Gupta's of Nepal

Introduction to Kramlil

Maharaja Mahasamanta Kramlil is one of the least talked about Co-Ruler of Nepal. He dominated the Lichhavi Era Politics of Nepal for nearly two decades and even claimed the Title of Maharaja to highlight his power and position. He co-ruled Nepal from at least 529 A.D. to 545 A.D.

Rise of Kramlil

Kramlil is one of the most mysterious Co-Rulers in Nepal. His identity and ancestry are unknown and not even mentioned in various Inscriptions.

Despite not having the royal ‘Sri’ attached to his name, his title of ‘Mahasamanta’ suggests that he belonged to a dynasty. However, it is unclear whether he was a Lichhavi, as the ‘Dev’ title was not added to his name. In any case, he was a great feudatory of the Licchhavi king and served as the assistant ruler of Basantadeva.

Kramlil seems to have supported Ravi Gupta during his reign, ultimately leading to his downfall. A big scandal broke out less than a year after his inscriptions were written, which ended Basantadeva and resulted in the death of Ravi Gupta. The Inscription of Bhasmeswara indicate that The Feudal Overlord had a hand in ending Ravi Gupta’s reign.

Reign of Kramlil


Feudal Overlord Kramlil continued to exercise absolute Power till the reign of the King. In the Inscription of Pashupatinath of 545 A.D., it has been written that:

In the Shivling inscription on the side of Pashupati Aryaghat of 545 A.D. it is written that “Maharaja Mahasamanta Srikramlil is living a great life when Bhattarakmaharajashriramdev ruled for more than a hundred years (long time).”

It is important to see Lichchavi as an assistant ruler of the king. In the record written by the people, he is honored as “Kushal Ahar” . After writing the name of King Ramdev, it is clear that the Feudal Overlord had a special place in the immediate central administration.

As Kramlil suddenly appears in the center in AD 532 and reappears in AD 545 after a long gap of 12 years, his personality and activities have become mysterious.

Jagadish Chandra Regmi on the Feudal Overlord

Kings During The Reign of Kramlil


King Basantadeva was a ruler of Nepal from 506 AD to 532 AD and was the first king to document Nepal’s administration through inscriptions. He became king at the age of 15 after the death of his father. Basantadeva has been described as a virtuous, kind, charitable, and clever king who gave a village to his sister. He was the grandson of Manadeva.

In his reign, the rise of the Gupta family and Kramlil, who became influential in Nepal and established a de-facto rule, happened. Ravi Gupta dominated the last years of his reign. He was an assistant ruler and ran the government alongside the king. Basantadeva’s reign ended in 532 AD amidst a scandal that also ended the power of Ravi Gupta.


King Manudeva succeeded King Basantadeva in 532 AD as the King of Nepal, although there is uncertainty about his reign due to the lack of evidence. However, inscriptions suggest he ruled from 532 AD to 538 AD, during which the feudal lord Mahasamanta Kramlil was dominant.

An inscription found in Budhanilkantha mentions King Manudeva and a statue of Mahadev was installed during his reign. King Manudeva is one of many kings in Nepali history whose reigns are known but has little historical significance.


King Vamanadeva was the ruler of Nepal in 538 AD, succeeding King Manadeva. While he is not mentioned in important genealogies, an inscription found in Sankhu confirms his rule over Nepal. It is unclear how long he ruled or his relationships with other monarchs.

He was not a significant historical figure and was likely overshadowed by powerful families like the Guptas and Mahasamata Kramlil. The inscription suggests that Vamana Swami was worshipped, indicating the influence of Vaishnavism in the Lichhavi Kings’ reign.


King Ramadeva was a ruler of the Lichhavi Dynasty in Nepal in 545 AD. However, he is considered one of the least known and insignificant kings of his dynasty with little to no historical significance. There is very little information available about his identity and personality.

The only inscription mentioning him also reveals that a feudal lord named Maharaj Maha Samanta Kramlil had gained substantial powers during his reign.


Kramlil is the most mysterious Feudal Overlord in the History of the Lichhavi Dynasty in Nepal. He exercised considerable power, influence, and opulence during the reign of Kings such as Basantadeva, Manudeva, Vamanadeva, and Ramadeva and even claimed the Title of Maharaja Mahasamata paving the way for Amshuverma to do so later on.


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  • Shaha, R. (2001). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. India: Manohar.
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  • Levi Sylvain: Le Nepal, Etuda Historique d’um royaume Izindou, 3 volumes, Paris, 1905
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Pokhrel, A. (2023). Kramlil – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.