Sandwiched between the domineering landmasses of countries such as India and China, Nepal still manages to retain an identity that is distinctly its own. In fact, it is a country that was never invaded by Mughals despite the Mughal dominance in India for more than three centuries.

There were two attempts, as per sources, by Muslim rulers to invade Nepal, but they went in vain.

The first of these was in 1349 when Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah of Bengal invaded Nepal. He did plunder Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, but he retreated soon after.

Then in the 18th century, another Bengali Sultan, Mir Qasim, attacked Nepal. His attempt ended in failure as he was repulsed easily.

Nepal never invaded
Map of ancient Nepal

The Mughals, who seemed to have invaded every nook and corner of India, somehow weren’t interested in Nepal. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why that may have been:

Harsh Landscape

With eight of the world’s top ten mountain peaks lying in Nepal, conquering Nepal was always going to be a daunting task.

During the time when the Mughals ruled India, wars were mostly fought with the use of horses, camels, and elephants. Thus, the high mountains made it more challenging for them to fight.

The Mughals couldn’t afford to lose their army to the freezing cold of the Himalayas. Crossing mountains of such size was a very difficult task.

Unprofitable

Conquering Nepal was simply not an economically profitable prospect. Attacking a country like Nepal needed a lot of resources, but the rewards weren’t tempting enough.

It wasn’t as if Nepal was poor. The valley of Kathmandu was economically very sound. Nepal was the hub of India-Tibet trade. Given the infrastructure and architecture of Kathmandu, it would be injudicious to label Nepal as a poor country.

Sure, they had a lot of economic power in them, but attacking them was a costly affair. It was deemed to be a risk that wasn’t worth taking.

The Mughals were a royal set of rulers. Unless a kingdom was of some use to them, they wouldn’t waste their time, energy and other resources over it.


Also Read: Not Just The British- Check Out These Other Colonial Rulers Of India


Lack Of Interest

While Hindus and Buddhists had religious interests in Nepal, Muslims didn’t have any.

Hindus, being worshipers of rivers and mountains, had an attachment with the Himalayas. Similarly, Buddhists too sent their monks and missionaries to the mountains.

Muslims did not have any such attachment or awe with the Himalayas, so they never thought of conquering Nepal.

Attacking Would Have Done More Harm Than Good

Nepal provided a route for the Mughal trade to flourish in Tibet. Attacking them would have harmed this trade with Tibet. The impact of an attack wouldn’t have been limited to their trade with Tibet, but would have affected the Mughal economy in Ladakh and other states of the Himalayan belt.

The Malla community of Nepal had a good relationship with the Mughals. An attempt to invade would have ruined this relationship.

Difficult To Manage Nepal

Even if the Mughals, for once, ignored all of the above reasons, it still wouldn’t have been wise to invade Nepal. Of course, they could have defeated Nepal if they really wanted to. The sheer manpower at their disposal would’ve outclassed any army, despite the difficult terrain.

But it would have been an occupation of an antagonistic population that would’ve drilled a hole in the Mughal treasury as well as the army. The people from the mountains were a pugnacious bunch which would have eventually rebelled.

It is often claimed that Nepal was never invaded because of the Gorkha Empire. However, the truth is, there was never a war which actually tested their much-publicized bravery.

Considering the strength of the Mughals, if Nepal was not invaded, it means that there were no resources in Nepal that were worth the trouble in attacking them.

Nepal never invaded
A depiction of the Anglo-Nepalese war that took place in 1814

Even the British weren’t bothered to conquer the whole of Nepal. During the Anglo-Nepalese war in 1814, the British conquered the most profitable part of Nepal, and decided that a full-scale conquest wasn’t worth it.

