Who was Aramudi?

Was Aramudi a Magar? Need for Scholarly Researches through Magars’ Lens
SB Pun, Magar Studies Center, Journal Shodhmala, Volume 8, No. 9
January 2015, (Magh, 2071)

Aramudi in Kalhan’s Rajatarangini:

The Kashmiri historian, Kalhan, lived in the middle of the 12th century AD when the once powerful Kashmir Kings were very much on the wane. He was, in fact, a contemporary of the last Kashmir king. Kalhan’s celebrated Rajatarangini, A Chronicle of the Kings of Kasmir, is a five hundred years’ historical record of the Kashmir Kings from the 7th/8th century AD. According to MA Stein , the British scholar who in the late 19th century translated Kalhan’s Rajatarangini, King Jayapida ruled Kashmir in the ‘years AD 751 – 782 but in all probability fell much closer to the end of the eighth century, few authentic details seem to have been recorded.’ King Jayapida expanded his empire conquering large parts of northern and central India. During his territorial expansion, King Jayapida was, however, defeated and even captured by Aramudi in a battle on the bank of the river ‘Kala Gandak’. Dr. Dilli Raman Regmi quotes Kalhan’s following Rajatarangini verses, as translated by RS Pandit, to provide a vivid and enlightening description of the Jayapida versus Aramudi battle fought over 1200 years ago:

The Raja named Aramudi, skilled in magic, protector of Nepal, endowed with the arts of peace and war planned to over-reach him(531).
When Jayapida entered his principality he did not make his submission but retired from before him to a great distance with his army(532).
Thus, it was that he, who was ambitious to conquer, inflicted, while in pursuit of Aramudi, defeats on the various ruling princes which would have necessitated special efforts to achieve (533).
He was occasionally visible just like to the hawk the pigeon in the thicket (534).

At this time on the further bank of the river on the right of the king was found posted Aramudi displaying his army with the emblem of his own parasol (537).
Seeing his powerful army which resounded with the rattle of massed kettle drums, Jayapida flared up like fire which was absorbed melted butter (538).
He, on seeing that the river water, which was knee deep, was no impediment, in his anger, plunged in to cross, unacquainted with the terrain as he was from never having been before (539).
When the king had reached the middle, the river was filled by the rising tide and unexpectedly became unfathomably deep with the waters (540).
The king’s army teeming with men, elephants and horses sinking in the river, which was rising in the manner, in a trice came to an end (541).
The king, whose ornaments and clothes were torn off in the rushing waves, penetrated the waves with his arms and carried off far by the flood waters (542).
With the pitiful shrieks of the one army, the triumphant shouts of the other and with the roar of the waves of the river, the direction became full of tumult (543).
The enemy made haste and with armed men on inflated skins, he drew out Jayapida from the midst of the river and took him prisoner and held a feast (544)
his confidence (546).
Thus the Kashmiri king was once more submerged in adversity and, puzzled as to what should be done, was consumed by concealed sorrow (547).

Together with fortune of Jayapida, I shall deliver to you the throne of the king of Kashmir, thus through the emissaries, Aramudi heard the message (553)
When upon the arrival of the emissaries of the opposite side, the agreement was complete (554).

Who was Aramudi?

This, then, is the fascinating account by a Kashmiri historian about how his own powerful King Jayapida suffered an ignominious defeat on the bank of Kala Gandak at the hands of an obscure Aramudi. Now who was this Aramudi? According to Dr. KP Jayaswal, Aramudi in Kashmiri means a monk and hence identified him as Varadeva of Bendall’s chronicle. This chronicle relates a story about Varadeva’s life of renunciation as a monk and Jayaswal conveniently concluded that the above fight was between Varadeva and Jayapida. On the other hand, Professor Sylvian Levi, along with MA Stein, believed Aramudi was a Tibetan King as Aramudi is a Tibetan word. This was vehemently refuted by Dr. DR Regmi who believed that Professor Levi suffered from that ‘innate prejudice to give credence to anything glorifying Tibet.’ Both Regmi and Stein state that the name Aramudi does not appear in the traditional lists of Nepal Rajahs. In fact, Regmi finds this very strange – a name so eloquently appearing in Rajatarangini and yet traced nowhere in Nepal’s history.

