Conquest of Nuwakot

Introduction to Conquest of Nuwakot

In 1744 C.E., Prithvi Narayan Shah and his military made up their minds to attack Nuwakot. It was a major trade center and acted as a bridge between Tibet and Kantipur.

Thus, victory over Nuwakot was fundamental to defeating the Triad of Kathmandu Valley. i.e Kantipur, Patan and Bhadgaon.

Preparation of Conquest of Nuwakot

The soldiers of Gorkha acted as farmers and dressed as farmers. Cleverly disguising themselves, they acted as making an irrigation tunnel from Trishuli. In the evening, they marched and practiced for their eventual attack. Spies were also sent to understand the situation of Nuwakot.

P.N. Shah decided to attack Nuwakot in the Rainy Season. Rainy Season is believed to be resting time, especially in hilly areas. The King, The Kaji, and The Priest set the date of the attack in secrecy. Neither Jayaprakash Malla nor Jayanta Rana had predicted this change of strategy.

As Jayanta Rana was the chief protector of Nuwakot. Hence, P.N. Shah with honor requested Jayanta Rana to return back and come to Gorkha once again. Jayanta Rana respectfully denied it saying that he has eaten the salt of Jayaprakash Malla and is loyal to him.

After finding out that Nuwakot would be under attack, Jayanta Rana traveled to Kantipur to request further troops. He provided the duties of command to his son Sankhamani Rana.

Attack Over Nuwakot

The best time for the attack was set for 26th September. Hence, on the 25th of September night, the Army of Gorkha crossed the Trishuli River and divided itself into three parts. First, Under the Leadership of Kalu Pande. Second, Under the leadership of Mahodimkirti Shah. Third, Under the Leadership of Prithivi Narayan Shah.

The brother of Prithvi Narayan Shah, Dalmardan Shah was 14 years old. As he was young, Dalmardan was forbidden to come to the attack. However, he sneaked out with a small sword and Shield and joined Kalu Pande.

In the morning, Kalu Pande and his army attacked Nuwakot. The soldiers were not ready to counter and chaos ensued. The Chant of Jayakali, Jaya Gorakhnath, and Jaya Manakamana could be heard throughout. The commander of Nuwakot, Sankhamani Rana was surrounded. He had suffered some minor injuries and nothing else.

After getting surrounded, he attacked the easiest target he could find. Dalmardan Shah. One couldn’t expect Dalmardan to fight such an attack. But, in his defense, Dalmardan hit Sankhamani with a blow to the head.

He died because of the injury. The Remaining Malla soldiers flew away to Belkot. The bravery of Dalmardan Shah contributed to the Conquest of Nuwakot

After the Gorkhali became victorious, they gathered themselves and King P.N. Shah entered the Palace of Nuwakot.

The news of Nuwakot’s shortcomings had arrived at Kathmandu. So, Jayaprakash Malla provided Jayanta Rana with soldiers. Jayanta Rana, however, was not confident. He was grieving the death of his son.

Therefore, instead of attacking Nuwakot, he collected his army in Belkot. He was offered peace and negotiation by P.N. Shah which he denied. Hence, Kalu Pande and P.N. Shah hatched a plan to capture him. This was the final hurdle in the Conquest of Nuwakot.

P.N. Shah went after Belkot and the defense of Malla’s army caused him to panic and retreat. When he was retreating, Kalu Pande arrived at the moment with his powerful army and pulled off an aggressive attack against the defensive Malla’s shattering their defense and defeating them. Jayanta Rana was also captured. It didn’t end here.

P.N. Shah told his soldiers to Kill Jayanta Rana By tearing off the skin from his body. The outer layer of Jayanta Rana’s body was torn off slowly until he died.

This inhumanity shown by P.N. Shah warned anyone who wanted to revolt and stands against the Gorkhali King ending the chance of Mutiny within the Gorkhali Army.

In the end, after two unsuccessful attempts, the Conquest of Nuwakot was finally completed by Gorkha in 1744 C.E. This victory was beneficial economically due to trade, agriculturally due to fertile lands, and politically due to a better military position.

Hence, P.N. Shah made his headquarters after the Conquest of Nuwakot in Nuwakot itself, forgetting his homeland completely.

Fourth Battle of Nuwakot


After the Conquest of Nuwakot, Shah planned on attacking Sakhu, Sindupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, and Dolakha. This attack was done under the leadership of Shivaram Singh Basnet. Shivaram Singh Basnet was successfully repealed by Kashiram Thapa.

Kashiram Thapa negotiated with Jayaprakash Malla. Jayaprakash made him the Commander-in-Chied of the army against Nuwakot. Kashiram was also provided authority over Naldum.

