Anglo Nepal War Gurkha 1814 1816

Anglo Nepal war was fought between Nepal and British East India Company.
1715: First christian mission Catholic Capuchin friars allowed in 3 city states in Nepal valley. King Prithvi Narayan Shah banned capuchins in 1769 after Kathmandu was conquered.

1768 September 25: Gorkha King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu setting the milestone of united Nepal. He continued unification process until his death in 1775 and after that his successors continued unification until 1804.

1769: King Prithvi Narayan Shah banned christian capuchins priests from Nepal.

1804 AD: As Garhwal Kingdom in western frontier refused to pay Rs3000 annual levy as per treaty, Nepal conquered Garhwal under the military leadership of  Amar Singh Thapa (son), Bhakti Thapa and Hasti Dal Shah which took western border of Nepal all the way to Kangara. But by 1809 joint force of Sikh and Katoch Kings recaptured the Kangara fort which make western border of Nepal at Sutlej river.

By this time Nepal's border was Bhutan in the East, Sikh Kingdom in the west, Tibet (Qing China) in the North and Oudh and Company rule in the south.

1806 AD: Bhimsen Thapa appointed as the Mukhtiyar (equivalent to PM) of Nepal.

1806 AD: Prithvipal Sen, the last King of Palpa, taken to Kathmandu and beheaded by Bhimsen Thapa effectively merging Palpa Kingdom into Nepal. Butwal region was annexed by Palpa before that but Palpa was paying annual sum to Oudh and later to the company for that. As Palpa was merged into Nepal, this payment got interrupted and this became immediate cause of the war.

1813 Oct 4: Francis Rawdon-Hastings became Governor General of Fort William  (East India Company Rule).

1814 Jan: Battle of Jit Gadhi: British troops under Major General Woods marched towards Jit Gadhi, Butwal and Tansen, Palpa with the help of ex palpali king. But they were badly defeated by Nepali forces and ultimately returned back to Gorakhpur, India.

1814 Oct beginning: Major General David Ochterlony was the overall commander against Nepal. British troops began to move towards their depots and the army was soon after formed into four divisions: (1) at Danapur under Major-General Marley consisting 8,000 forces targeting Makwanpur to Capital Kathmandu (2) at Benares later moved to Gorakhpur under Major-General Wood consisting 4,494 men targeting Butwal and Kathmandu from west side (3) at Meerut under Major-General Gillespie consisting 3,513 men targeting Dehradun and (4) at Ludhiana under Brigadier-General Ochterlony consisting 5,993 men targeting far west.

1814 Oct 31-Nov 30: Battle of Nalapani was the first battle started on Oct 31, a day before war officially declared. This happened in the western front present day Khalanga Fort, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Captain Balbhadra Kunwar lead the Nepali side and Major-General Rollo Gillespie and Colonel Sebright Mawbey lead the British side. Gillespie killed in the first day.

1814 Nov 1: Britain declared war on Nepal.

1814 Dec 24:Battle of Jaithak:  Major-General Martindell, who had assumed command of Gillespie’s forces, took possession of Nahan. and Battle of Jaithak fought after that. Jaithak fort is in Himanchal Pradesh.  Kazi Amar Singh Thapa’s son, Ranajor Singh Thapa, was the command here. In the first day of battle 300 british dead and wounded and Martindell refused to take any further initiative until month and half.

1815 Apr 15: Battle of Malaun : Sardar Bhakti Thapa was commander in the western most front at Malaun Fort leading 2,000 Nepali solders. The fort is in present day Himanchal Pradesh, India @ 31°13'08"N 76°48'18"E. Major David Ochterlony was leading from opposite side. Bhakti Thapa was killed in this battle.

1815 May 15: Westernmost frontiers fell under British.

1815 Dec 2: Treaty of Sugauli drafted signed by Paris Bradshaw at Sugauli and sent to Nepal for approval within 15 day (as per article 9). But Nepal did not show enthusiasm for signing.

1816 Jan: Britain prepared for second campaign targeting central and eastern Nepal as Nepal did not sign the treaty in the given time.