Regmi believed that ‘Aramudi in all possibility was a king of the Gandak region. He might act as well as a ruler of a native dynasty of Magars. The Magar vocabulary might provide a clue to the meaning of the word Aramudi in its historical setting. But scholars with a competent knowledge of linguistics and Indo-Mongloid dialects are needed for the task.’ There is, thus, the task for the Magars to delve into this Aramudi issue in an impartial and scholarly manner. Aramudi now needs to be researched through the Magars’ lens. We have seen above how Jayaswal and Levi through their lens interpret Aramudi as a Kashmiri and Tibetan respectively. Regmi, however, has thrown the gauntlet to the Magars that as the battle was fought on the bank of Kala Gandak, Magarat, the land of Magars, Aramudi could very well be a Magar!
Aramudi Need to be Researched through Magars’ Lens:

The call for Aramudi to be studied through the Magars’ lens is eloquently illustrated by the following translations of the same Rajatarangini verses by RS Pandit and MA Stein:

(531) The Raja named Aramudi, skilled in magic, protector of Nepal, endowed with the arts of peace and war planned to over-reach him. RS Pandit

531. King Aramudi, who ruled Nepal, and who was possessed of wisdom and prowess, wished to prevail over him by cunning. MA Stein

(541) The king’s army teeming with men, elephants and horses sinking in the river, which was rising in the manner, in a trice came to an end. RS Pandit

541. Then the king’s army, with its mass of men, elephants and horses, was washed away by the swollen river, and destroyed in a moment. MA Stein

(554) When upon the arrival of the emissaries of the opposite side, the agreement was complete. RS Pandit

554. When an agreement had been arrived at, on the arrival of the envoys sent in return [by Aramudi], the minister, accompanied by an army, proceeded to the land of Nepal. MA Stein
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One can see that the above three same verses of Rajatarangini are translated differently by Pandit and Stein. Whereas Pandit viewed Aramudi as the protector of Nepal, Stein saw him as the ruler of Nepal. One can draw a fine line between the protector and ruler of Nepal. Pandit’s translation of ‘men, elephant and horses sinking in the river which was rising’ is not as easy to understand as Stein’s ‘mass of men, elephants and horses was washed away by the swollen river’. Similarly, while Pandit translated ‘[Aramudi] was occasionally visible just like to the hawk the pigeon in the thicket’, Stein translated that same verse in a more difficult manner as ‘sometimes kept in hiding and sometimes showed himself, in pursuit from land to land, as the eagle [pursues] the dove in the thicket.’ Pandit’s hawk and pigeon get transformed into eagle and dove in Stein. These examples are illustrated merely to stress the need for Aramudi to be researched through the Magars’ lens. JC Dutt, who translated Rajatarangini into English, commented in March 1887 that Kalhan’s love for alliteration and artistic styles clouded many of his passages, making them difficult to translate. Dutt, however, was of the opinion that though the materials were meager and incomplete, Kalhan’s historical records are generally correct.

Aramudi’s Ignominious End:

563. When the clever [minister] had obtained the consent of the duped [Aramudi], he went to the imprisoned King Jayapida. MA Stein

579. As soon as he had reached his army, he at once invaded the kingdom of Nepal and destroyed it completely, together with its ruler. MA Stein

The clever minister, who came from Kashmir to rescue his King Jayapida and skillfully duped Aramudi, was Devasarman. The faithful Devasarman killed himself so that the imprisoned Jayapida could jump from his stone building imprisonment into Kala Gandak and across the river floating on the dead minister’s body. Once free, a thoroughly bitter and angry Jayapida then invaded Nepal and destroyed it completely together with Aramudi. This massive destruction of Nepal and the fleeting victory of Aramudi, so faithfully documented by Rajatarangini, failed to be registered in Nepal’s chronicle.

