Fall of Monarchy in Nepal: Seven Years of the Royal Massacre

Remembering the massacre: 19 Jestha 2058 BS [1 June 2001] was when the monarchy was abolished in Nepal. 15 Jestha 2065 only formalized that.by Dinesh Wagle

Once upon a time when there was still monarchy in Nepal, some seven years ago to be exact, a horrifying incident happened in Narayanhitti palace in Kathmandu that shocked the world. The day, 1 June 2001, was when entire family of the then king Birendra was murdered by god knows whom. We were told that it was Birendra’s son, crown prince Dipendra, who pulled the trigger and killed his parents, sister and others before killing himself but the people are not wiling to buy that argument. Thousands of people, mourning the death and angered by the massacre, came to the streets chanting pro-monarchy slogans. Thousands of males spontaneously shaved their heads, a Hindu way of mourning the death of one’s near ones. Today, exactly seven years after, it seems almost surreal to even think that I was one of those mourners who shaved their heads.

That very day monarchy had died (or been abolished) in Nepal. The abolition was only formalized on 28th May 2008.

Gyanendra Shah, the last king of Nepal who was dethroned last week as the Constitution Assembly declared Nepal a republic, was never considered a king by the people of this country. Kings, as Nepali people for reasons that vary from person to person believed, are born to be the king and he is raised to be the king. Gyanendra was neither. He wasn’t born to be the king; he wasn’t raised to be the king. In addition to that, he was widely suspected of having some role in the killing. If we are to believe the widely chanted slogans in the massive protest rallies in the past several years, he was involved in the killing. In fact, his notoriously infamous son, declared crown prince two years after the massacre during the festival when many people had returned to their homes from capital city, has killed people. So Gyanendra Shah was never a king for Nepali people.

Those who mourned the massacre in 2001 celebrated the abolition of monarchy in 2008.

May his soul rest in peace but I don’t believe the argument that king Birendra was a great democrat despite the fact that I mourned his death just like I celebrated the fall of Gyanendra. People of Nepal had to fight for several years before Birendra was forced by a popular movement to restore democracy that was killed by his father Mahendra in 1960. He tried his best to retain many of the rights and privileges when democratic revolutionaries were formulating the constitution after the first peoples’ movement in 1990. But his willingness to be ‘constitutional’, at least in word, made him popular among the citizenry.

King, by nature, can’t be a democrat. They always harbor autocratic aspirations that were displayed in a worst possible manner in 2005 by Gyanendra.

The February 1, 2005 coup was one of the many key reasons that propelled the monarchy’s downfall in Nepal. By nature no one wants to be ruled and suppressed- except a few with slave mentality. People of Nepal wanted not to be ruled by an autocrat, they wanted to be ruled by themselves, by their chosen representatives. Thus the historic and astonishing participation of people in the April revolution of 2006.

What happened today in a Republic Nepal?

1. Gorkha Durbar opens for public, signboard outside says republic

Hot on the heels of last week’s declaration of a republic, the historic Gorkha palace has been opened to the public from today. The palace was opened to the public today after, who else, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the chairman of the Maoist party, unveiled a sign-board at the palace premises with the notice ‘Federal Democratic Republic Nepal’ this morning. Dahal, Maoist second-in-command Baburam Bhattarai and other leaders toured the centuries old palace for the first time after the unveiling of the sign-board. Speaking to the press after touring the palace, Dahal lauded the efforts of King Prithvi Narayan Shah to unify the country.

The country might not have been a republican state had Prithvi Narayan Shah not unified the country, said Prachanda adding that positive aspects of the country’s history should be commended. He also expressed his gratitude to the residents of Gorkha district, responsible for establishing the Shah Dynasty’s rule in Nepal, for their help also in establishing a republic in the country. Maoist leader Babu Ram Bhattarai expressed pride in being able to tour the historic palace and lauded the efforts of the Gorkha district residents in uprooting the centuries old monarchical system. The Gorkha palace carries huge significance in the country’s history as King Prithvi Narayan Shah launched his unification campaign from the palace and later went on to annex smaller states into one single nation. (source)

2. Government panel inspects Narayanhitti palace

The government panel set up to make security arrangements for Narayanhitti palace today observed the security situation inside the palace. The panel led by joint secretary at the Home Ministry Mod Raj Dotel visited Narayanhitti palace and discussed the security arrangements with the palace secretariat office bearers and security officials. The panel was flanked by the secretaries at the ministry of home and general administration –though the committee is led by the Home Ministry joint secretary–and entered the palace through the northern gate of the palace.

