The Fall of Kathmandu montage showing Prithvi Narayan Shah and the siege of Kathmandu by the Gorkhali army

The Fall of Kathmandu montage showing Prithvi Narayan Shah and the siege of Kathmandu by the Gorkhali army
V. Hunjan, Believe Collective 2010 (with thanks to Rebecca Van Ommen & Peter Mutuc)

The 18th Century saw the small state of Gorkha in west central Nepal develop into a regional power - the Gorkha Raj (empire) - largely due to its seemingly unstoppable Gorkhali army. Their leader, King Prithivi Narayan Shah, conquered and unified Nepal and then continued to expand Nepal's territories in every direction. It wasn't long before Nepal's expansion brought it into conflict with the British Raj in India, resulting in the Anglo-Gorkha War of 1814-16.

The British outnumbered and out-gunned the Gorkhali army but they grew to admire their fearless and honorable enemy. When the British finally emerged victorious, through the cunning use of their superior firepower, they lost no time in recuiting their one-time adversaries into their British Indian Army. Thus began the history the British Gurkhas.

The Gurkhas fought in nearly all of Britain's conflicts in the region, proving their loyalty and courage during the Indian 'Mutiny' of 1857. By the end of this era Gurkhas had fought across the world in both World War I and World War II and earned themselves thousands of medals and an unmatched reputation for bravery that continues to this day.

Using the Timeline

You can explore the Ayo Gorkhali Timeline using the interactive version above or - if you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed in your browser - you can use the Era menu to the right of this introduction or the Timeline Menu at the bottom of the page. Please note that the Flash version of the Timeline has additional entries not available via the Era menus.

Many of the Timeline entries contain references to the online sources we have used in our research. You will find links in the Timeline information and, in some places, in the separate external links panels, so that you can follow up on points of interest. We realise that we have left out alot of historical events and characters, so please leave comments on the Timeline entry pages if there are important people, events or facts you think we should include. We will be developing and improving the Timeline over time, so if you would like to be kept up to date with what is happening on the site, please either register or join our newsletter mailing list. Alternatively you can post your comments here, on our Facebook page or to our Twitter feed.

We hope you enjoy exploring the rich and fascinating history of the British Gurkhas.

Dhanyabad - thank you.

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