The End

मगर अध्ययन केन्द्रकाे गतिविधि

विगत पन्ध्र वर्ष अघि देखि मगर अध्ययन केन्द्रले नेपाली समाजको विविध पक्षहरूमा गहन अध्ययन–अनुसन्धान गर्ने महत्वाकांक्षी लक्ष्य आगाडि सारेर कार्यान्वयनको मार्गमा हिडिरहेको छ । यसै अनुरुप प्रत्येक वर्ष ‘शोधमाला’ जर्नल तथा शोधमूलक पुस्तकहरू प्रकाशन गर्दै आइरहेको छ । यस पटक मगर जातिको उत्पत्ति, इतिहास, भाषा, संस्कृति, सामाजिक, आर्थिक तथा राजनैतिक क्षेत्रको अध्ययन–अनुसन्धानका लागि उपयोगी सामाग्री ‘नेपालका आदिवासी मगरः सन्दर्भ विवरणिका’ यहाँहरूको हातमा पु¥याउन सफल भएका छौं । प्रस्तुत पुस्तक प्रकाशनको आवश्यकता रहेको कुरा वि. सं. २०७२ माघ २९ गतेका दिन मगर अध्ययन केन्द्र र नेपाल प्रज्ञा–प्रतिष्ठानको संयुक्त कार्यक्रमको अवसरमा उठेको थियो । ‘मगर जातिको उत्पत्ति र नामाकरण’ विषयक उक्त कार्यक्रमको समापन पश्चात मगर अध्ययन केन्द्र र नेपाल प्रज्ञा–प्रतिष्ठानको सहकार्यमा ‘मगर अध्ययन समिति’ गठन गर्ने सल्लाह भएको थियो । सोही अनुरुप मगर अध्ययन केन्द्रका अध्यक्ष डा. गोविन्द प्रसाद थापाज्यूको संयोजकत्वमा प्रा. डा. जिवेन्द्रदेव गिरी, प्रा. डा. डिल्लीराज दाहाल, प्रा. डा. हेमाङ्गराज अधिकारी, प्राज्ञ दिनेशराज पन्त, प्राज्ञ विष्णु प्रभात, प्राज्ञ लोक बहादुर थापा, बमकुमारी बुढा, डा. मीन श्रीस, विष्णु कुमार सिङ्जाली र प्रतिभा पुन सदस्य रहने गरी एघार सदस्यीय ‘मगर अध्ययन समिति’ को गठन गरियो । समितिकोे पहिलो बैठकले मगर जातिको उत्पत्ति र इतिहासको अध्ययन अनुसन्धान थालनी गर्नु अघि एउटा सन्दर्भ विवरणिका तयार पार्ने निर्णय गरे बमोजिम यस कार्यको थालनी भएको हो । सीमित स्रोत–साधन र समयको परिधिभित्र रहेर पनि मगर अध्ययन केन्द्रले मगर जातिसँग सम्वन्धित विविध विषयमा लेखिएका सन्दर्भ सामग्रीहरूको टिप्पणी तथा सन्दर्भ सूची संग्रह गरी यो पुस्तकको आकार दिन सफलता प्राप्त गरेको छ । यस पुस्तकमा कतिपय सामग्रीहरू सजिलै उपलब्ध नहुने र उठाएका विषयहरूमा गम्भीर छलफलको आवश्यकता रहेका कारण पनि पाठकहरूको सुविधाका लागि सन्दर्भ विवरणिकाको आवश्यकता भन्दा बढी नै सूचनाहरू उद्धृत गरेर राखिएका छन् । यसबाट मगर जातिबारे अध्ययन–अनुसन्धान गर्ने शोधार्थीहरू र मगर जातिबारे बुझ्न चाहने सबैलाई सहयोग पुरयाउने छ ।

Nepal. Landon, Perceval (1993).


Landon, Perceval (1993). Nepal. New Delhi: Asian Educational
Services [First print, London, 1928].
Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