Emerging from the spot-inspection of the palace security arrangements, the panel said that the situation inside the palace was not as good as it looks from the outside. Secretary at the Home Ministry Umesh Mailnali informed that all the officials expressed joy with the panel and assisted during the observation period. However, the government team did not inspect the palace where the former king and his family have been residing.

Yesterday the panel had called the palace security chief and got informed about the security situation inside the palace. The panel began its work from yesterday as per the directives issued by the government to prepare security plan for the palace and to table its report within seven days. The government formed the panel after the first sitting of the newly elected Constituent Assembly members declared the country a federal democratic republic on Wednesday, ending the 240-year-old monarchy.(source)





44 responses to “Fall of Monarchy in Nepal: Seven Years of the Royal Massacre”

  1. Mr Editor Avatar

    ….now…its time…we open the royal massacre case also….who killed king birendra….and his family members….is significant …to nepal’s history and future as well……why was he killed….whose interest did he block….what was he planning…..so he needed to be eliminated……dig….dig…and dig…..why…were they killed…… .its necessary for this nation’s future…..

  2. dilli Avatar

    Dear Dinesh ji,
    My comment may not fit to your writing. However I want to make a point which I feel important at this point. King is gone for ever. We are turning Narayanhiti as a musium. If we can keep musium as it is, it would be very interesting visit destination. In fact, we can expect more tourist to visit the palace. Therefore, it is better to buy personal belongings of King. It is not good to force him to give up his personal belongings. However, people are interested to see and preserve the palace culture just for fun.


  3. Ram Prasad Sharma Avatar
    Ram Prasad Sharma

    About Gorkha Durbar

    I think it is good that the durbar is opened to general people. I beleive these palaces should only be opened to public after arranging its security system and management system. These palaces belongs to history. So we need to protect them. The initiation that is going on in the Royal Palace in Narayahiti is gteat. I dont want the palaces and durbars of Shah Kings should not be like that of Ranas. Look what we did with the Rana Durbars. Just look at Singha Durbar..

    Our government should protect and preserve these palaces. They should find out ways to finance its protection and preservation of these palaces.

    Ram Prasad

  4. shiva Avatar

    Just as Prithivi Narayan Shah launched his unification campaign from the Gorkha durbar, similarly pol pot prachande is considering his power consolidating campaign from that palace.

  5. shiva Avatar

    YES, an autocrat can never be a democrat. That is why Gyanendra was never ever a democrat. Likewise, Prachanda, the nepali pol pot can never ever be a democrat, and the need of the hour is to bring him down in order to promote democracy in Nepal.

  6. Kaale Avatar

    Talking about Prachanda, I was thinking he is wise fellow. 25 years underground life have given him some light but he seems not understand modern dynamics a bit. He speaks like a “Chiaya Pasal ko Gafadi” at Khula manch. He says – we will not tolerate Kantipur crticizing us at this time – when we have owned people’s vote? I did not hear you clearly comrade – what people vote? Maoist have garnered 30% of votes not 90% and what ever be your vote count every one (including big media house like Kantipur) has freedom of expression. Prachanda, or Mr. Dahal has no right to intimidate others. No hooliganism shall be tolerated in in New Nepal. If you want your rights – learn to respect others right.

  7. steel Avatar

    Prachanda Dahal wants to be President and he threatens the media – what sort of a head of state is this. We have signed the universal declaration of human rights which includes the freedom of press. This fellow is violating these rights. We should also sign the rome statute to try rights abusers in international court, so that these threats if carried out can be then translated into justice by placing this dictator on trial for many human rights violations. I am all happy for a republic, but the King should not be used as the scapegoat, we have many more “kings” to fry, namely Prachanda Dahal.

