Prithvi Narayan Shah, creator of Greater Nepal
The credit of creating the Greater Nepal goes to a single person named Prithvi Narayan Shah whose courage and vision was the main reason behind the united Nepal we live in today. This visionary king was born in Gorkha on Poush 27, 1779 BS, as a first son to King Narabhupal Shah and queen Kausalyawati making him the crown prince and heir to the throne. He had a vision, to conquer all the small kingdoms and create a larger nation, which he never gave up on and was determined to fulfill it.
From the time when he was just a small child, he had every quality required to be a good leader and King. Wrestling and swimming always caught his interest and his courage was no less during childhood than what it was during his young age or even old age. It is mentioned in history that he had received a blessing from his family priest Gorakhnath as well (he will conquer the land he steps on).
He ascended the throne of Gorkha after the death of his father in 1799 BS at the age of 20. His first work after ascending the throne was to train his soldiers and start the process of expanding the territory of his kingdom. He had conquered most of the neighboring kingdoms and had developed friendship with the Kings of the three main cities that are Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur. From the trade point of view, Nuwakot was the perfect place and also Kathmandu valley depended on Nuwakot for trading purposes. So, he attacked Nuwakot but could not conquer it in the first time and in his second attempt, he successfully conquered the kingdom. He liked the beautiful valley of Kathmandu so much that he desired to conquer it. He first attacked in Kirtipur but was defeated twice and also lost one of his bravest army chief Kalu Pandey. Hoever, he did not give up and he successfully won the kingdom in his third attempt. After that, his target turned over to Kathmandu and successfully attacked it in 1825 on the occasion of Indrajatra, then on the list came Patan and then Bhaktapur. Although he had developed friendship (Mit) relations with the king of Bhaktapur, the bond did not stop him from attacking instead he let his Mitjiu either surrender or flea from there.
After conquering these kingdoms, he turned his attention to the eastern and western kingdoms. He had successfully extended his territory to Darjeeling, now in India and while he was planning an attack on Sikkim, he fell sick. His health worsened and he died at the age of 56. Although he gave most of his time to the expansion of his territory, he also laid out the guidelines for governance, nationalism and foreign policy in his Divya Upadesh (Divine Advice). He laid out nine principles which formed the foundation of Nepali political and national life.
He was determined in his quest to extend his territory and he did not consider any type of relations seriously rather used them solely for the fulfillment of the purpose. No matter how cruel or strict Prithvi Narayan Shah was, it was this cruelty as well as his courage that made him able to fulfill his wish to unite the small kingdoms and create a greater Nepal. He was also responsible for developing the feeling of unity in diversity among the people of Nepal as he considered Nepal as the garden of four caste and 36 sub-castes. If it wasn’t for him, we might not have been able to feel proud to call ourselves Nepali. It was his courage that kept Nepal free from British invasion and also brought unity in diversity among the people of Nepal.