The book is in two volumes. These two volumes contain data
mostly about the land, history, rulers, and people of Nepal. The book
contains extensive appendices which cover information on things like
armorial bearings and flag, regalia, anthem, and titles, roll of succession
to Prime Ministership of Nepal, the law of Royal descent, decorations,
and weight and measures, list of some important books on Nepal, and
flora and fauna of Nepal. The appendices in second volume contains
information on the races of Nepal, marriage ceremony, forestry in
Nepal, notes on architecture of Nepal, Chinese invasion, treaties, and
some important historical documents. etc. This book is written for the
foreigners who had not visited Nepal during 1928. In this sense it is a
very good guidebook for the foreigners about Nepal.
The author gives some information about the races of Nepal. It
includes the races like Newars, Thakurs and Khas, Gurungs, Magars,
Kirantis, Sunuwars, Sunpars, Murmis, and Lepchas. About Magars,
the writer writes, “The Magars originally occupied the Tarai and lower
mountain districts near Butwal and Palpa, and are still found chiefly
west of the Valley. Although they were of Mongolian descent, their
propinquity to India had diluted the northern blood, and had undermined
their Buddhist tendencies, for they accepted at least a nominal
conversion at the time of the Rajput invasion. After surrendering Palpa
to invaders, the Magars seem to have spread widely both east and west.”
The author adds on Magars, “This tribe claims direct descent from the
original Rajput invaders of the country, as such classes among them
as the Surajbansi and the Chitor suggest. The Thapa tribe has so high
a reputation that many claim to be Thapas who have no right to the
name. There is among the crack regiments of Nepal a Magar battalion
of men physically as fine as the Gurung detachments to which reference
has just been made.” He mentions Vansittart’s comment on Magars as,
“Off all Magars there is no better man than the Rana of good clan. In
former days any Thapa who had lost three generations of ancestors in
battle became a Rana, but with the prefix of his Thapa clan.” Besides
these, the writer has nnot written anything about the origin and history
of Magars.

सेन राज्यको राजनैतिक इतिहास.

खनाल, मोहन प्रसाद. (२०६१). सेनराज्यको राजनैतिक इतिहास. काठमाडौः
नेपाल र एशियाली अनुसन्धान केन्द्र त्रि. वि.।
टिप्पणीः डा. गोविन्द प्रसाद थापा

लेखकका अनुसार प्रस्तुत ग्रन्थ नेपाल र एशियाली अनुसन्धान केन्द्रद्वारा
२०५८ का लागि नेपालको प्रादेशिक इतिहास निर्माण योजना अन्तर्गत स्वीकृत
सेनराज्यको राजनैतिक इतिहास नामक प्रतिवेदन हो । यसमा खासगरी
मध्यकालको उत्तरार्धताका केन्द्रका अधीनबाट छुटिई स्वतन्त्र हुन पुगेका सेनवंशी
राज्यहरू विशेष गरेर पाल्पा, विनायकपुर, राजपुर र तनहूँको राजनैतिक इतिहास
लेख्ने प्रयास गरिएको छ । उनका अनुसार, “मध्यकालको उत्ताद्र्धताका नेपालका
तीन शक्तिशाली राज्यहरूमध्येको कर्णाटक राज्य, अस्तित्त्वमा आएको लगभग
२३० वर्षपछि नै पतन भयो र यसैताका कर्णाली प्रदेशको खसराज्य पनि
विखण्डनतिर उन्मुख हुन थाल्यो । यसरी खसराज्यको विखण्डन डोटी तथा जुम्ला
शक्तिशाली राज्यका रूपमा देखा परे । भेरीेपूर्वका राज्यहरूमा सल्यान तथा
प्यूठानको विशेष स्थान थियो । केन्द्रबाट हुने शासनको वागडोर हटेर गएको
हुँदा अब एकपछि अर्को गर्दै त्यहाँका सामन्तहरूले आआफनो क्षेत्रमा नयाँनयाँ
रियासतहरू खडा गरी स्वतन्त्र हुँदै थिए । यसै सिलसिलामा पन्ध्रौं शताब्दीको
पूर्वाद्र्धताका आएर गण्डकी प्रदेशका मगर, गुरुङ र घलेहरूका आवादीमा पनि
स्थानीय प्रशासकहरूले ससाना रियासतहरूको जग बसाउन प्रारम्भ गरे । यसै
गरी गण्डकी प्रस्रवणक्षेत्रका शुरुशुरुमा स्थापित यिनै रियासतहरूमध्ये रिब्दीकोट
नामक एउटा रियासत कालान्तरमा आएर पाल्पा राज्यको नामले प्रख्यात हुन
पुग्यो ।” पाल्पा राज्यको जग बसाउन संस्थापकहरूको बारेमा लेखक लेख्छन्,
“सामान्यतया पाल्पाली सेनराज्यको जग बसाउने सेनराजाका दुईथरी वंशावली
प्रकाशमा आएका छन् । यसमध्ये पहिलो वंशावली कामारिदत्त सेनको राज्यकालको
प्रारम्भमा अर्थात १७६८ ईस्वीताका लेखिसकेको छ । यस वंशावलीका अनुसार
सेन वंशका पहिलो व्यक्ति मदन राय देखिन आएका छन् । जो चित्तोरस्थित
मेवाडका राजा थिए । यिनी लिङ्गायतका अनुयायी अर्थात शिवलिङ्ग शिरमा राखेर
हिड्ने हुनाले यिनको वंश शिशौदिया कहलाएको थियो । त्यस वंशावलीका
अनुसार मदन रायका वंशमा क्रमशः चिल्हा राणा, उदय राणा तथा अभय राणा
विशेष प्रसिद्ध थिए । विजया यात्राको क्रममा पाल्पा आइपुगेका अभय राणाले
मकवानपुरस्थित मगर रियासतका राजा गजलक्ष्मण सिंहकी छोरी कान्तिमतीसँग
विवाह गरी यही नै बसे । अभय राणाका मकवानी रानीतर्फबाट भट्टराजको जन्म
भयो । भट्टराजपछि क्रमैले मकरध्वज, तूथराज, दिमिकराज, एवं उदयराज भए ।
उदयराजको छोराहरूमध्ये जेठा गज ब्रह्म र गज ब्रह्मका छोरा धर्मपाल भए
भनि लेखिएको छ ।” लेखकले इतिहासमा सेनवंशका बारेमा अलमल भएको पनि
उल्लेख गरेका छन् ।

