceful and Religious King. He avoided conflicts to the extent Possible and established peace during his reign. After his reign, his son Rudra Shah succeeded him as the King of Gorkha.

Rudra Shah

Rudra Shah was the eldest son of King Krishna Shah and the seventh King of the Kingdom of Gorkha. He ruled Gorkha from 1654 A.D. to 1668 A.D. Historians have conflicted in the length of his reign, either 11 or 17 years.

He, unlike his Father, suffered from a conflictual environment. The Kingdom of Lamjung launched an aggressive attack on Gorkha and nearly defeated it. The Finances of Gorkha also deteriorated during his reign.

Prithvipati Shah

Prithvipati Shah was the eldest son of King Rudra Shah and Queen Purnavati and who ruled Gorkha for 47 years from 1668 to 1715. He had a large royal family with six queens, 12 sons, and two daughters. His son and Heir, Ranashardul Shah, killed himself and he was left heirless. He faced conflicts with Lamjung.

Narbhupal Shah

Narbhupal Shah was the grandson of Prithvipati Shah, who ruled Gorkha for 26 years from 1716 to 1742. He was a Religious and Peaceful King although he lauched an unsuccessful attack on Nuwakot. He also defended Gorkha against the attack of Tanahu and Lamjung. He engaged in a Treaty with Lamjung. When he passed away in 1742 A.D. his son Prithvi Narayan Shah became the new king of Gorkha.


The Kings of Gorkha, especially Ram Shah and Prithvipati Shah, were integral in maintaining the Sovereignty of Gorkha and expanding it culturally and economically. It actively participated in Trade and provided the foundation for Prithvi Narayan Shah to conquer Gorkha.


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Pokhrel, A. (2023). Kings of Gorkha – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.