Timeline of ancient and medieval Nepal (until 1768)

This timeline includes key events of history of ancient Nepal. This timeline also gives some events in the world related or unrelated to Nepal to give the idea of timeframe. *being updated

Pre-History

12.2 Millions years ago: Fossils of ancient hominoids  (Ramapithecus, later named Sivapithecus) found near the Tinau river, Butwal, Nepal (by Sivalic hills) in 1932 AD is estimated to be about 12.2 millions years old.

Ancient History 

9000 BCE: Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years.

3300-1300 BCE: Indus Valley Civilization in present day Pakistan. 

1400 BCE - 700 BCE: Rule of Gopal dynasty in Central Nepal followed by Mahsipal dyansty (according to the Gopal Vansavali). Bhuktaman was the first king and Yakshya gupta was the last king. Mahispal dyanysty (Ahiras) ruled after Gopals for 200 years.

1100 BCE-500 BCE: Videha kingdom established in present day south central Nepal and Bihar India in the late Vedic Period. King Janak ruled from Janakpurdham, Nepal. Hindu goddess Sita was the daughter of king Janak. (according to the Hindu epic Ramayana)

1000 BCE: Sky Caves found in Mustang, Nepal (wiki) is estimated to be as old as 3000 years. There are some 10,000 man-made caves dug into the sides of valleys about 100m above the surface.

Kirat Dynasty

800 BC - 300 CE: Kirat era in central Nepal. List of Kirat Kings 1. Yalamber 2. Pavi 3. Skandhar 4. Balamba, 5. Hriti, 6. Humati, 7. Jitedasti (Buddha period 540 BCE), 8. Galinja, 9. Pushka, 10. Suyarma, 11. Papa, 12. Bunka, 13. Swananda, 14. Sthunko (around 250 BC, Ashoka in India) 15. Jinghri, 16. Nane, 17. Luka, 18. Thor, 19. Thoko, 20. Verma, 21. Guja, 22. Pushkar, 23. Keshu, 24. Suja, 25. Sansa, 26. Gunam 27. Khimbu, 28. Patuka, 29. Gasti.

563 BCE : Siddartha Gautam (Buddha) born in southern Lumbini region of Nepal.

540 BC: Buddha visited Kathmandu valley during the rule of 7th Kiranti King Jitedasti.

322 BCE-180 BCE: Maurya Dyansty ruled in major parts of present day India, Pakistan, Bangaladesh and Afghanistan. King Ashoka paid visit to Lumbini, Nepal at the birthplace of Buddha. Ashoka pillar is still in existence.

250 BC: Mauryan Emperor Ashoka visited Nepal valley during Rule of 14th Kirati King Sthunko. Ashoka's daughter Charumati's marriage to Devpal, a local of Kathmandu.

59-44 BCE : Julius Caesar ruled Roman Empire.

28th Kirati King Patuka: during his regime the Soma dynasty kings attacked Nepal several times from west. He had to leave Gokarna and settled in Shankhamul.

205 AD: 29th and last Kirati King Gasti : was defeated by Soma king Nimisha


Soma Dynasty

5 Kings of Soma dynasty: 1.Nimisa 2.Mitakshya 3.Kakaverma 4.Pashuprekshya Dev 5.Bhaskerverma

205 AD after: King Nimisa erected the four faced linga of Pashupatinath.

280-305 AD: 5th and last Soma King Bhaskarverma ruled. He got gold plated roof in Pashupatinath.

Religious books about Nepal ancient history/ mythology
Ramayana, Mahabharat, Skanda Puran (Nepal Mahatmya), Himvatkhanda, Sri Swasthani Brata Katha,  Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa (Nepal as place which export blanket) , Manjushrimula Kalpa, Swayambhu Purana

Othher: Link, Link

Lichhivi Era (185-750 AD) - (inscription of this are are in Sanskrit Language) 

185AD: King Jayadev Burman became the First of Lichhivi king in central Nepal. His scripture found from the year 185 AD is the oldest proven scripture found in Nepal so far. (link)

325 AD around: King Brisha Dev ruled Nepal during the rule of Chandra Gupta I (319-335AD) in India. Kumaridevi daughter of Brisha deva was wife of Chandra Gupta I and mother of emperor Samundragupta in India.

King Haridutta was another influential Lichhivi ruler. He built four Narayan temples in Kathmandu - Changunarayan, Vishankhunarayan, Sikhanarayan, and Ichankhunarayan. He also built Budhanilkantha. Vaishnavism flourished in Nepal during his era.

King Dharma dev (father of King Mandev) ruled.