  8. steel Avatar

    The media should npw go all out against such dictators. Many facts are still not reported. He has openly challenged the media, they should oblige.

  9. mahila sahu Avatar
    mahila sahu

    It will be bandar ko hath ma nariwal soon. Given the incomepetence of our stupid SPA M dictators they do not have idea to manage one palace let alone managing the country.
    Terrorist has started work from Dhangadhi where they forced all the magazines to close by threat. This is just a dress rehersal and soon all the free men and media will be attacked. This is time all th democracy loving people should stand up and defeat these new and more dangerous dictator of Nepal ( Thanks to new master SOOD)

  10. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    I wonder what extent Maoists would go if they had won majority
    or 2/3 majority. They are behaving as if they are super power.
    They are so blind that they cannot even see the fall of one
    such super power Gayne. At this stage consensus among all
    parties is very important to provide some relief to people, but for every argument they have
    only one SUGA RATAI answer we are the LARGEST party. This
    largest party has started dictating. No press can criticize them
    because they are the LARGEST party. What a joke !!!!!!!

  11. Major Sharp Avatar
    Major Sharp

    Monarchy in Nepal had a downfall due to its own fault, greed and stupidity. The turning point was massacre at Narayahity. If the killings was the act of Dipendra, why should Gyanendra has to cover up all the evidences and even destroy the building in which the incident took place. Maybe maoists and India, knows something about who killed Birendra and family, that’s why Gyanendra could be easily blackmailed to dethrone himself. He is a culprit and he shows guilty conscious. Now the point is will and can Nepalese people really punish Gyanendra for the Royal bloodbath? It they can, Monarcy will be gone forever without any chance of coming back.

    It looks like Gyanendra will have to face criminal charge, once his connection with Nepalese Army gets disconnected foever, and Rukmangadh Katuwal is also charged for Killings during the Jana Yuddha. It is like slow death, one never knows what kind of fall is next.

    Maoists too has to accept democracy, otherwise they will fall like Monarchy. Only thing is people of Nepal are divided as pro-monarchy or no-monarchy. They are missing the point as to what should be the next ideal system and in that system how maoists and other parties whould behave, and if they dont behave, Nepalese have to rise again with another Janaandolan part 3. Long live Rebublic Nepal, long live people power.

  12. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    coud there be another kot parba inside maoist org.

    since it is all crear that prachanda all wants is power,

    and there are other power hungry opportunist inside the terrorist camp. may be prachanda wants not only president but also command of army so that he can protect himself from his fellow terrorist or may kill them.

  13. SB Avatar

    the process of declaring the country a republic was done unconstitutionally and a writ has been filed in the Supreme court to reserve and further hold on any decisions. Lets see what happens now.

  14. Mukti Avatar

    Saha Kings ruled nepal for 239 years, for initial 25 years they were true leaders of nepal who united the country.Thus
    239-25=214 years .
    Out of 214 years Bhimsen thapa was the execuative priminister(one of the nepalese hero in the history) for 31 years.
    214-31=183 years.
    Out of 183 years, Ranas ruled nepal for 104 years.
    183-104=79 years.
    Between 2007 and 2017 there was a so called democratic transtition mostly kings were not rulling the country.
    79-10=69 years.
    Form 2046 -to 2065 (ie 19 years) political parties were in power most of the times except 1 year.
    69-18=51 years

  15. Nirmal Avatar

    Dear friends Prachanda’s true face emerges time and time. He lokes to people to read only Janadesh. In his defination journalism means singinging a song of Prachanda. Remember, during Panchayat Raj, how many news paper were band. There are directives from home ministry to every news paper for all the do and don’t. He is clone from Mahendra.’s genom as far as his ability to hear from others. Stupid hair do of Maoist, untatural copy of Stalin’s mustach all the sign of totaltarian.

