Nepal Bhasa/History of Nepal Bhasa



Nepal Bhasa words appeared in Sanskrit inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley for the first time in the fifth century. The words are names of places, taxes and merchandise indicating that it already existed as a spoken language during the Licchavi period (approximately 400-750 AD).[1]

Inscriptions in Nepal Bhasa emerged from the 12th century, the palm-leaf manuscript from Uku Bahah being the first example.[2] By the 14th century, Nepal Bhasa had become an administrative language as shown by the official proclamations and public notices written in it. The first books, manuals, histories and dictionaries also appeared during this time. The Gopalarajavamsavali, a history of Nepal, appeared in 1389 AD.[3]

Nepal Bhasa developed from the 14th to the late 18th centuries as the court and state language of Nepal.[4] It was the definite language of stone and copper plate inscriptions, royal decrees, chronicles, Hindu and Buddhist manuscripts, official documents, journals, title deeds, correspondence and creative writing. Records of the life-cycle ceremonies of Malla royalty and the materials used were written in Nepal Bhasa.[5]

  1. Tuladhar, Prem Shanti (2000). Nepal Bhasa Sahityaya Itihas: The History of Nepalbhasa Literature. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Academy. ISBN 99933-56-00-X. Pages 19-20.
  2. Malla, Kamal P. "The Earliest Dated Document in Newari: The Palmleaf from Uku Bahah NS 234/AD 1114". Kailash. Retrieved 9 February 2012.  Pages 15-25.
  3. Vajracarya, Dhanavajra and Malla, Kamal P. (1985) The Gopalarajavamsavali. Franz Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GmbH.
  4. "Lienhard, Siegfried 1992 Page 3". 
  5. Bajracharya, Chunda (1985). Mallakalya Chhun Sanskriti ("Some Customs of the Malla Period"). Kathmandu: Kashinath Tamot for Nepal Bhasa Study and Research Centre.