Lichhavi King

Introduction to King Shankaradeva

King Shankaradeva was the eldest son of King Vrishadeva and the Grandfather of King Manadeva of the Lichhavi Dynasty. He was a brave and independent King who was coveted for both bravery and wisdom according to the Changunarayan Inscription of King Manadeva.

He ruled wisely as a Lichhavi King, which led to the prosperity of Nepal. He was known for his prowess and bravery, which earned him great fame. However, apart from this, not much else is known about him.

He is one of the lesser-known Kings of the Lichhavi Dynasty as there are no inscriptions in the name of King Shankaradeva.

Life of Shankaradeva

As discovered through the Inscriptions of Nepal, Vrishadeva had many sons who were well-trained and brave. Among them, Shankaradeva ascended to the throne after his father’s passing.

However, it is still unclear whether he became the king because he was the eldest or due to his unique abilities. Unfortunately, not much information about this is available even in the Pashupatinath Inscription of Jayadeva.

All we know is that he became the king after Vrishadeva. As King Vrishadeva freed Nepal from the Gupta Empire, there were huge responsibilities for King Shankaradeva to maintain the independence of Nepal.

For that matter, King Shanakaradeva succeeded in continuing the legacy of King Vrishadeva, or else the History of Nepal would be much different. For decades King Shankaradeva and his successors including Manadeva ruled with valor and influence over Nepal.

Historian Bajracharya mentions that Lichhavi Kings saw themselves as public servants, rather than rulers in the traditional sense. It is possible that he shared this mindset, and that his reign was characterized by a focus on public service and protecting the state. However, it could also be an act of Glorification of the Lichhavi Kings from Bajracharya.

He ruled Nepal for a specific period which was generally eventless. He also had many sons among which the eldest was Dharmadeva. Dharmadeva became the King of Nepal after Shankaradeva.

Ruling Period of Shankaradeva

Shankaradev’s reign is given as 40 years in various chronicles. While there is no way to confirm this with certainty, it is said that he ruled from around 383 AD to 423 AD. It meant that he ruled over Nepal in a time of relative peace and prosperity.

Inscriptions about Shankaradeva

Changunarayan Inscription on King Shankaradeva

“His (Vrishadeva’s) son, Shankardeva, rose to become an unrivaled ruler who grew the nation, was swift and impenetrable in combat, and was a profound intellect.

As a lion, Shankardev has attained enormous fame via bravery, splendor, and wealth and has safeguarded the world by exercising authority. “

(Extracted from The Lichhavikalin Abhilekh By Dhanabajra Bajracharya)


To conclude, he isn’t the most important or valuable of the Kings in the Lichhavi Dynasty. He was the precursor to the future of the Lichhavi Dynasty which would be forever cemented as the Golden Age in the History of Nepal with Economic and Intellectual development and achievements.


  • 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 Shankaradeva – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.