Early Malla KIngs of Nepal

Introduction to Early Malla Kings

The Early Medieval Period, starting from 1200 A.D., was ruled by Malla Kings led by Ari Malla, House Bhonta led by Jayabhimadeva, and House Tripura (also Malla) led by Jayasimha Malla. These Malla Kings, till 1350 A.D., saw repeated Invasions and difficulties.

After 1350 A.D., Nepal entered an era of much prosperity with the Rise of Females of House Tripura and Jayastithi Malla. The Most Famous Kings of this Era are Ananta Malla, Jayastithi Malla, Jayajyotir Malla, and Yaksha Malla.

List of Early Malla Kings

Ari Malla (1200-1216 A.D.)

Ari Malla was the first Malla King of Nepal, who ruled from 1200 A.D. to 1216 A.D. He established the Malla Dynasty in Nepal, which continued for over 500 years. Ari Malla faced several natural Catastrophes, according to Gopala Raj Bansawali. His reign began in the Early Medieval Period in Nepal.

Abhay Malla (1216-1255 A.D.)

Abhay Malla was the second king of the Early Medieval Period who ruled for 39 years during disasters such as earthquakes, famine, internal rebellion, and external invasion. His reign was an unlucky one. Tirhut Kingdom attacked him three times, but he successfully defended his kingdom. He died from injuries sustained during an earthquake. The Earthquake also killed one-third of Nepal’s population.

Jayadeva Malla (1255-1258 A.D.)

Jayadeva Malla was a ruler of the Early Medieval Period for three years, from 1255 A.D. to 1258 A.D. He was the son of Abhay Malla and the grandson of Ari Malla. Natural calamities occurred during his reign as well. He died on March 19, 1258 A.D.

Jayabhimadeva (1258-1271 A.D.)

Jayabhimadeva belonged to the Powerful House Bhonta and ruled Nepal from 1258 to 1271 AD. He came to power after the death of Jayadeva Malla and his two sons as it led to a Power Vacuum. Jayabhimadeva temporarily helped King Jayadeva Malla rule before a settlement between the Bhonta and Tripura royal families declared they would alternate ruling Nepal.

External invasions continued to cause damage to Nepal. Jayabhimadeva had two sons and sold treasures from the Changunarayan Temple.

Jayasimha Malla (1271-1274 A.D.)

Jayasimha Malla was a leader of the Tripura Royal Family who ruled the Early Medieval Period for two years and seven months from 1271 to 1274 A.D. However, not much is known about how his reign began and ended. He endowed the Pashupatinath with Valuables and Gifts. He was later deposed from Power by House Bhonta

It paved the way for Ananta Malla to become the King of Nepal. Jayasimha Malla was seen as a reformative king in the Gopal Raja Bansawali despite his short reign.

Ananta Malla (1274-1308 A.D.)

Ananta Malla was a puppet ruler of Nepal in the Early Medieval Period who ruled for 34 years from 1274 AD to 1308 AD. He was supported by House Bhonta and succeeded Jayabhimadeva and Jayasimha Malla. Foreign Relations with Tibet and China were extended during his reign as he sent Araniko to Tibet to build a stupa for the Emperor of China.

The Reign of Ananta Malla also consisted of External Invasions from the Khas Malla Kingdom and Tirhut Kingdoms. A Conflict also arose between House Bhonta and House Tripura.

Jayanandadeva (1308-1320 A.D.)

Jayanandadeva was the king of the Early Medieval Period from 1308 to 1320 for 12 years. He was the youngest son of Jayabhimadeva and was chosen as the king by the same house they were fighting against. He was a puppet ruler of Jayarudra Malla and had no real power.

Jayari Malla (1320-1344 A.D.)

Jayari Malla was the King of the Early Medieval Period from 1320 to 1344 AD. He was a de-jure king with no real power, as Jayarudra Malla of the Tripura Royal Family was the de facto ruler of Nepal during his reign. The Tripura Royal Family installed Jayari Malla on the throne after Jayanandadeva, another puppet ruler.

The Tirhut Kingdom was invaded during his reign, and King Harisimhadeva died in Dolakha. The females of House Tripura had started to dominate early medieval politics by then.

Jayarajadeva (1347-1361 A.D.)

Jayarajadeva was a king of the Early Medieval Period from 1347 A.D. to 1361 A.D. He became king after an agreement between three powerful families in Nepal. During his reign, a Muslim invader named Shumshud-din Illiyas attacked Nepal.

He caused destruction and damage that set back Nepalese Development for several decades and centuries. Jayastithi Malla was married to Devaladevi during the reign of Jayarajadeva.

Jayarjunadeva (1361-1382 A.D.)

Jayarjunadeva was a king who ruled the Early Medieval Period from 1361 A.D. to 1382 A.D. for 21 years until Jayastithi Malla took over. He was a weak king who didn’t have much power. He was made king because his father was the king before him. Two other families were more powerful in Nepal during his reign.

They were the Tripura Royal Family and the Vardhana Family. There was a lot of conflict between them, and Jayarjunadeva was caught in the middle. He was sent on a pilgrimage, which was exile, and he died there in 1382 A.D.

Jayastithi Malla (1382-1395 A.D.)

Jayastithi Malla was the eleventh Malla king who ruled the Early Medieval Period from 1382 A.D. to 1395 A.D. He established Multiple Rules and Regulations and made the Dharmashastras relevant to Nepalese Society.

He brought Social, Economic, Cultural, and Political Reforms to Nepal and established the Malla Dynasty. He further codified the Varna Vyavastha in the context of Nepal.

Jayadharma Malla (1395-1408 A.D.)

Jayadharma Malla was the son of King Jayastithi Malla and Queen Rajalladevi in Bhaktapur. He became the King of the Early Medieval Period in 1395 A.D. after his father’s death and ruled with his two brothers. Jayadharma Malla was given the highest status of royalty and titles such as Rajadhiraja and Maharajadhiraja.

Jayasimharama, the son of Anekarama, was actively involved in Politics even during the reign of Jayadharma Malla.

Jayajyotir Malla (1408-1428 A.D.)

Jayajyotir Malla was a king who ruled Nepal from 1408 A.D. to 1428 A.D. after Jayadharma Malla. He defeated other Aristocratic Feudal Lords and Opposition and implemented the Laws introduced by Jayastithi Malla. He brought Political Stability and established himself and his Dynasty as the ruling Dynasty all over the Kathmandu Valley and its Peripery.

Yaksha Malla (1428-1482 A.D.)

Yaksha Malla was the last King of the Early Medieval Period born in 1408 A.D. He became the King of Nepal in 1428 A.D. and ruled for 52 years until his death in 1482 A.D.

Yaksha Malla expanded the Boundaries of Nepal, maintain Political Stability until his death and promoted Progress and multi-faceted Development. However, he failed to choose a rightful heir and divided the Kingdom among his children to the Downfall of the Malla Dynasty.

After his death, Nepal was divided into the Kingdom of Patan, the Kingdom of Bhadgaon, and the Kingdom of Kantipur.


In Conclusion, the Early Malla Kings were the most unfortunate in terms of Instability and Invasion. However, After the Reign of Yaksha Malla and the eventual division of Nepal, the Three Malla Kings were actively involved in Trade and other forms of International Relations that brought Economic Development and Cultural Prosperity.


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