Himalayan ‘People’s War’: Nepal’s Maoist Rebellion

Hutt, Michael (Editor) (2004). Himalayan ‘People’s War’: Nepal’s Maoist Rebellion. London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

This book is on Nepal’s insurgency launched by Maoist. It has five parts. Part I is about the political context, part two about the Maoists and the people, the third part covers geographical and comparative perspectives, fourth last part are about after-words and appendixes. There are thirteen essays including introduction. Both, native and foreign writers have contributed to this work. This book gives different perspectives of the insurgency that battered the country. Marie LecomteTilouine has contributed an essay “Ethnic demands within Maoism: Questions of Magar territorial autonomy, nationality and class.” She opens her essay with the statement, “It has become a commonplace to associate the Maoist guerillas in Nepal with the Magar ethnic group.” In her essay, she examines “both the references to Maoism that appear in Magar ethnic and ethno-Marxist literature.” She observed that “Magars are extremely numerous in the Nepali police and army among whom especially the policemen, along with their families, have been targeted by the Maoists and are thus opposed to their movement.” This book serves different views on the insurgency with varied background and perspectives of contributors.

Kansakar, Vidya Bir Singh. (1982). Emigration, Remittances and Rural Development. Kathmandu: Centre for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University. Annotation: Dr. Min Shris

This book contains five chapters, introduction, land population & social structure, economy remittances & rural development, recruitment of Nepalese in foreign armies: causes and implications, and conclusion. Primarily focused on migration, this book is based on a study conducted in Gulmi and Syangja districts. It examines migration for recruitment in a foreign army and the remittances migrants send home. The study focuses on the recruitment of the Gurungs and Magars in foreign armies and the importance of remittances on the social and economic aspects in these rural areas. The book explores the social and political context of Nepali recruitment in foreign armies and points out the hardship suffered by the returnees who would find it hard to sustain their livelihoods in the absence of pensions.

Karki, Ram Bahadur (2069 BS). Ancient and Medieval History of Nepal. Swadesh Prakashan Pvt.Ltd.Bagbazar. Annotation by: Gupta Bahadur Rana

Karki (2069 BS) has included Magars into indigenous people group with Khas ethic group. He describes ‘Khan’ word and its historical derivation and adoption (p. 362). He also argued that, Magars other ethic words come from the Aryan Sanskrit word and become 12 panthi Magars and 18 panthi Magars (p.363) and similarly 26 sub-clan khas, 4 sub-clan Gurnung and 16 sub-clan Gurungs etc. Mainly his argument is all the ethnic groups specially who were ruler in the history of Nepal are all Khas (p. 363). He has also described Baise and Chaubise states of medieval era and Magars kings and kingdoms, among them. He describes Balihang king and kingdom which belongs to Magar ethnic group (p. 377). His main argument is most of the rulers of the history were from the Khas ethnic group of Nepal.

