Lichhavi King

Introduction to King Ganadeva

King Ganadeva was the ruler of the Lichhavi Dynasty from 557 A.D. to 565 A.D. He was a very weak ruler of Nepal with little to no practical power. He acted as the De-Jure King for Bhaum Gupta, the De-Facto Ruler of the then Nepal.

His descendants exercised significant Power over Nepal in the 6th and 7th Centuries before King Narendradeva. The Reign of Ganadeva is important because many inscriptions related to the Administration of Nepal during the Lichhavi Dynasty were properly recorded.

After the end of the reign of King Basantadeva in 532 A.D., there were no inscriptions related to the administration of Nepal. It was during the reign of King Ganadeva that administrative records reappeared again.

For Example: In the Inscriptions of Pharping, Bhaum Gupta ( A Powerful De-Facto Ruler of Nepal, similar to Amshuverma) had become the Mahapratihar and Sarva Dandanayak (Two Highly Powerful Positions).

Life of King Ganadeva

King Ganadeva ruled Nepal for a meager 8 years. He succeeded Ramadeva and Vamanadeva as the King of Nepal. The Parents and the Children of the King are also unknown and there are no specific details about his spouses according to Jagadish Chandra Regmi.

King Ganadeva was a soft and weak ruler who was easily controlled by Bhaum Gupta. Even the employees of his administration do not pay enough respect to him.

After 565 A.D., he cannot be seen in any of the inscriptions. It hints that he was either removed by Bhaum Gupta or died. He was replaced as the King of Nepal by King Gangadeva.

Events in the Reign of King Ganadeva

Although Ganadeva ruled Nepal for a short period of 7-8 years, some important events occurred during his reign that shed further light on the Socio-Economic Situation of Nepal.


Gopal Raja Bansawali states King Shree Ganadeva ruled Nepal for 45 Years. For three years during his rule, there was no rain in Nepal. With the hope of receiving rain, Mahanaga Rituals were carried out.

He assembled a gem-filled treasure chest and presented it to Sri Pashupati Bhattarak. As a result, it rained heavily. The public was satisfied.

King Ganadeva is also important as he built a small temple near the Pashupati-Deupatan.

Religious Battles

According to Dhana Bajra Bajracharya, during the period of Ganadeva, Buddhism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism were in conflict with each other. During Ganadev’s time, there seems to be a conflict between Buddhism, Shaivism, and Vishnu sects.

The Influence of Buddhism slowly declined in Nepal and Vaishnavism was rapidly promoted throughout Lichhavi Nepal.

For this reason, Swami Vritta, a government employee took the approval of Bhaum Gupta and founded Shankar Narayan. Shankar Narayan is the form of Adi Shaiva and Adi Vishnu. This can be understood as an attempt to bring religious unity to Nepal.

Authority of Bhaum Gupta

King Ganadeva, despite being an official Lichhavi King wasn’t Powerful as a Monarch should be. The Gupta Family under Bhaum Gupta was handling the administration of Nepal with complete authority. Bhaum Gupta had become the de-facto ruler of Nepal. He was even called Shree and Heavenly in some of the inscriptions.

Inscriptions of King Ganadeva and Bhaum Gupta

Inscription of Chaukitar

In this Inscription, Administrative Tribunals of Ancient Nepal: Kuther (Land Revenue), and Sholla (Heinous Crimes), weren’t allowed to Enter the Village of Chaukitar. In the Lichhavi Period, People didn’t need to come to get service, the people representing the office came to the specific village.

Inscription of Satungal

This Inscription consists of the administrative Division of Nepal into Gram, Tala, and Drang. Gram is a small village consisting of 10-100 Houses. If there are two or more Grams that are near each other, they become Tala. One of the examples is the Shitatika Tala near Thankot Area. The combination of Grams and Tala forms Drang.

Inscription of Deupatan

Those people who were employed by the Government in the Lichhavi Dynasty were called Britta. This Inscription is written by Swami Britta.

Gopal Raja Bansawali on King Ganadeva

Gopal Raja Bansawali on King Ganadeva
Gopal Raja Bansawali on King Ganadeva


Although he isn’t considered an instrumental figure in the History of Nepal, he needs to be remembered because of the rise of the Gupta Family in Nepal through Bhaum Gupta. Also, Important events such as a three-year drought and a religious battle happened in Nepal during his reign.


  • Regmi, D. R. (1983). Inscriptions of Ancient Nepal. India: Abhinav Publications.
  • Vajracharya, Dhanavajra “Lichhavikalka Abhilekh” INAS, 1973
  • Vajracharya, Dhanavajra, and Kamal P. Malla. “The Gopalraja Vamsavali” Nepal Research Centre Publications, 1985
  • Regmi, Jagadish Chandra. “Pracin Nepalko Rajnitik Itihas” Royal Nepal Academy, 2035 B.S.
  • Poudel, Nayanath “Bhasa Vansavali Part I” Puratatva Prakashan Mala, 2020 B.S.


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