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Untold Love Story of Jung Bahadur and Putalibai

Kaji  Balnarsingh Kunwar and his brother in law Mathawarsingh Thapa were on the exercise of archery. Suddenly an arrow hit their target. They looked back. It was Bir, the son of Balnarsingh. ‘’What a target!’’ Mathawarsingh Thapa appreciated. Birnarsingh replied, ‘’The target of Jung Bahadur never can be missed.’’ He was the man who was recognized as Jung Bahadur Rana in the history of Nepal.

As Balnarsingh was given the post Kaji which had been made hereditary in his family in reward of killing the murderer of King Rana Bahadur Shah on the spot, Jung Bahadur was made Kaji in the palace after Balnarsingh passed. He impressed Prince Surendra Bikram Shah by many extra-ordinary braveries like catching alive tiger, controlling mad elephant by jumping from the 9 storied Tower, Diving in the Narayani river and deep well, etc. After evaluating abilities, Surendra increased the power of Jung Bahadur in the palace.

One day coincidently, Jung Bahadur Rana met Putalibai, the closest Susare and friend of Youngest queen Laxmidevi. Putalibai became the key for Jung Bahadur to open the lock of success. In the first meeting Putalibai and Jung Bahadur fell in love. Jung Bahadur was married at that time. However, polygamy was acceptable in that society. Laxmidevi used to share everything to Putalibai. So it opened the door to know the real situation of palace for the Master Mind like Jung Bahadur Rana. Here is a point to be noted that the love of Jung Bahadur was true even though his love was fruitful for his political game.

Political instability and internal groups were extreme in the palace. After the death of the Eldest queen Samrajyalaxmi, the ambition of King Rajendra’s favourite queen Laxmidevi raised head. She wanted to make her own son Ranendra Bikram Shah the king of Nepal in place of the legitimate Surendra Bikram Shah. Her ambition became the issue to plot Nepal’s most destructive massacre namely Kot Parva.

Jung Bahadur Rana wanted to install his family rule in Nepal and he was looking for the proper opportunity. By bending himself into the current situation, he was rising day by day in the palace. However there was another person keeping him back in this race. He was his own close friend Gagan Singh Bhandari {Gagan Singh Khawas}. Gagan Singh was the dearest one to queen Laxmidevi. Some historians believe that Gagan Singh and Laxmidevi were in affair. When someone {possibly Jung Bahadur Rana} killed Gagan Singh, queen Laxmidevi became fire with anger. She immediately called court. Every courtiers assembled in the court without arms and weapons as per the rule. But Jung Bahadur’s brothers with 3 battalions surrounded the wall of the Kot as planned previously. Queen Laxmidevi was sure with Jung Bahadur that he will support her to ascend his son in the throne. In this way Jung Bahadur got an opportunity to finish his many enemies in the Kot. A dreadful massacre took place. Then with the support of Queen Laxmidevi, Jung Bahadur became the Commander in Chief and the Prime Minister of Nepal.

As Jung Bahadur was leaned towards Surendra Bikram Shah, he denied to make Ranendra the King of Nepal. So queen Laxmidevi ploted another conspiracy to finish Jung Bahadur. With the help of Basnet group she planned to kill Jung Bahadur in the party going to be held in Bhandarkhal garden. But by the information of Putalibai and Pandit Vijay Raj, Jung Bahadur Rana washed all enemies in Bhandarkhal. This massacre is known as Bhandarkhal Parva {Basnet Parva} in the history of Nepal.

Jung Bahadur exiled King Rajendra Bikram Shah and queen Laxmidevi for plotting the conspiracy.  Then he became a powerful prime minister of Nepal. King Rajendra sent some people to kill Jung Bahadur but they were arrested and executed. Jung Bahadur fired Rajendra Bikram from enthronement and made Surendra Bikram Shah the king of Nepal. Then he installed family rule of Rana dynasty. King Rajendra continued the struggle. He was arrested in Alau. This event is known as Alau Parva. In this way the three Parvas, i.e., Kot Parva, Bhandarkhal Parva and Alau Parva finished the enemies of Jung Bahadur and established him. He was made Shree Teen Maharaja by king Surendra.

After several years, Jung Bahadur had gone to Pattharghatta. He died there. His queens except two younger queens decided to go Sati. Putalibai also went Sati. There is a saying that there is a hand of woman behind the success of every man {Also there is a hand of woman behind the destruction of every man}. This saying is relevant with the love story of Jung Bahadur and Putalibai. Without Putalibai it was impossible for Jung Bahadur to know the unstable and fragmented situation of palace which is the main cause of his rise. And if Putalibai had not informed him about the plan of his murder, he would have made plan to rise in the paradise.

Though Jung Bahadur established dictatorship in Nepal, he had done many reformations in Nepal. The rise of Jung Bahadur was a need of time. But his successors could not understand the contemporary situations of Nepal. They could not change their ways according to the time.  It became the main cause of the downfall of Rana Rule in Nepal.
Discovered by Don Prince

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