The Magars of Banyan Hill

Hithcock, John T. (1966). The Magars of Banyan Hill. USA: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

This book is the first detailed anthropological study on Magar community of Nepal. The author has described about the life-pattern of Magar people. The book contains information about the land and settlement pattern, family, culture, customs, language, caste, economic activities and politics of Magar people. The author’s “primary reason for doing research in Nepal and among the Magars was to answer a question about the social and cultural effects of different ecological niches, it was also to explore a region barely known to anthropologists and to learn about the home life of a people whom the world knew primarily as extraordinarily good and tough infantrymen.” As this book contains more on the life-cycle of Magar community, it serves little on the origin and historical background of Magar. The author accepts the fact that the “origins of Magars are lost in obscurity.” He further argues that, “The tribe seems to have been part of a very ancient influx of Mongoloid, Tibeto-Burman-speaking peoples into Nepal, probably from the north and east. It also seems probable, in view of differences between its northern and southern halves, that the tribe represents two different streams of migration.” It is interesting to know what these people have to tell about their migration. When asked where they came from they answer, “We have lived here always.” The author has also recommended list of some books related with Gurkha and Magars of Nepal.
Hodgson, Brian H. (1991). Essays on the Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet: Together with Further Papers on the Geography, Ethnology and Commerce of those Countries. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, (First published on 1874). Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

This work of Hodgson has two parts—part I covers the languages, literature, and religion of Nepal and Tibet. The part II covers the physical geography of the Himalaya, the aborigines of the Himalaya, the origin and classification of military tribes of Nepal, the Chepang and Kusunda tribes of Nepal, the cursory notice of Nayakot and of the remarkable tribes inhabiting it, the tribes of northern Tibet and Sifan, the colonization of Himalaya by Europeans; and the commerce of Nepal. The author has written about the language of Nepal: “Within the mountainous parts of the limits of the modern kingdom of Nepaul, there are thirteen distinct and strongly-marked dialects spoken. These are the Khas or Parbattiya, the Magar, the Gurung, the Sunwar, the Kachari, the Haiyu, the Chepang, the Kasunda, the Murmi, the Newari, the Kiranti, the Limbuan, and the Lapachang. With the exception of the first (which will be presently reverted to) these several tongues are all of TransHimalayan stock, and are closely affiliated. They are all extremely rude owing to the people, who speak of them having crossed snows before learning dawned upon Tibet, and to the physical features of their new home (huge mountain barriers on every hand) having tended to break up and enfeeble the common speech they brought with them.” The author has written in details about the languages, literature of ‘Nepaul’ and Tibet, the religion of Bhot, list of Buddhist works, Buddhist triad and cosmogony, and on Buddhist philosophy.

Nepal the Kingdom Himalayas

Hagon, Tony (1951). Nepal the Kingdom Himalayas. Berne witzerland : Kummerly & Frey, Geographical Publishers. Annotation by: Gupta Bahadur Rana

Hagon (1951) has described about Racial and Ethnic diversity of Nepal. In page 68, he mentions about the Magars: “The Mangars are the westernmost of the larger ancient Nepalese ethnic groups; the miscellaneous minority groups of the Rukhas and the Buras, to the east of the Saipal river, are insignificant (fig.10). The neighbours of the Gurung, the Mangars live on the western and southern flanks of the Dhaulagiri-massif. Scattered colonies are found as far afield as eastern Nepal, however, and down in the Terai aof eastern Nepal, and there is a large compact settlement-area situated in the wide sweep of the Karnani river, between Dhundras and Chhapre. The Mangars have not developed a type of house peculiar to themselves, but have adopted neighbour’s ype of dwelling-house. At the western end of the Dhaulagiri-massif and on the upper course of the Uttar-Ganga river, they live in massive houses with flat roofs, whose form is an imitation of the houses in neighbouring Tibetan settlements to the north. On the southern flank of the Dhaulagiri-massif, on the contrary in the Mayangdi valley, they build their Houses, as do the Gurungs, of drystone walls roofed with slate. The Mangars have, like the Gurungs, gained fame as gallant soldiers in British service; beside this, however, they posses considerable skill as craftsman: they are the bridge-builders and blacksmiths among the Nepalese, and the primitive mining is largely in their hands. From the more southerly regions, that is to say on the lower course of the Bheri and Karnali rivers, a great number of Mangars annually migrate to the Terai and there manufacture bamboo parries, baskets, and mats for sale in the bazaars along the borders. In their most northerly settlement, on the other hand, the important trading-centre of Tarakot on the Barbung river, they have largely adapted their way of life, their clothes, and their religion to that of the Tibetans; like the latter, they also live by the salt trade. Here there are found numerous lamaseries with Mangar lamas; in the lower zones, however, Hinduism of a tantristic tendency prevails. …… As regards the race, the Mangars are related to the Newars; like the latter, they have almond-shaped eyes or even open eyes, whereas Mongoloid eyes are very rare. …. I have already pointed out that the distribution of the races in eastern Nepal is quite different from that in the western part of the country, where the ancient Nepalese people are entirely lacking. To the west of the catchment-area of the Kali Gandaki river there live only Indo-Nepalese races and Tibetans (Bhotiyas.) Their settlement-areas partly adjoin each other, and sometimes extensive regions lying between them are altogether uninhabited. Strange to say, this fact has great economic importance; only ancient Nepalese races went as mercenaries, and so they alone had, and still have, a share in the financial property of the mercenary soldier’s life. For this reason the living-standard in the west of the country is in general considerably lower than in the eastern part.”

