Sen Dynasty of Limbuwan

From 1609 to 1769, for about 160 years, the Sen kings of Makwanpur were nominal kings of Morang and allied to the other five kings of Limbuwan. The era of the Sen dynasty in Limbuwan began with the conquest of the Morang kingdom by King Lo Hang Sen to avenge the death of the prime minister of Morang.They were Hindus of present day Bihar and Terai region.

King Lo Hang Sen (1609–61):

Following the enthronement of King Lo Hang Sen to the throne of Morang Kingdom at Bijaypur, Limbuwan also entered the phase of Hindu influence. kKing Lo Hang Sen ruled from 1609 to 1641 and managed to get all the kings of Limbuwan who were not allied with Sikkim on his side. He promised the Limbu people and their chiefs that the Kipat land system, the Limbu language, culture and way of life that had been practised for thousands of years would be protected. He also promised to Kings of Limbu kingdoms that they would get full autonomy and power to rule their own kingdoms. This way King Lo Hang Sen managed to become the King of Kings in Limbuwan and take the title of Maharajadhiraj. He appointed three Limbu ministers to his court in Makwanpur. In the meantime, the kingdom of Morang with its capital Bijaypur was ruled by the descendants of King Murray Hang Khebang, the Prime Ministers during the Sanglaing dynasty.

King Harihar Sen (1661–84):

King Harihar Sen, the grandson of Lo Hang Sen, succeeded his grandfather to the throne of Morang. He extended Morang up to Gondwara in Bihar, gave himself the title of “Hindupati Maharaj”, and built a new palace in Chanjitpur in lower Morang. He placed his grandson Bidhata Indra Sen on the throne of Morang. This was not liked by Hahrihar Sen’s sons so civil war broke out. In this chaotic struggle, Subha Sen, younger son of King Harihar Sen, was victorious and started ruling Morang.

King Subha Sen ruled Morang for 22 years, while King Bidhata Indra Sen was also ruling Morang. Both King Subha Sen and Bidhata Indra Sen were tricked into coming to the palace of the Nawab of Purnea, who then betrayed them and sent them to the Mughal Emperor in Delhi. Both the uncle and nephew kings died at the hands of the Mughal Emperor. After finding out about this betrayal, Queen Padmidhata Induraj Rajeswari, the wife of King Bidhata Indra Sen, called upon the allies of Morang Kingdom, all the nine kings of Limbuwan, to assist her in punishing the Nawab of Purnea.

Queen Padmidhata Induraj Rajeswari Sabitra Sen (1706–25):

The kings ruling nine Kingdoms of Limbuwan at that time were, Chemjong King, Pasenama King, Lingdom King, Khewa King, Sukmi King, Makkhim King, Vaji King, Gabha King, and Shah Hang King. They were titled Roy by the Sen Kings of Morang, Roy was equivalent of King.

Another war of revenge broke out with the united forces of Limbuwan under the command of Chemjong King and the Nawab of Purnea at Jalal Garh. The Limbuwan forces were victorious; their leaders established the boundary at Jalal Gurh in the south.

The kings of Limbuwan decided to bring the capital city of Morang back to Bijaypur from Chanjitpur. They placed Queen Padmidhata Indurajrajeswari on the throne of Bijaypur. The same Khebang dynasty kings of Phedap served as prime minister of Morang and other Limbus served as ministers and chautariayas.

In 1721, about fifteen years after the War of Revenge with the Nawabs of Purnia, Limbuwan established friendly and trading relations with the kingdom of Purnea in the south. King Pasenama, who was also a minister of Morang, went to Purnea and established the bilateral relationship.

King Mahipati Sen (1725–61):

After almost twenty years of reign, Queen Padmidhata died. The kings of Limbuwan and their ministers assembled and elected Mahipati Sen of Makwanpur, son of the late King Subha Sen, as the king of Morang and placed him on the throne in Bijaypur. He effectively became King of Kings of Limbuwan or Maharajadhiraja of Limbuwan. Mahipati Sen was a weak king; he had no legitimate issue, but had eighteen illegitimate sons. Kamadatta Sen, the eldest of the illegitimate sons, would succeed King Mahipati Sen of Morang and Maharajadhiraj of Limbuwan.