Kashiram planned on attacking Nuwakot in 1746 C.E. on 24th February. That attack caused the death of Shivaram Singh Basnet. This caused great grief over the plan of P.N. Shah and the children and wives of Shivaram Singh Basnet.

When Kashiram Thapa reached Nuwakot, he was ambushed by the 1200 soldiers under Kalu Pande. He was defeated and retired to his home in Sindupalchowk. Kashiram Thapa was later massacred by Jayaprakash Malla.

This caused an uprising against Jayaprakash Malla and his son Jyotiprakash Malla became King from 1746 C.E. TO 1752 C.E.

P.N. Shah used the death of Kashiram Thapa as a diplomatic tool. He urged Kashiram’s Brother Parshuram Thapa to avenge Jayaprakash with the help of Ranjit Malla. Jayaprakash Malla was avenged. Parsuram opened the gates of Sindupalchowk and other Key locations and the army of P.N. Shah entered without difficulties.

Hence, Sakhu and Changu were returned to Ranajita Malla. Parshuram Thapa controlled Sindupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Dolakha, etc. P.N. Shah kept Namudam, Mahadevpokhari etc. The clauses of these agreements were changed as needed.

Consequences of Conquest of Nuwakot

After the Conquest of Nuwakot and making peace among the courtiers of Kathmandu, Ranajita Malla of Bhaktapur and House Thapa, P.N. Shah decided to capture Tistung, Palung, and Chitlang after the Conquest of Nuwakot which he did.

Also, he wanted to capture Lamidanda which was a strategic location for Military purposes. Tanahu also wanted Lamidanda.

King Visnu Malla of Patan and Kalu Pande exchanged letters where similar to Kantipur who gave Nuwakot, Lalitpur should also give Lamidanda to Gorkha.

They agreed with a clause that the locals would be allowed to fetch wood and other resources. Hence, P.N. Shah obtained Lamidanda and provided a part of it to the King of Tanahu.

Interesting Story: The King of Tanahu was shocked and angered by this. To avenge Shah, he looked at the faces of one of the mistresses of P.N. Shah who was traveling to Kashi. P.N. Shah was infuriated and hatched a plan to imprison the King. He falsely said that he wanted to conduct a treaty with the King of Tanahu.

When the King of Tanahu arrived, the disguised army of P.N. Shah captured and imprisoned him. He was later escaped by other generals of Gorkha. This incident shows that P.N. Shah was not as mature and thoughtful as he would later be. He lacked the virtues of an Ideal King.

After the conquest of Nuwakot, the Conquest of Lamidanda, and other areas, the Area of the Kingdom of Gorkha had doubled by that time. The people of these areas were given Gorkhali Citizenship and respect. Hence, through the support of these citizens, Dahachowk was captured by P.N. Shah in 1954 C.E.

While P.N. Shah was busy with his plans for Dahachowk. Jayaprakash Malla attacked Mahadevpokhari and Namudam killing the generals except one. P.N. Shah regained his territories after defeating the army of Kantipur.

He also sent his messengers to Dolakha and the public of Dolakha easily agreed to be part of Gorkha. Hence, P.N. Shah extended his territory to Dudhkoshi in the east.

After the Conquest of Nuwakot and an Incident with the King of Tanahu, the Kingdoms of Lamjung, Tanahu, Parbat, and Kaski united to construct a western front. P.N. Shah tried to manipulate the King of Kaski but failed.

Soon, the United Army of the Four Kingdoms attacked the Borders of Gorkha in Sihranchowk. The King of Bhaktapur and Parshuram Thapa were also united against Prithvi Narayan Shah.

Every important courtier of The Kingdom of Gorkha traveled to Gorkha and hatched an efficient plan to counter the United Front. They cut the supplies of the United Front and the soldiers began starving.

After deciding the auspicious time, P.N. Shah and his army attacked the divided Western Front. The Gorkhalis bravely battled against the Western Front and successfully defeated them ending the revolt for a temporary period. The Conquest of Nuwakot became actually successful after the fourth battle of Nuwakot.


After the Conquest of Nuwakot and other towns, he also tackled the rising revolts and counter-attacks. Then, he set his sights on Two Important places before conquering the Valley. The First was Kirtipur and the second was Makwanpur.

He desired to obtain these kingdoms despite the difficulties that followed it. Defeating these Kingdoms would mean encircling the Kathmandu Valley. Hence, he was very aggressive in these places after the conquest of Nuwakot.

But tragically, it cost him Tens of years and most important of all men. So, the Conquest of Kirtipur and Makwanpur will be visited in detail. These were the complete details of the Conquest of Nuwakot.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Conquest of Nuwakot – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.