Harper, Ian (2014). Development and Public Health in The Himalaya: Reflections on healing in contemporary Nepal. New York: Routledge Tylors & Francis Group Annotation by: Bishnu Kumar Sinjali

This book is about Magar related issues–about the public health and health care system of Nepal in Palpa district. The researcher has explored the traditional health care, spiritual belief and modern shamans, modern medicine, pharmaceuticalization and health care system of Nepal. Being researcher’s study area Palpa district, there is several case studies from Magars are taken regarding health, and health care and described. In the book there is description of medical belief system, traditional health care, Magar Lama (shaman) and other caste/ethnic group’s Lama (shaman) and belief, local name of disease and causation of illness, worship and sacrifices for healing etc. He has also described the interesting stories of wife’s of ex-Gorkha armies or foreign employee who have infertility visited to the higher caste Lama (shaman) for treatment and that shaman has been done check-up and given treatment in private room keeping alone her; and further Tuberculosis and Magar’s belief system etc. Furthermore, he also described pluralistic healers of the district and their market and consumption.

Tibetan Wars Through Sikkim, Bhutan & Nepal

Gulati, M. N. (2003). Tibetan Wars Through Sikkim, Bhutan & Nepal, New Delhi: Manas Publications. Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

The book is divided in nine chapters. As the title speaks of itself, this work is basically about the wars. The writer has analysed these wars with military perspectives as the writer was Colonel of the army. The fifth chapter deals with Nepal Wars which elaborately contains details about the geo-political background, the ancient history, Kinloch Expedition, Logan Mission and border conflicts, the first Gorkha-Tibet war 1788, the Treaty of 1789, China retaliates 1790-92, Anglo-Nepalese war 1814-16, Treaty of Sugauli and Second Gorkha-Tibet War 1854-55. This book helps scholars on critically analyzing the operational aspects of wars. The author mentions about a tactically important recruitment policy of Prithvi Narayan Shah in his army: “Prithvi Narayan Shah not only collected loyal, courageous and battle-tested sirdars around him, he also reorganized his army. He made an important departure in the recruitment policy. While so far the army was caste-based in that only Thakurs were considered true Kshatriyas, and hence for for soldiering. This considerably restricted the recruitment-base, keeping the army strength quite low. Prithvi Narayan departed from the traditional castebased army and opened the doors to all castes—Magars, Gurungs and Khas et al. He organized his heterodox caste army into a fine fighting machine, and could replace his losses from all classes of people, whereas his enemies were restricted to Thakurs only.”