  16. KiRAN Avatar

    There is no doubt that Maoist are leading the things wrong way by selling the dream to the people. Yes, people need dreams to live ; we need some hope in life to live. The “Dreams ” the maoist are selling are baseless. Of course, this dream selling will finish up the Maoist. My concern is what the Maoist will finish up before their ouster. Democratic one also should come with dream that is more realistic. Do not sell hopelessness and uncertainty. Have some URJA to the people who support you.
    Long live democracy in Nepal

  17. Deva Avatar

    It is with a heavy heart that I write these lones. Yes, the King is GONE but, what have we now achieved? A Republic – Great! Will it be a real democracy or a dictatorship of the Proliterates? Will we have a free, fair and tolerant society or a guided, dictated, and coereced society? Will we have liberal and personal freedom or will be be subjected to the dictates of the government? These are the many questions which now pass through my mind. The political parties may now find the the Maoists are nota an easy partner. Be aware!


  18. yp Avatar

    We have been squarely hoodwinked with propoganda. Politcians and media propoganda. The only person which has had any grace is the “tyrant” Gyane. Even Sitaulas line that the King has “changed” and spoke to him normally – as if he has ever known the King at a personal level to make such a remark. Does’nt it strike the people that it was their over the top proganda that potrayed the royals to be much more then they are.
    Now we have Prachanda threatening a dictatorship – well the CA was to make a constitution not to run governments, the CA was for democracy not for dictatorships – I think what the Congress and UML are doing is correct, they should not give in, and they should tell Prachanda in no uncertain terms that if he tries a fast one the whole CA and peace process will be illegitimate and every decision will be reversed including reinstatement of the monarchy.

  19. MAYOLU Avatar

    ALSO QUEEN she got all grey hair because of situation. Mistake was give up before would have been smarter, maybe he was just doing his job but he should not have had an army.

  20. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    CA was not meant to form NEW GOVT. The idea of forming new
    govt started when Maoist emerged as largest party and they
    started to CRY HARD.

  21. anti virus Avatar
    anti virus

    Dear all,
    Jay DESH Jay Naresh
    hamro raja
    hamro desh
    pran bhanda pyaro cha
    shree pan maharaj dhiraj ki
    Bhanne baburo halat ke ho la han?

  22. coke Avatar

    Its already nearly two months, when the new govt. will be formed ?

  23. Major Sharp Avatar
    Major Sharp

    The one who believes in King, does not believe in oneself.

    When does a Nepali understand the true King of Nepal is each and every individual citizen?

    When does a Nepali understand the meaning of People’s Sovereignty ?

    When will the Nepali mind come out of Fairy tales of Kings, Queens, palaces, demons, prince and princesses.

    I am ashamed to see a Nepali who is so void without GODs and KINGs: 😦

  24. akr Avatar

    Why do we need to care about the bygone era? Why do we need to think of the king. Kill the king, and that’s exactly what we have done. Monarchy is no more in our country. No to monarchy, no to any militarization of the state, no to any form of feudalism, no to any form of totalitarianism. I got a lot of beef from my friends when I didnt shave my head after the killings. Why should I? Who are they? What have they done to better my life? It is they, who ordered to shoot the innocent students in the ring road outside Vanasthali in 1990. How can I forget? What have they done? No, I dont mourn them. All those people who shaved their head were feudal in various forms. I ask, why didnt we shave when Ganeshman died? He did more for us than any. He was the true “mandela” of Nepal. Lets not make this a news. The deposed smuggler, and the deposed drunkard, the hell with them, and they should be tried in the constitutional court for all their past doings. No more will that drunkard be able to meaninglessly shoot people or drive over people. Oh god, I hate them!

  25. Harke Avatar

    By removing the King, the people of Nepal have paved the way for dictatorship of Puspa Kamal Dahal.

    Maoists removed the monarchy because it was never going to let Maoists reach “Power”. Now they will take care of Congress and UML to get “Power”.

    Hail Prachanda!! The “bhavi” dictator of New Nepal.

    Hail Congress and UML, who helped Prachanda to become a dictator by removing the King.