464-505 AD: King Mandeva ruled Nepal according to the Stone piller erected by King Mandev in Changunarayan Temple, Bhaktapur, Nepal.
464 AD stone inscription - by King Mandev of Lichchhibi
dynsaty - found in Changunarayan Temple, Bhaktapur, Nepal

Dual rule of King and Prime Minister


588 AD: start of the Rule of King Shivdev I (and Mahasamanta Ansuvarma). We have many stone inscription available of Ansuvarma.
605 AD: Shivdev I died. Ansuvarma became real powerful as a solo administrator.
624 AD before: Lichhivi Princess Bhrikuti married Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo.

622: Ansuvarma died around this time. and after that Udaya Dev I, son of Shiv Dev I became king but soon after that he was dethroned by his brother Dhurba Dev with the help of Jisnu Gupta.

622-633 AD: rule of Mahasamanta Jisnu gupta as he took control of the administration. His copper coins are available now.

After Jisnu gupta his son Bishnu Gupta became the real ruler.

630 AD -645 AD: Xuanzang, a famous Chinese visitor, visited South Asia including present day Nepal and India. Harshavardhana (590-647) was ruling in Northern India.

Huan Tsang wrote: "This country, Nipolo (Nepal) is surrounded by snow-clad mountains, of an area of 4,000 Lee (Chinese scale: 1 li is equivalent to 0.5 km). The area of the capital is 20 Lee (about 10 km) Food and fruits are found in abundance. Copper, Yak and Mingming (Chinese name of a bird) are also found here. Copper coins are used in trade. The people of this land do not speak the truth. They are not dependable and trustworthy people. They have ill manners. They are not educated but highly skilled in art and architecture. Their appearance is not attractive and they do not look friendly. Apart from Buddhism, there are also people following other religions. Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples are constructed side by side. About 2,000 Buddhist monks have been studying here about Hinayan and Mahayan of Buddhism. The regining king is of the Lichchhavi dynasty. He possesses a wide variety of knowledge. He has a noble character. He has faith in Buddhism. Recently, Anchufabo (Amshuverma) was ruling the country. His glory and greatness is renowned. He has composed a book of Grammer. He respects learned and talented people."

640 AD: Narendra Dev, son of Udaya Dev I, became King. After being dethroned by Dhurba Dev Udaya dev has took shelter in Tibet under the King Srong-Tsang-Gompo. His son Narendra dev took back his govt with the help of tibetans.

643 AD: Chinese Mission visited Nepal for the first time during the rule of Narendra Dev.

647 A.D: a second Chinese Mission under the leadership of Wang Hiun Tse visited Nepal. This Mission highly praised the development of Nepalese art and architecture. Narendra Dev also sent a Mission to China with presents and messages of good will.

649 AD: Wang Xuance, a diplomat of Tang Dynasty China, leading the joint force of over 7,000 Nepalese mounted infantry and 1,200 Tibetan infantry and attack on the Old Harsa Empire.

683: Narendra dev died.
684-705 AD: Rule of Shivadev II.
705 -729 AD: Rule of Jayadeva II.
733 AD: Jayadev II stone inscription in Pashupatinath.
Baradeva/ Aramudi ruled after Jayadeva II.
770-800 AD : King Vanayaditya Vinayaditya was the king of Kashmir during this time. He tried to invade Nepal too. But got defeated and captured. Later his minister came and escaped back home.

748-749 Shaṅkaradeva II, 756 Mānadeva III, 826 Balirāja, 847 Baladeva, 877 Mānadeva IV ruled Nepal after that according to The Licchavi Kings, by Tamot & Alsop. (link)

880-915 AD: King Sirijunga united all small principalities in eastern Nepal.

Sources of Lichhivi era: Gopalaraja Vamsavali (AD 1389), various Licchavi Inscriptions (AD 185-879), Jayadeva (II)'s Chronology (AD 733). A lot of stone and copper inscriptions available today from this period, and various Chinese, Tibetan and Indian sources.

Thakuri Dynasty in Central Nepal.

879 AD: Raghava Deva founded Thakuri dynsaty in Central Nepal.
879 Oct 20: Nepal Samvat (Nepal era) began. This era is one of the official calendar of Nepal and still followed by Newar people. 2017 Oct 20 is the day 1 of Nepal era 1138.
949-994 AD: Thakuri King Gunkamdeva ruled who built Kastamandap temple in Kathmandu.
994-1024: Bhola dev ruled.
1024-1040 AD: Laxmikama Deva ruled. His introduced worshipping Kumari.
Rule of Vijayakama Deva
Rule of Bhaskara Deva from Nuwakot-Thakuri clan.  After Bhaskaradeva 4 other kings ruled : Bala Deva, Padma Deva, Nagarjuna Deva and Shankara Deva.
1067-1080: Shankara Deva ruled.
1080 AD: Bama Deva, descendent of Ruler Ansuvarma of 605 AD, defeated Shankara deva and started his own rule. Hersa deva ruled after that.

