India was then under the British rule but Nepal was independent. The British wanted to capture Nepal also. On the pretext of border disputes between British India and Nepal, the British sent a large army. So war broke out in 1814. In this war, Nepali commanders Amar Singh Thapa, Bhakti Thapa Balbhadra Kunwar showed unparalleled bravery.
Amar Singh Thapa
Amar Singh Thapa was the son of Bagh Bhimsingh Thapa. Bagh Bhimsingh Thapa was a brave soldier in the army of Prithvi Narayan Shah. Bagh Bhimsingh Thapa filled Amar Singh’s heart with the feeling of patriotism and responsibility. This made Amar Singh a very brave man and a true patriot. He served in Prithvi Narayan Shah’s army. The king loved him for his bravery.
In the war of 1814, Amar Singh Thapa was in-charge of Nalagadh, Ramgadh and Gadwan forts. He foughty with the British General Octorlony. When the British army attacked Ramgadh, Amar Singh was not frightened in the least. On the contrary, he fought and defeated his enemy. Octorlony had to retreat. After this battle, Amar Singh and Octorlony again fought at Deuthal. Amanr Singh had not many soldiers but he did not care for that. Seeing this, General Octorlony was much surprised and impressed. Then Amar Singh fought in the western hills of Nepal. This time he was defeated.
Amar Singh wanted to conquer the kingdom of Kangada but he was not successful. He had neither enoyugh soldiers nor enough weapons; however, he did not surrender. He had to make peace with the English army. Nepal was compelled to sign a treaty sent by the British army. Amar Sigh was profoundly shocked at heart because it was against the independence of Nepal.
At last, he died in 1816. Amar Singh is known as “The Living Lion of Nepal”. He lived and died for his country.
After the death of Prithvi Narayan Shah, Pratap Singh Shah ascended the throne of Nepal. Pratap Singh Shah died soon; so his son Rana Bahadur Shah succeeded him. But he was only two and a half years old. As he was an infant, his mother Rajendra Laxmi conducted the administration.
There was a rupture between Rajendra Laxmi and Bahadur Shah, who was Rana Bahadur Shah’s uncle. So Bahadur Shah was living in Bettiah, India. When mother Rajendra Laxmi died, he returned to Nepal and carried on the administration on behalf of Rana Bahadur Shah.
Bahadur Shah was a worthy son of his worthy father. He completed the work which had remained incomplete during Prithvi Narayan Shah’s rule. Rajendra Laxmi had occupied some of the states but not all. She had an untimely death. Bahadur Shah undertook to complete the task. He had some warriors. He marched ahead to extend the territory.
Mahadutt Sen was the king of Palpa. Bahadur Shah married his daughter. Then he marched towards the west. He captured Chaubise States, Gadhwal, Almida and Kumayun. In the east, he extended the territory up to Sikkim.
Bahadur Shah was a patriot. He was loyal to the king, brave and courageous. He was far-sighted as well. He was kind hearted. He had very liberal policy for the states which had been won. He made proper arrangements for the protection of the life and property of the people of the occupied states. They respected him.
Rana Bahadur Shah did not like Bahadur Shah. When he came of age, he put Bahadur Shah in prison where he died.
Bhakti Thapa was a brave son of Nepal. He sacrificed his life for the defence of his country. His enemy was amazed at his bravery and honoured him after his death.
Bhakti Thapa was born in Lamjung. The king of Lamjung made him ‘Sardar’. In course of the unification of Nepal, Gorkha attacked and defeated Lamjung. all the feudal high officials of Lamjung were captured, Bhakti Thapa joined the army of Kathmandu.
When the war broke out between British India and Nepal, Bhakti Thapa was seventy years old. However, he was courageous and active. He was in-charge of Suryagadh and Devathal forts. he had only a few soldiers. The British troops were equipped with modern weapons whereas the Nepalese soldiers had simple weapons like; spear, Khukuri, sword and bow. In spite of that, Bhakti Thapa was not frightened in the least. A fierce battle was fought. Nepalese troops suffered a heavy loss. At last, Bhakti Thapa rushed towards the British artillery fire to capture the magazine. He cut many British soldiers with his khukuri. As soon as he reached the cannon, a bullet hit him and he fell down. General Octorlony of the British troops honoured his dead body and sent it to Amar Sing Thapa. His death Amar Singh Thapa shocked profoundly.
Balabhadra KunwarBalabhadra Dunwar is known as ‘The hero of Khalanga’. his fathers name was Chandrabir who was very brave and courageous. Balabhadra Kunwar was also endowed with the same bravery when the boarder dispute between BritishIndea and Nepal arose, Balabhadra Kunwar was in-charge of the fort of Nalapani. The fort was simple. It is five miles far from Deharadun in India. He had only six hundred soldiers including women and children. The enemy, on the other hand, had a large army with modern weapons. The British General sent him a letter to surrender. Balabhadra tore the letter into pieces and said, “I shall meet him in the battle field”.
General Maubi of the British army attacked the fort with cannon. The Nepalese troops fought braverily with Khukuri and defeated the enemy. Seeing the defeat, General Gillespie came with a large English army. Some Nepalese soldiers came from Nahan to help Balabhadra. In the fierce battle General Gillespie was killed.
Then, General Maubi again came with a large army and surrounede the fort of Kalanga. The war continued for many days. In this batte, the Nepalese woman showed great valour.They kept on throwing stones and logs on the enemies prevented them from marching ahead. Seeing no way to defeat the Nepalese soldiers, the British army cut of the water supply of the fort. The Nepalese in the fort, had no water to drink. Most of them including the Children died from thirst.
When only seventy persons survived, the Nepalese soldiers took sword in their hands and rushed out of the fort. THe British soldiers could do nothing but windered. The brave Nepalese drank water and went to the fort of Jaithak.
The fort of Nalapani was captured by the British. But there were only dead persons in the fort. The brave Nepalese did not let the enemies enter the fort as long as they lived.
When Balabhadra came dto the fort of Jitgadh, Major Bedlock of the British army attacked him but Balabhadra Kunwar defeated him badly.
Think of the horror of battle! fighting with simple Khukuri against well epuiped army was really a surprising adventure. It was the patriotism and loyalty that inspired Balabhadra and the Nepalese soldiers to risk their lives. Though they are no more, they are still imortal in the heart of the Nepalese people.