Hamilton, F. B. (1819 & Reprint 1990). An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal and of the Territories Annexed to this Dominion by the House of Gorkha. New Delhi: Asian Education Services (First published in 1819; first reprint in 1986 by Asian Education Services). Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

This book is an account about the history of the country, laws and government, inhabitant, royal families which governed States, Baise and Chaubise Rajas, Sikkim, Kumaon, Kashmir, and Kangra. Hamilton carried negative impressions about Kasiyas people: “I am told, that, wherever mentioned in ancient records, like the Kirats, their neighbours to the west, the Kasiyas are considered as abominable and impure infidels.” (p.8) Hamilton further writes that he “has been assured, that, in the sacred book of Hindus, that is to say, in the Puranas attributed to Vyas, the Khas and Kiratas, the ancient inhabitants of mountains, are always spoken of as impure and infidel.” (p. 11) Concerning the colony from Chitaur he received another account, from the Mahant that Chaturbhuja, a prince of the Sisaudhiya tribe, having left Chitaur, conquered Kumau and Yumila, where he established his throne, from whence his family spread to Palpa Tanahung and Kirats.(p.15) The author also doubts about many chiefs, and especially the Palpa Tanahung and Makawanpur families being descendent of the Chitaur prince. He claims that “the family of Gorkha, according to Sadu Ram, a good authority, is, in reality, of the Magar tribe.” (p. 26) About Magars, the writers adds, “The Magars, called Mungurs by Colonel Kirkpatrick, occupied a great proportion of the lower hills in western parts, seem to have received the Rajput chiefs with much cordiality, and have now adopted a great part of the ferocious customs of these mountain Hindus. They eat copiously the flesh of hogs, goats, sheep, ducks and fowls, but now abstain from beef. They are much addicted to intoxication, and are excessively cruel and treacherous; but they are men of great bodily vigour and mental activity. They have, in general, submitted to the guidance of the same Brahmans and Sannyasis that instruct the Rajputs; but formerly had priests pf their own tribe called Damis, and seemed to have worshipped chiefly ghosts. They marry only one wife.”

Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet

Das, Sarat C. (1902). Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet. John Murray, London, Albemarle Street Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa This book contains details about the journey to Lhasa and Tibet. The writer has mentioned one incident related to Magars. He relates: “It was told of the upper Kangpa-chan valley that it was first peopled by Tibetans called Sharpa (Easterners), whose original home was in the mountains of Shar Khambu, or Eastern Kirata.* Lower down the valley lived the Magar tribe from Nepal, whose chief extended his sway over the Sharpa, and exacted such oppressive taxes from them that they decided to avenge themselves. The Magar chief, going to the village of Kangpachan, he and his followers were murdered, and their bodies buried. No clue could be had of the missing men, so the chief’s wife went herself to Kangpa-chan, but she also failed to discover what had become of them. While going along the river bank, a boulder, undermined by the current, tumbled down, when swarm of flies flew buzzing out. Attracted by this, the queen had the earth removed, and discovered the bodies of her husband and his followers. Returning home with the chief’s body, she ordered great funeral ceremonies to be held at a place some six miles up the river, near the Rapa-chan torrent, midway between the two great villages of the Kangpa-chan valley—Gyunsar and Yarsa,[Yarsa probably means “upper (yar) land (sa).” Yara mara, or yarka marka, meaning “upper and lower,” are terms used throughout Tibet. (W.R.) as being more accessible for the people, for whose entertainment great bowls of wine were to be provided. In the wine poison was mixed; and as soon as the Magars had finished drinking, they passed it to the Kangra-chan people, who drank deeply, and fell asleep to awake no more. Nearly a thousand people were in this way done to death, and the babies were carried away by the queen’s followers. The place where this foul deed was done became known as Tongshong phug, “the place which witnessed a thousand murders.” The few who escaped carried the news to Tibet, and soon returned with a large army to wage war against the Magars. The queen shut herself up in one of her castles, and, though ill-prepared to stand a siege, she and her people defended it for three months. The Tibetans decided to reduce the place by famine and by cutting off the water-supply. Then the queen, to deceive them, opened the reservoir in the castle and let the water flow toward the Tibetan camp; and the enemy, thinking that she must have great store of it and that their attempt was vain, raised the siege, and withdrew to a distance. The queen now attacked them in turn, but fell in the first skirmish, fighting valiantly. The Tibetans finally expelled the Magars from the Kangpa-chan and Tambur valleys, and restored them to their former possessors.” * [The Kirata are well known as a tribe of non-Brahmanical people (Mlecha) in the Veda. See Chr. Lassen, ‘Indis. Alterthumskunde,’ vol. i. p.78: “The land between the San Roci and Kankajji is approximately the same as that of the Kiratas.” A complete discussion on the Kiratas is to be found in ‘Zeitschrift fur Kunde des Morgenlander,’ vol. i. p. 35 ff. See supra, p.—(W.R.)].