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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kirat period in the history of nepal

Kirats were very ancient peoples who existence are described also in the Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a conflict about the word Kirat. Someone says that Kirat word comes from the Sanskrit in which Kirat means people who lives in boundary area. They were from Tibet or china; somebody says they were from northern part of Persia, Egypt. Very little is known about this period in the history of Nepal. The Kirats ruled for about 526 years and were ruled by about 28 kings during that time. The first and best remembered king was Yalambar whereas the last king is Gasti. Legend credits him with meeting Indra, the lord of heaven, who ventured into the Valley in human guise. He had the dubious honor of being slain in the epic battle of the Mahabharata, in which gods and mortals fought alongside each other. Another remarkable event during this period is the coming of Gautama Buddha in the time of the seventh king named Humati who was very brave. The Buddha supposedly spent time in Patan, where he elevated the blacksmith caste to goldsmiths and bestowed upon them the name of his own clan, Sakya. The great emperor of India, Ashoka, was also a visitor to Kathmandu in this period during the rule of Jetedasti As a follower of Buddhism, Ashoka visited Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, and erected the Ashoka pillar in Lumbini and stupas in Kathmandu. His daughter married a local prince and further spread the religion. Kirats main religion is Shaiba which means to worship lord Shiva. As the Kirat dynasty came to an end in the valley, they went to the riverside of Tamakoshi and Arun and formed a kingdom under Nepal kingdom. Kirats were still remained in the eastern mountains where they are considered to be the forefathers of today’s Rai and Limbu castes.

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