Prithivi Narayan Shah was not the founder of Nepal

Prithvi Narayan Shah did not unify Nepal. He “Re Unified” her.

It is commonly known among people that before 300 years Nepal was divided in small states and a king of gorkha decided to unite the entire states into a nation. But how did the king of a small kingdom have such idea and why did he name the nation Nepal after reunification and not Gorkha as he as was the king of Gorkha. The answer would be he knew that a great kingdom called Nepal existed before it was split in smaller kingdoms. What was the history before that. Is prithivi narayan shah the founder of Nepal?

The answer would be a big No. There is a difference between unification and reunification. Prithivi Narayan Shah did not create Nepal. Nepal existed long before him. The asoka pillar with the word Nepal made by King Asoka, the diplomatic letters of Samundragupta to her neighboring country Nepal, the chapter of Nepal Mahatmya in Skanda Puran, the mention of Nepal by chinese travellers all prove that Nepal existed long before Prithivi Narayan Shah.

Not only that Nepal existed in her glorious in the time of licchhavi and the mallas(newar). During the period of licchhavis Nepal occupied Vaisali and Videha and magnificient architectures like Changunarayan temple, kailashkut existed. During the time of mallas in the valley too king Ari Malla ruled a vast Nepal but later the country was divided only due to weak administration.

The kirats ruled kathmandu valley and the eastern part of Nepal and are even attributed to have been participated in the Mahabharata War contributing soldier to neighbouring Kamarupa which shows how big Nepal was. The gopals and mahispalas though not well documented are said to be existed during the time of lord Krishna.

So Nepal took many shapes sometimes spanning areas of modern uttar pradesh, vihar to uttarakhand and sometimes being limited to areas between tamakoshi and gandaki but the country of Nepal existed with a documented history of at least 3000 years and undocumented history of 5000 years. Prithivi Narayan Shah thus should be attributed as for the re-unification of Nepal as not as the founder of Nepal.

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Sagun Siwakoti is an Information System Graduate, Web Consultant and IT expert from Nepal who have been working with various Software development companies like Spark Tech, Sunbi Design Studio and Any Tech. He has also been working as IT Supervisor for Kathmandu School of Law. He is a Entrepreneur and runs his own business with Mantra IT Solutions.


  1. people in early days used to refer kathmandu as Nepal but a question may be arised that how the places outside the kathmandu valley are also mentioned as Nepal in literatures. But personally I believe that the will of Mr. Prithvi Narayan Shah was never to make a Nepal but only to expand his kingdom and as you mentioned if he wanted to unite he would never state the name of his kingdom as NEPAL so he did for his personal interest. Just a small opinion but i will read whatever you write coz i just love your knowledgebase.

    1. maybe it was mix of both. yes Nepal refered to valley centered kingdom. Once it was as small as kathmandu bhaktapur lalitpur. At other times it was as big as between tamakoshi and gandaki and at other times even bigger than modern Nepal. Nepal was a historical kingdom which was 3000 years old so we should not confuse it for 300 years by prithvi narayan shah

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