    Hail Dictatorship in exchange of Constitutional Monarchy!!!!

  26. historicaldays Avatar

    Unfortunately change is not always for the better. The united press put so much blame on one man and tries to change the culture. I don’t know if a monarch could not have been democratic, we all felt the first King was being humane under the circumstances. If preservation of the status quo is the idea on uses armies. I am opposed to violence so I always disagree with all.
    That is my undemocratic right.
    So simple brother got killed for being too laxe with ‘ maoists’ second brother gets into the strong man move, result many mass graves.
    Is it better to celebrate than commemorate?
    Time will tell. The main concern seems to be how to keep the so called new majority from doing what the former so called majority did.
    Bo- ring.
    It is better to take up hobbies than politics. However if the commies are clever they become democrats.

  27. coke Avatar

    4 million youth are unemployed in Nepal. They can be misused by any group by false assurances. They will have nothing to left except to beilieve the false assurances. More difficult days are coming…..

  28. hemant Avatar

    why nagarjuna palace to gyanendra??
    For wht?
    i can’t understand the politics of Nepalese Leaders..
    Yet another frustrating decision at the eve of SO CALLED REPUBLIC.

    Shame on Nepalese Politician..

  29. hemant Avatar

    It seems as if it is the compensating gift so as to make him leave Narayanhiti……………………

    Lot’s of Compromise….
    Nepal is spoilt because of so many Leaders
    too many cooks spoils the brooth bhaneko yei ho

    kai nabhakko jatra haandi gaon ma………………
    Aba Paras lai chai kahako nationalised mahal dine ho,?? I hope at least not around Ktm…otherwise it’ll be hard for Nepalese to walk safely in road…….

  30. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    Except for simple majority, min. of defence, power to impose emergency give the whole govt. to maoist.

    Sooner they manage govt. soon will their dumbness be exposed.

    And why are they pressing demanding power to impose emergency……….sounds very dangerious to me. beware democratic republic supporters.

  31. change (human right, prosperous nepal) Avatar
    change (human right, prosperous nepal)

    why gynandra doesnot want to live with paras?

    is it because he is afraid, paras would wack him.

  32. k Avatar

    royalty is over why the obsession.

  33. Nepali Avatar

    why the hell Gyane is getting Nagarjunga Palace?!!!….

    Make sure that he pays monthly rent!!

    Our politicians are loosers….. why shall the tax payers money be spend for a normal citizen…….. Palace has high maintenance…… (govt..should only give him security)…..nothing more than that……

    Gyane must pay rent …….

    where are the youth group..who were there to replace the royal flag with National flag now… …….this is the time to go to the street and stop Gyane to go to Nagarjunga…..

  34. from Japan Avatar
    from Japan

    May be its the curse that haunts us from time to time and we are never near to peace, development and satisfaction. We are seen bickering most of the times among ourselves, who cares for the country and peoples, Aren’t these politicians elected by our votes ? That means the fate of our country is marked by our votes then and now, if politicians have ruined this country its because of us because we are the culprits taking them to that level. Or may be its our fate that people like them are there to rule the country and decide their fate. We are seen cursing gyanendra at this moment but have we succedded to curse the currupt and failed government who are more to blame than the exiled king or even those who marked the death of so many peoples in the country. Time to rethink …..its never too late. Its always people that make a country not a bunch of politicians or a king.

  35. coke Avatar

    When new government will form ? UML is trying to misuse the unemployed youths as making them their shield. It is not good symptons, which will bring more Gunda Raj”

  36. ripvanwinkle Avatar


  37. aaaceaze Avatar

    the horrible..rata-ta-ta kaanda..one of the worst in the history of nepal..
    Surely, i am eager to open this case and find out the real culprit.
    As we al;l nepalese believe it was not dipendra but some1 else, i think this is the rite time we ought to find the reason, and persons behind that massacre!!!

