Kings of Kathmandu

Introduction to Bhupalendra Malla

Bhupalendra Malla was the King of Kathmandu from 1687 A.D. to 1700 A.D. He was just eight years old when he ascended the throne after Parthivendra Malla and Nrpendra Malla. Risshilaksmi, his mother who acted as the regent during his reign.

But soon after, a minister by the name of Laxminarayan Josi took over as Chief Minister and even had his name engraved on Bhupalendra Malla’s coinage. Bhupalendra was the Grandson of Pratap Malla.

Reign of Bhupalendra Malla

Following the demise of Parthivendra, the father of Bhupalendra Malla, Lakshminarayan Josi assumed the position of Chief Minister. He viewed notable ministers such as Vamsidhara and Chikuti as possible challenges to his authority.

Then, with the assistance of Kanu and Badala Ojha, two members of the infamous Mahadeva Ojha family, Lakshminarayan Josi had Chikuti and Vamsidhara killed. Lakṣmīnārāyāṇa’s significant position in the new ruler is evidenced by his mention in Bhūpālendra’s coinage.

The chronicle states that before he passed away, Parthivendra, the father of the new king, had given Lakṣmīnārayāņa charge of his son. The queen regent was the minister’s principal aide, and his power was so strong that he entirely eclipsed the throne.

Not even Lakṣmīnārayā\a was safe from scandalous rumours. A rumour that he was having an affair with the queen regent is mentioned in the chronicle.

Lakṣmīnārayāņa was believed to spend most of his time with her and sleep at the palace. Whether or whether the rumours are accurate, they offer a fascinating look into the intrigues of the court at the time.

Thus, the authority behind the throne continued to be held by the Regent Queen Ṛddhilakṣmi when Lakshminarayan Josi was killed in 1690 A.D.

Inscription of Bhupalendra Malla

Military Dreams

Bhupalendra Malla’s relationship with his mother soured after he turned seventeen, and he soon began to assume control of the administration.

Despite his love of warfare, he did not participate in any big conflicts with nearby kingdoms. He did not capture any new territory despite his military campaigns directed against Patan and Bhadgaun.

Religious Tolerance

Bhupalendramalla is called Mahārājādhirāja Sakalarāja Chakrādhiśvara in the inscriptions. Nepāleśvararājendra, meaning “king of kings, lord of Nepal,” is inscribed on one of his coins, while Kavindra Chūḍāmaṇi Samrat, meaning “king of poets,” is on another.

The emblems of Aşṭamangala in the diagram are also present on his coinage, which has led scholars to hypothesise that he was a devoted Buddhist.

Remarkably, he is described as a devotee of Śiva in his mother’s inscription at the Śiva shrine in front of the Gaddibaiṭhak. These ostensibly incongruous inscriptions would indicate that he was accepting of various theological perspectives and had an open mind.

While on a pilgrimage in India, Bhupalendra malla passed away at a location halfway between Kashi and Ayodhya. His remains were incinerated beside the Ganges river. Moreover, he passed away too soon.

Conclusion

Lakshminarayan Josi’s strict authority over the kingdom was in place momentarily during the power struggles and assassinations that marked Bhupalendra Malla’s reign.

Additional military operations against neighbouring kingdoms took place under his reign, although they did not yield any significant territorial gains.

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

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). King Bhaskara Malla – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/kathmandu/bhaskara-malla/