Gupta's of Nepal

Introduction to Bhaum Gupta

Bhaum Gupta was a co-ruler of Nepal from 557 A.D. to 590 A.D. During his time, he held the posts of Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar. He was the chief administrator and officer of the Lichhavi Dynasty. He increased independence at local levels, and decentralized the power of the government.

He also claimed the divine title of Paramdaivat and the de facto rule of Nepal. However, his fall came after King Shivadeva rose to the throne in 590 A.D.. He removed Bhaum Gupta from politics. Amshuverma, a relative of Shivadeva, then rose to power.

Rise of Bhaum Gupta

Bhaum Gupta

In The Inscription of Pharping of 557 A.D. when Ganadeva was the King of Nepal, Bhaum Gupta had become the Prime Administrator of Nepal. Ganadeva became the King of Nepal after King Ramadeva. He was also able to the prestigious Title of “Shree” which was only conferred to Lichhavi Kings.

He was also extremely powerful within the Court of Nepal. In fact, he even claimed the Posts of Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar which meant that he was the Chief Administrator and Officer of Nepal. The King was just Puppet or De-Jure Ruler and it was Bhaum Gupta who started to exercise absolute Power Over Nepal after 557 A.D.

Position of Bhaum Gupta
Inscription of Ganadeva

Reign of Bhaum Gupta

Bhaum Gupta absolutely dominated the Politics of the Lichhavi Era for nearly 33 years starting from The Inscription of Pharping. He started to gain rapid popularity by increasing independence at Local Level. In the Inscription found at Chaukitar, he decentralized the Power of Government to Chaukitar, Balambu, Kisipidi, etc.

From the king of that time, it was observed that Kuther and Shuli could not enter these two courts. Since Sarvadandanayak Mahapratihara Shri Bhaumagupta has prayed to our lord, now this Sanad has been given to us so that the four tribunals including the Ligwal and Mapchowk cannot enter even through Panchaparadha (Panchkhat).

Inscription of Chaukitar

Bhaum Gupta also brought various administrative reforms into Nepal. He was also loyal to The Abhir Clan that inhabited the lands of Kisipidi, Balambu, Chaukitar, etc., and provided them with more freedom and independence.

Also, Bhaum Gupta claimed the Divine Title of Paramdaivat. The Term Paramdaivat is used by the Kings of Kings. He also received blessings from his Father’s Foot and claimed the De-Facto ruling of Nepal. He is said to have been the Undeclared Lichhavi King of Nepal.

Fall of Bhaum Gupta

The Fall of Bhaum Gupta occurred after the rise of King Shivadeva to the throne of Nepal in 590 A.D. He continuously tried to remain independent of him and promoted his relative Amshuverma into the Administration. He also used the help of the Commander-In-Chief and removed the son of Bhaum Gupta from the Politics of Nepal.

In the Inscription of Bishnupaduka, The Great Title of Shree was removed from Bhaum Gupta, and the Commander-in-Chief was made the Messenger of the King showing that he was slowly being battled away by Shivadeva First.

In the Inscription of 592 A.D., the name of Bhaum Gupta hasn’t even been mentioned showing that he was removed from the Politics of Nepal with a huge struggle.

After the fall of Bhaum Gupta, Amshuverma became Samanta, then Mahasamata, and then claimed the title of Maharajadhiraja for the First time in Nepali History.

Chronology of Gupta Family
Chronology of the Gupta Family

Kings Under Bhaum Gupta

Ganadeva

King Ganadeva was a weak ruler of Nepal from 557 to 565 A.D. who acted as a figurehead while the Gupta family, led by Bhaum Gupta, held the real power. During his reign, administrative inscriptions reappeared after a period of absence.

King Ganadeva ruled for only 7-8 years and little is known about his life or reign, but important events occurred, including a three-year drought and a religious battle. The Gupta family’s authority continued to grow during his reign, and The Gupta Leader became the de facto ruler of Nepal.

Gangadeva

King Gangadeva was a ruler of Nepal from the Lichhavi dynasty in the late 6th century. He was likely the son of King Ganadeva and was considered a puppet ruler to his chief advisor, Bhaum Gupta. Gupta held the most powerful positions after the monarch. The only evidence of Gangadeva’s reign is an inscription in Chapali.

Gangadeva’s reign is considered insignificant, but it includes the power and manipulation of Bhaum Gupta in the Lichhavi dynasty. There is a gap in the Lichhavi history of Nepal after Gangadeva’s reign until 590 A.D.

King Shivadeva

King Shivadeva was a Lichhavi King of Nepal who ruled from 590 to 604 A.D. He introduced significant reforms in Nepal, including administrative, social, environmental, Guthi land, and economic reforms. He also protected the forests and was tolerant of various religions.

King Shivadeva ousted the Gupta family from the administration of the Lichhavi Dynasty, with the support of Chief Army Commander Kulpradir and his relative Amshuverma. However, King Shivadeva’s importance decreased when he gave his royal power to Amshuvarma instead of his son Udayadeva, and he became a Buddhist monk after his abdication. His reign lasted for around 14 years, and his character was honest and good.

Conclusion

Bhaum Gupta acted as the co-ruler of Nepal from 557 A.D. to 590 A.D. He was the Leader of the Gupta Family. He was the eldest Son of Anuparam Gupta and Abhiri Gomini. He was dominant during the reign of Ganadeva, Gangadeva, and Shivadeva as well. After his death, Amshuverma rose as Samanta and Mahasamanta of Nepal.

References

  • 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.

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). Bhaum Gupta – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/lichhavi-figures/bhaum-gupta/