Friendship between modern-day India and Nepal was initiated with the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Today, with the Indians and the Nepalese having close linguistic, marital, religious and cultural ties, both counties want to build up a forward-looking approach in bilateral relations.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Wikipedia, Postcard, The Himalayan News + more


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9 COMMENTS

  1. Hey!! Just keep some of shit in your mind. Read the History of Nepal deeply and just bark like anything. Mugals did tried to attack Nepal but they were terribly defeated and Nepal is full of resources and still is. Your country is still targeting the water and other resources. So make it sure before you write anything. Take it yourself and mind it.

  2. Manas, it is clear that you are not being able to come in terms with the fact that India was ruled by foreign forces whereas Nepal enjoyed freedom all the time. I’m not exaggerating the prowess of Gorkha troops but Gorkha empire and Mughals had fought a battle and the Mughals had to retreat.
    Another lie that you are spreading is conquering Nepal would not be profitable. Nepal was the ancient route for two of the most prosperous traders – India and Tibet. Nepal was largely benefitted by these traders which made Nepal more appealing for both Mughals and British.
    Lastly grow up and learn to accept the truth. That was history but I would accept the fact that now India is more powerful than Nepal in terms of military and economy. Looking at the disastors of post-colonisation and during colonisation in India. I feel utterly lucky and happy that none of my fellow countrymen had to go through that at the same time I feel sorry for you guys.

    • If Nepal was so profitable, and had lot of resources, then why is Nepal poorest country in Asia? If Nepal was so great and Gorkhali were so brave and loyal, why are Ghorkha’s working for British? and most importantly why are Gorkhas leaving Nepal and settling in Europe?

      Truth is Nepal was always in mercy of India, and Tibet. you are just a bridge between 2 big country. Even now, Nepali politicians are sweet talking India, next day they are sweet talking China. Nepal switches sides like a cheap prostitute.

      • first of all nepal isnt the poorest country in Asia its south korea second of all after seeing the braveness of the neplease in the anglo neplease war they personally wanted nepelease gorkhas to work for them and tne 3rd question is so stupid alot of people migrate to the Europe from Asia even from india lol and 4th question nepal has been in the mercy of india huh and neplease politician sweet talk indias bro when we were supporting china you guys were sweet talking us china and india were fighting over favor of nepal half of indian soldiers are neplease lol you prob are a indian who doesnt know a thing about recorded history of nepal lol

  3. Don’t say that India has only flat lands. Don’t say Pakistan has only flat lands. Don’t say Kashmir has flat lands. And don’t say that India only has flat lands.
    Oh my goodness. How on earth your mentality & understanding goes to eat the cows shit? You know, India was rich in the past, but only the royals were rich, & the civilians were not, which is the result of today’s slums & the beggars we find in each & every corner of your country. It’s not your country’s economy that held the British to keep you under their feet for more than 200 years, Muslims for more than 800 years, because of the poor mentality like this. The whole world has been applauding for the Bravery of Nepal & the Gurkhas, you are here to make a filthy posts. Likewise, you need to be given a proper award for this. How about 100 hunters on your bare back?
    Don’t try to be a lion when your country was a lion used for the circus entertainment.
    My country was always a Tiger ruled nation throughout the history.
    If not, then let me remind you, back in 2010, Bishnu Shrestha single handedly handled 40 bandits with a single khukhri & saved a girl being raped. It happened in India. Now you can imagine if 1 gurkha can handle 40 people with weapons then so many gurkhas can do something beyond imagination.
    Next time don’t try to fool the world. You’ll be the one who will be in the hole dug by yourself.

  4. first of all nepal isnt the poorest country in Asia its south korea second of all after seeing the braveness of the neplease in the anglo neplease war they personally wanted nepelease gorkhas to work for them and tne 3rd question is so stupid alot of people migrate to the Europe from Asia even from india lol and 4th question nepal has been in the mercy of india huh and neplease politician sweet talk indias bro when we were supporting china you guys were sweet talking us china and india were fighting over favor of nepal half of indian soldiers are neplease lol you prob are a indian who doesnt know a thing about
    recorded history of nepal lol

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