1093 AD: Naagraj became the first king of Khas empire in western Nepal.
1097 AD: King Nanya Dev of Karnat dynasty established Kingdom of Simraungarh in south central Nepal. King Nanya deva made unsuccessful attack on Nepal valley during the rule of Harsa deva.

1099-1126: King Shivadeva III ruled in Central Nepal. He got Pashupatinath temple's roof gold.
Kings After Sivadeva III:
Mahendra Deva, Mana Deva, Narendra Deva II, Ananda Deva, Rudra Deva, Amrita Deva, Ratna Deva II, Somesvara Deva, Gunakama Deva II, Lakmikama Deva III and Vijayakama Deva II (ruled Nepal in quick succession).


Medieval Nepal

1201 AD: Aridev Malla became 1st malla king of Nepal Valley marking the start of Malla era in central Nepal.
1206-1227 AD: rule of Genghis Khan who founded Mongol Empire in Asia. Later his grandson Kublai Khan (1260-1294) founded Yuan dynasty in China.
1240-1354 AD: Mangol Empire and Yuan dyansty in China ruled Tibet. 

1261: Araniko leading 80 Nepali artists went to China in the request of emperor Kublai khan.

1296-1316 AD: Alauddin Khalji ruled Delhi Sultanate with which Khas Empire of Western Nepal shared their southern Border. 

1312 AD: King Ripu Malla of Khas empire in western Nepal visited Lumbini. His stone inscription near Ashoka pillar in Lumbini is still in existence.

1324 AD: Last king of Simarungarh (in South East Nepal) Harisingh Dev defeated by sultan Gayasudin Tuglak of Delhi Sultanate. King Harisingh dev left for Nepal valley with family for refuge.

1350 AD: Sultan of Bengal Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah (wiki) attacked and destroyed Kathmandu valley.

1357 AD: King Prithvi Malla of Khas empire erected stone pillar in Dullu, western Nepal maintaining the family tree of khas dynasty on it.

Prithvi Malla's stone monument written in Devnagari script
Located in Dullu, State 6, Dailekh, Nepal


1380s-early 1400s: Khas empire of western Nepal started to disband as kingdoms of Doti (1382), Dullu (1392), Jajarkot-Juktipur (1398), Salyan (1418) etc were established which ultimately turned in to Baaise and Cahubisi kingdoms, some 40 small principalities in Karnali, Very and Gandaki regions.

1428 AD: Yakshya Malla (aka Jayayakshya) became the last malla king of united Nepal valley.
1482 AD: united malla kingdom of central Nepal split. Ratna Malla, younger son of Yakshya malla, became King of Kantipur (present day Kathmandu) and Raya Malla became king of Bhaktapur.

1498 AD: Vasco De Gama arrived in India from Portugal.
1503-06 AD: Leonardo Da Vinci created the famous painting of Mona Lisa.
1553 AD: United kingdom of Palpa in central & eastern Nepal split. Kingdom of Makwanpur established in south eastern Nepal led by King Lohang Sen.

1559 AD: Drabya Shah became the 1st king of Principality of Gorkha (a small kingdom in Chaubisi region) establishing the "Shah house".
1564-1616 AD: life span of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in English literature.
1609 AD: King Lohang Sen of Makwanpur also became king of Bijayapur in eastern Nepal effectively controlling whole east and south central Nepal.
1612 AD: British East India Company made trade agreement with Mughal emperor Jahangir setting the first proper foothold in India.
1644-1922: Qing dynasty ruled China, also annexed Tibet into China in 1720.
1661: Jesuit Fathers Johann Grueber and Albert d'Orville reported that they reached  "Cadmendu", the capital of Nepal kingdom during their travel from Tibet to India.

Unification of Nepal

1743 AD: King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Great ascended to the throne of Principality of Gorkha.
1744 AD: King PN Shah started his unification process with the first attack on Nuwakot.
1768 AD: Gorkha conquered Kathmandu marking the foundation of united kingdom of Nepal. King Shah moved his capital city from Gorkha to Kathmandu.

1776 AD: USA declared independence from Great Britain.
1788-1792 AD: first Nepal-Tibet, China war. Treaty of Betrawati signed.
1804-14 AD: Napoleon Bonaparte ruled French Empire.
1814-16: Anglo-Nepal war.
1816 Mar 4: Treaty of Sugauli signed between Nepal and East India company.