King Kamadatta Sen (1761–69):

During the reign of King Mahipati Sen, the prime minister of Morang was King Bichitra Chandra Raya Khebang of Phedap Kingdom. When Mahipati Sen died, he did not allow Kamadatta Sen to be the full ruler of Morang Kingdom because he thought Kamadatta was illegitimate. During this time, the Sen kings had given much of the terai lands of Morang to the Limbu kings and chiefs for their personal jagir, believing that they would not revolt against them.

The feud between King Kamdatta Sen and his prime minister grew as the tensions of the power struggle increased; Prime Minister Bichitra Chandra Raya Khebang was succeeded by his son, Buddhi Karna Raya Khebang. Buddhi Karna pursued his father’s policy of disengaging Kamadatta Sen from state affairs. Then finally Kamadatta Sen had had enough; he came to Bijaypur and occupied the throne and expelled Buddhi Karna from Morang. Buddhi Karna went to Rabdentse palace in Sikkim to get help.

Kamadatta Sen turned out to be a worthy ruler and established good relations with everyone. He declared that all the Limbu kings of Limbuwan, their ministers and chiefs were to be of his own lineage and that they were to be treated as his own family. He also married Princess Thangsama Angbohang, sister of King of Athroya in Limbuwan. He appointed King Shamo Raya Chemjong of Miklung Bodhey Kingdom (Choubise) as his Prime Minister and requested him to come to his palace in Bijaypur and manage his country. He again guaranteed autonomy and Kipat to all the people and chiefs of Limbuwan. He established friendly relations with the king of Bhutan, king of Sikkim and Tibet. King Dev Zudur of Bhutan even sent his representatives to King Kama Datta Sen’s coronation. Morang and Limbuwan already had good relations with the Kingdom of Purnea in the south and he also developed good relations with King Ranjit Malla of Bhaktapur.

Thus with his appeasement policies to the people of Limbuwan and good relations with the neighbouring states of Limbuwan, he gained much confidence and popularity in Limbuwan.

Meanwhile, in 1769, the exiled and unhappy prime minister of Morang, Buddhi Karna, planned a conspiracy to assassinate King Kama Datta Sen, who was ambushed and killed in Morang on his way to a meeting.

The era of divided Limbuwan:

King Buddhi Karna Raya Khebang of Morang (1769–73):

After the assassination of Kama Datta Sen, Buddhi Karna came to Bijaypur and became the last king of Morang and Limbuwan. But on hearing of the death of King Kama Datta Sen, all the states that made up Limbuwan and their allies split up. The kings of Limbuwan no longer had allegiance to Buddhi Karna. He seriously needed able ministers and chiefs to assist him in ruling Morang and all of Limbuwan. He sent people to look for King Shamo Raya Chemjong of Miklung Bodhey Kingdom to help him.

During this time,
  1. King Shridev Roy Phago — king of Maiwa Kingdom
  2. King Raina Sing Raya Sireng — king of Mewa Kingdom
  3. King Ata Hang — king of Phedap Kingdom
  4. King Subhawanta Libang — king of Tambar Kingdom
  5. King Yong Ya Hang — king of Yangwarok Kingdom
  6. King Thegim Hang — king of Panthar Kingdom
  7. King Lingdom Hang — king of Ilam Kingdom
  8. King Shamo Roya Chemjong Hang — king of Miklung Bodhey (Choubise, including southern Panther)
  9. King Khewa Hang — king of Chethar (including Dasmajhiya, Jalhara and Belhara areas)
  10. King Buddhi Karna Raya Khebang — king of Morang (including present-day Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa areas)

King Shamo Raya Chemjong was responsible for leading the Kings of Limbuwan and chiefs of Limbuwan in signing a treaty with the King of Gorkha. King Shamo Chemjong was also the prime minister of Morang Kingdom and effectively ruled Morang when King Buddhi Karna was away from Bijaypur to seek help from the British. The king of Ilam, King Lingdom’s son, was the last king of Limbuwan to sign a treaty with the King of Gorkha. The Limbuwan Gorkha War ended in 1774, following a treaty between the King of Gorkha and the Kings of Limbuwan and their ministers in Bijaypur, Morang.
Sen Dynasty of Limbuwan Sen Dynasty of Limbuwan Reviewed by Limbuwan on 4:27 PM Rating: 5

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