Gorkha-Limbuwan Treaty

The Gorkha Bhardars, Abhiman Singh Basnet, Parath Bhandari, Kirti Singh Khawas and Bali Bania on behalf of Gorkha king Prithivi Narayan Shah agreed to take an oath and swear on “noon pani” (salt water) promising that Gorkha king would never confiscate Limbus’ Kipat land (self-autonomous land) nor destroy them. If their Kipat land was confiscated and destroyed, then the god, upon whom Gorkha raja had swore upon and put faith on, would destroy him, his descendents and his kingdom. With this swearing ceremony, a big copper cauldron was brought in front of Gorkha and Limbu representatives and one pathi (eight pounds) of salt was put into it. Limbu ministers then poured water into it and stirred properly to mix the salt with water. Then the ministers asked the Gorkha bhardars to extract salt out of the water. They answered that salt had mixed and had become impossible to extract out from the water.

The Limbu ministers then said, ”Although the salt had melted and it is impossible to extract it from water, yet the water has become tasteful. You, the Gorkhas, are like water and we the Kirant Limbu people, are like salt. You Gorkhas people want us to melt in you, but you will not remain as before. When we mix or amalgamate with you, then you Gorkhas will be more exalted than before. But, if you betray us by taking our right of Kipat land, then what oath will you take for not violating this agreement?” The Gorkha bhardars, on behalf of Gorkha raja took a handful of salt water in their hands and swore that the Gorkha raja would never betray them by forfeiting the Kipat land (self-governing autonomous land). If the Gorkha King did so, his descendents would melt like salt and disappear from the world. The Gorkha bhardars, then questioned the Kirant Limbu ministers, saying if they will betray the Gorkha raja by violating “noon pani” agreement what oath would they take for never violating such agreement. The Kirant Limbu ministers took a handful of salt water and swore that they would never go against the Gorkhali king. If they did so then their descendents would also melt like salt and disappear from the world.

After making such agreement on salt water (sacred and important elements), the Gorkha bhardars on behalf of Gorkha raja, gave the following treaty paper or Lal Mohor to the Limbu ministers of Bijaypur.

Translation of the agreement between the Limbu ministers of Morang kingdom and King Prithivi Narayan Shah of Gorkha Kingdom in 1774 AD:

" Let this be our agreement that I want to have you as the members of my own family. My religious mind is good. You are under my protection from now. By my power, your country is now mine but you are still ours. I will take the responsibility of progress and protection of your families. I will retain your rights to anything you possess. You keep in contact with my officers, help them and enjoy your land with full right as long as it exists. You are different from Nau lakh Rai, because their kings will be displaced. You who call yourselves Kings are not destroyable. I know your policy and good intentions. "

" The Kingdom of Sikkim had not come to terms with us. My officers have come to your land with full instructions. You will come to now everything through them. You agree with them and enjoy your land individually in a manner as mentioned above. I, hereby, agree to abide by the above-mentioned terms of agreement of never taking your land by force and destroying you. I swear on the copper plate and say that if I violate the above-mentioned promises, then let the God upon whom I and my family depend and worship, destroy my descendents and my kingdom. I have written the above-mentioned agreement and hereby hand it over to the above-mentioned Limbu brothers on this day of twenty second shrawan of Sambat eighteen hundred and thirty one at our capital city of Kantipur may it be blessed and fortunate. "

When the allies of the Morong kingdom heard the news of agreement between Gorkha and Morong kingdoms, the Limbu rulers of Mewa kingdom, Phedap kingdom, Maiwa kingdom and Tambar kingdom also came to Bijaypur to join the alliance with the Gorkha king under the same terms and conditions of the treaty. Rulers of the above regions, Papo Hang, Thegim Hang and Nembang Hang, under the leadership of Chemjong Hang (Shrishun Raya) decided to join the Gorkha king on the same conditions.

Thus the Limbuwan Gorkha War came to an end in 1774 with all the principalities of Limbuwan joining the Gorkha kingdom, except the kingdom of Yangwarok (the kingdom of Yangwarok consisted of parts of present-day Taplejung and Panchthar) and kingdom of Ilam (present-day Ilam district), ruled by King Hangsu Phuba of Lingdom family.

In 1775, King Yong Ya Hang of Yangwarok was not satisfied with the condition of self-government proposed by the Gorkha king and instead went to the Sikkim palace and incited the King of Sikkim to declare war against the Gorkhas. He raised his Limbu army and joined it with the Sikkimese army. The Bhutia Sikkimese army general Tipu Taka attacked Chainpur and drove back a small Gorkha force from the Siddhipur fort. Reinforcement of the Gorkha force arrived with full war equipment and they drove the Sikkimese back to the Tambar River where a decisive battle was fought. The Sikkimese army retreated to their country and the Gorkhas pursued them as far as Ilam. The Limbu king of Ilam Hangsu Phuba surrendered to the Gorkha king conditionally. The Gorkha king later gave him full autonomy and kipat in his region with the Lal Mohor on 1869 BS (1813 AD).

Although the Bhutia Sikkimese army was pushed back to Sikkim, the Limbu forces of King Yong Ya Hang and the Sikkimese Lepcha army attacked Morong under General Chyok Thupp and defeated the Gorkhas in 17 battlefields. So the Sikkimese Lepcha general Chyok Thup Barphongpa was called “Satrajit” by the Gorkhas and “Athing” by the Lepchas.

After that the Bhutia battalion under General Tipu Taka came back and joined the Lepcha and the Limbu forces of Lepcha general Chyok Thup and Limbu general Sunuhang. The Gorkha king sent a huge reinforcement to drive the Sikkimese army from Morong, but in a big battle near the Rangeli town, the Gorkhas were badly defeated and the Gorkha officers appealed for peace. The Gorkha-Sikkim treaty was signed in Bijaypur.
Gorkha-Limbuwan Treaty Gorkha-Limbuwan Treaty Reviewed by Limbuwan on 4:29 PM Rating: 5

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