1816 Feb 29: Colonel Kelly and Colonel O’Hollorah attacked and conquered Hariharpur Gadhi in Sindhuli, Nepal. Then instead of attacking Sindhuli gadhi they turned west towards Makwanpur gadhi.

1816 Mar: British troop arrived at Makwanpur gadhi.

1816 Mar 4: As British troop came close to Kathmandu, Nepal felt the pressure and ratified the treaty and gave that to Major General David Ochterlony in Makwanpur in March 4. The signatory for Nepal was Raj Guru Gajraj Mishra aided by Chandra Sekher Upadhayaya, the signatory for the Company was Lieutenant Colonel Paris Bradshaw.

1816 Dec 8: Both parties signed subsequent treaty to return terai area between Mechi and Rapti.

Edward Gardner became the first EIC's representative to Nepal and set his office in Lazimpat, Kathmandu.


Treaty of Sugauli
  1. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the East India company and Nepal.
  2. The king of Nepal will renounce all claim to the lands which were the subject of discussion between the two States before the war; and will acknowledge the right of the company to the sovereignty of those lands.
  3. The king of Nepal will cede to the East India company in perpetuity all the under mentioned territories: i) The whole of low lands between the rivers Kali and Rapti. ii) The whole of low lands between Rapti and Gandaki, except Butwal. iii) The whole of low lands between Gandaki and Koshi in which the authority of the East India company has been established. iv) The whole of low lands between the rivers Mechi and Burma. v) The whole of territories within the hills eastward of the Mechi river. The aforesaid territory shall be evacuated by the Gorkha troops within forty days from this date.
  4. With a view to indemnify the chiefs and Bhardars of Nepal, whose interest will suffer by the alienation of the lands ceded by the foregoing Article (No. 3 above), the East India company agrees to settle pensions to the aggregate amount of two lakhs of rupees per annum on such chiefs as may be decided by the king of Nepal.
  5. The king of Nepal renounces for himself, his heirs, and successors, all claim to the territories lying to the West of the River Kali, and engaged never to have any concern with the appointed rulers of those territories or the inhabitants thereof.
  6. The king of Nepal engages never to molest or disturb the king of Sikkim in the possession of his territories. If any difference shall arise between Nepal and Sikkim, it shall be referred to the arbitration of the East India company.
  7. The king of Nepal hereby engages never to take or retain in his service any British subject, nor the subject of any European or American State, without the consent of the British Government.
  8. In order to secure and improve the relations of amity and peace hereby established between Nepal and Britain (East India company), it is agreed that accredited Ministers from each shall reside at the court of the other.
  9. This treaty shall be ratified by the King of Nepal within 15 days from this date, and the ratification shall be delivered to Lt. Col. Bradshaw, who engages to obtain and deliver to the king the ratification of the Governor-General within 20 days, or sooner, if practicable.
DONE at Sugauli, on the 2nd day of December 1815. PARIS BRADSHAW, LT.-COL., P.A.

Received this treaty from Chandra Shekhar Upadhyaya, Agent on the part of the Raja of Nepal, in the valley of Makwanpoor, at half-past two o'clock p.m. on 4 March 1816, and delivered to them the Counterpart Treaty on behalf of the British Government.

DD. OCHTERLONY, Agent, Governor-General Memorandum for the approval and acceptance of the Raja of Nepal, presented on 8 December 1816 ADVERTING to the amity and confidence subsisting with the Raja of Nepal, the British Government proposes to suppress as much as possible, the execution of certain Articles in the Treaty of Sugauli, which bear hard upon the Rajah as follows:

With a view to gratify the Rajah in a point which he has much at heart, the British Government is willing to return the territories of Terai ceded to it by the Rajah in the Treaty, to wit, the whole Terai lands lying between the Rivers Kushwaha and Gandak, such as appertained to the Rajah before the late disagreement; excepting the disputed lands in the Jillas of Tirhoot and Sarun, and excepting such portions of territory as may occur on both sides for the purpose of settling a frontier, upon investigation by the respective Commissioners; and excepting such lands as may have been given in possession to any one by the British Government upon ascertainment of his rights subsequent to the cession of Terai to the Government. In case the Rajah is desirous of retaining the lands of such ascertained proprietors, they may be exchanged for others, and let it be clearly understood that, notwithstanding the considerable extent of the lands in the Jilla of Tirhoot, which have for a long time been a subject of dispute, the settlement made in the year 1812 of Christ, corresponding with year 1869 of Bikram Sambat, shall be taken, and everything else relinquished, that is to say, that the settlement and negotiations, such as occurred at that period, shall in the present case hold good and be established.