  38. WTF Avatar

    why the fk are u all into this??its over now…think somthin new…dats why we lack behind thinkin abt past too much and not looking at the future…wots der gotta do goin after fkin gyanendra…everythin will come open- only matter of time…
    i’ll tell u all that we nepali are fkin selfish and have problems with small issue…making small problem big and bigger problem juss a talk

  39. suraj raj pandey Avatar
    suraj raj pandey

    its great to know that once a forbidden land,for common nepalese, infact a mystical land often associated with bloodshed,conspiracy,plot n what not. is being made accssibile to public.
    narayanhity, is no doubt the treasure house of nepalese history which has many untold stories,events to tell.despite the facth that it is being made a museum what piches me is the irresponsible attitude and carelessness of the nepal govt. to manage and hold the aura of this palace in future.many of the palaces in the past for instance the hanuman dhoka palace which is part a museum and half the residence of the nepalese armies has been the prime victim of the govt negligence.many of its rooms r in decreipt condition and to worsen this situation the staff assigned for muesum security is found to be involving in fck ing useless business.
    they r looting the country .

    so although narayanhity once had been the royal residence we should not forget that it was infact made out of the nepalese money so at the time when we r getting back our property its the duty of the authorities to preserve it.
    not a single corner of the palace should be utilised for the staff;’s luxury rather staff quarters for palace security shoudl be made within the palace premises.
    not a single room of the palace shold be made inaccesssible to public.
    but i dont think these political bastards can do nothing concrete .

  40. Linda Avatar

    I wish the Nepalese all the best with their new republic – I only wish the British had the same sense to determine their own future and reclaim their political rights.

  41. Pankaj Avatar

    its not Rat-a-Tat, my friends, its bhatta-tatta-tatta. Remember Tara Rana Bhatt. Maybe it should have been tarra-ranna-bhatta-tatta-tatta… LOL

  42. pj Avatar

    Dear All Friends,

    Its good to have an feeling of democracy and republic. But please be serious and think who have backed our politician. It this good for us (Nepali).. These politician mainly Girija/ Makune/ Prachanda/Babu Ram and so on.. do u all think they have petriotic feeling????.. they are only after the power and making money.. Do u think they can lead Nepal to prosperity?? Big time friends.. I will again say that they all are very much used by our neibours for their own benefits.. But remember one thing people of Nepal had good life before so called democracy… We had a good life.. people were happy.. SAFE and was more PROUD than Present being Nepali.. Maoist have also killed many Nepali for their rise.. And dear Moist Cradet don’t be emotional that your leader will do good. For them you guys are only means to clim up.. they will never think about your feelings.. That time you will remember Our King and Queen( Institution of Monarchy). Please understand that this country is run as per the interest of India, Otherwise why every politician has to go to Indian Embassy for small things and why they have to meet Indian Ambassador for small things.. By protocal also ambassador should be meeting our so called head of state not our HOS visiting them every now and then for any dicisions, Do we have any dispute with that country??? And Also remember when ever there is Congress rules in India they always want to creat problem in our country as they still have slave mentality and do not realise people feelings and want this country to be slave same as they were made by British. So please be aware our politicians do not have guts to fight with them as they all are blessed by them. I wish all the well wisher of so called New Nepal to be prepare to sing Indian national anthem or be like Bhutan.. and realise our mistake of throwing Monarchy from this country. Democracy will work in country where there is large number of literate population. For country like us we need someone to cane at our back as and when required… We have many example from other developing countries going after word “DEMOCRACY”.. Why we should follow other principle.. we do have our own history, culture so lets respect them and we will become proporos country in the world.. why do we need to compete with Switzerlan and Singapore.. Lets be famous with Nepal.. Our Politicians do day dreaming as they have no capacity to do things which is not politics and they want us to day dream.. Sorry Bose can’t happen.. There is a Nepali saying.. “Makai ropera Dhan Faldaina”
    Long live our kingdom of Nepal..

  43. what ever Avatar

    reinstate monarchy in Nepal. No Monarchy no Nepal. Nepal is being torn apart by a pack of hyenas

  44. Rajen Upadhyay Avatar

    A good debating table for the pro and anti monarchists….liked reading your article and comments too….
    visit me at
    Rajen Upadhyay

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