297th Prithvi Jayanti observed; President offers tribute to nation builder’s statue

- Anuj Kumar Adhikari, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2019-

To commemorate the 297th birth anniversary of the late Shah King Prithvi Narayan Shah, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari garlanded the life-size statue of the late king in front of Singha Durbar. The day is also celebrated as Prithvi Jayanti and National Unity Day.

President Bhandari laid a wreath at the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah in front of the main entrance to the Singha Durbar, and also recalled the contributions Shah made for the unification of Nepal. Likewise, a contingent of the Nepal Army presented a guard of honour to President Bhandari. Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Banskota and former Council of Ministers chair Khilraj Regmi were also present to pay their tributes.

Members of the general public also gathered in front of the nation’s main administrative building Singha Durbar to offer their tribute to the statue of the late King Shah, who is credited for unifying Nepal. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli praised King Prithvi Narayan for his role in the unification campaign. He said no one could have imagined Nepal in this form if Prithvi Narayan Shah had not led the campaign. He, however, ruled out the possibility of reinstating monarchy in the country. “It is sheer stupidity to dream the reinstatement of monarchy,” he said.

The government stopped celebrating Poush 27 as National Unity Day, which was traditionally celebrated as a public holiday, following the political change brought by the second people’s movement in 2006. The first meeting of the government led by Girija Prasad Koirala removed the day’s holiday status in 2006. However, the public enthusiasm for National Unity Day has not come to cease.

King Prithvi Narayan Shah, a king enthroned at the age of 20 in the princely state Gorkha, envisioned to expand his kingdom and started unifying other princely states in 1745. After conquering Kathmandu Valley in 1768, he became monarch of modern day Nepal, a hereditary rule that ended in 2008, with the last king being Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah.

Published: 12-01-2019 08:25

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