The British Government is willing likewise to return the territories of Terai lying between the Rivers Gandak and Rapti, that is to say, from the River Gandak to the western limits of the Jilla of Gorakhpur, together with Butwal and Sheeraj, such as appertained to Nepal previous to the disagreements, complete, with the exception of the disputed places in the Terai, and such quantity of ground as may be considered mutually to be requisite for the new boundary.

As it is impossible to establish desirable limits between the two States without survey, it will be expedient that Commissioners be appointed on both sides for the purpose of arranging in concert a well defined boundary on the basis of the preceding terms, and of establishing a straight line of frontier, with a view to the distinct separation of the respective territories of the British Government to the south and of Nepal to the north; and in case any indentations occur to destroy the even tenor of the line, the Commissioners should effect an exchange of lands so interfering on principles of clear reciprocity.[citation needed]

And should it occur that the proprietors of lands situated on the mutual frontier, as it may be rectified, whether holding of the British Government of the Raja of Nepal, should be placed in the condition of subjects to both Governments, with a view to prevent continual dispute and discussion between the two Governments, the respective Commissioners should effect in mutual concurrence and co-operation the exchange of such lands, so as to render them subject to one dominion alone.

In the event of the Rajah's approving the foregoing terms, the proposed arrangement for the survey and establishment of boundary marks shall be carried into execution, and after the determination in concert, of the boundary line, Sunnuds conformable to the foregoing stipulations, drawn out and sealed by the two States, shall be delivered and accepted on both sides.

EDWARD GARDNER Resident Substance of a Letter under the Seal of the Raja of Nepal, received on 11 December 1816

After compliments : I have comprehended the document under date 8 December 1816, or 4th of Push, 1873 Sambat, which you transmitted relative to the restoration, with a view to my friendship and satisfaction, of the Terai between the Rivers Kushwaha and Rapti to the southern boundary complete, such as appertained to my estate previous to the war. It mentioned that in the event of my accepting the terms contained in that document, the southern boundary of the Terai should be established as it was held by this Government.

I have accordingly agreed to the terms laid down by you, and herewith enclose an instrument of agreement, which may be satisfactory to you. Moreover, it was written in the document transmitted by you, that it should be restored, with the exception of the disputed lands and such portion of land as should, in the opinion of the Commissioners on both sides, occur for the purpose of settling a boundary; and excepting the lands which, after the cessions of the Terai to the Honourable Company, may have been transferred by it to the ascertained proprietors. My friend, all these matters rest with you, and since it was also written that a view was had to my friendship and satisfactions with respect to certain Articles of the Treaty of Sugauli, which bore hard upon me, and which could be remitted, I am well assured that you have at heart the removal of whatever may tend to my distress, and that you will act in a manner corresponding to the advantage of this State and the increase of the friendly relations subsisting between the two Governments.

Moreover I have to acknowledge the receipt of the orders under the red seal of this State, addressed to the officers of Terai between the Rivers Gandak and Rapti, for the surrender of that Terai, and their retiring from thence, which was given to you at Thankote, according to your request, and which you have now returned for my satisfaction.

Substance of a Document under the Red Seal, received from the Durbar, on 11 December 1816 With regard to friendship and amity, the Government of Nepal agrees to the tenor of the document under date 8 December 1816 or 4th Poos 1873 Sambat which was received by the Durbar from the Honourable Edward Gardner on the part of the Honorable Company, respecting the revertance of the Terai between the Rivers Kushwaha and Rapti to the former southern boundary, such as appertained to Nepal previous to the war, with exception of the disputed lands.

Dated the 7th of Push 1873 Sambat


Tags: Gurkha war, Gorkha,