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A rukkā from King Raṇabahādura exempting certain Kathmandu goldsmiths from corvée (VS 1840)

ID: DNA_0014_0026

Edited and translated by Rajendra Shakya
Created: 2017-11-06; Last modified: 2020-11-23
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Published by Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities: Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal, Heidelberg, Germany, 2018. Published by the courtesy of the National Archives, Kathmandu. The copyright of the facsimile remains with the Nepal Rashtriya Abhilekhalaya (National Archives, Government of Nepal). All use of the digital facsimiles requires prior written permission by the copyright holder. See Terms of Use.
The accompanying edition, translation/synopsis and/or commentary are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License CCby-SA.


In this executive order (rukkā), King Raṇabahādura exempts a total of 75 households of goldsmiths from Kathmandu from corvée for as long as they mint silver coins.

Diplomatic edition



[Royal seal]




5इति­सम्वत्­१८४०­साल­जेष्ट­वदि­६­रोज­      शुभम्­===






[May] Śrī Durgā help [us].

[Royal seal]

Hail! A rukkā issued by the venerable supreme king of great kings.1

Āge: To 75 households of Bā̃ḍās of the city of Kathmandu [working] at the silver mint (ṭakasāra).

We have exempted [you] from jhārā, beṭh and begāra corvée for as long as you keep working at the mint.

Particulars (tapasila)


The leaders (nāike, text: nāeka) Dhaṃcā, Deva [and] Lakṣṃinārāṃ, persons3
Households of Lagaṃ Ṭola18

Households of Gophale Ṭola

Households of Ikubāhā Ṭola4
Household of Ñaṭākhā Ṭola1
Households of Sikhamuga Ṭola6
Households of Asaṃ Ṭola5
Households of Iṭuṃbāhā Ṭola19
Household of Kohiṭi Ṭola1
Households of Naughala Ṭola2

[Thurs]day, the 6th of the dark fortnight of Jyeṣṭha in the [Vikrama] era year 1840 (1783 CE). Auspiciousness.


[no.] 4472


Through the devāna of the tahasila, Bhīma Khavāsa, [and] KhajāncīGarbhu Khavāsa


Nepal has a long history of minting silver coins. In fact, the earliest coins found in the Kathmandu Valley are two silver punch-marked pieces of the type that circulated extensively in northern India until the third century CE (Rhodes et al. 1989: 14). As this document shows, King Raṇabahādura continued in this tradition employing a large number of households of Bā̃ḍās from Kathmandu to mint silver coins. Such coins were important back then, as the smaller silver coins were considered more convenient than copper coins of the same denomination (Hamilton 1819: 215). This document was issued about five years ahead of the Sino-Nepalese war (1788–1792), which broke out over a dispute relating to silver coins used in Tibet that were minted in Nepal.

Of the 75 households that received the exemption from corvée, the document lists only three by name: those of Dhaṃcā, Deva and Lakṣminārāṃ, who possibly had the main responsibility of overseeing the minting process. The others are referred to only in terms of the number of households from specified locations.


1. The reigning king at the time the present document was issued was Raṇabahādura (r. 1777–1799). []

2. This number, added by a second hand, refers to the manuscript number given by the National Archives, Kathmandu. []

3. It is unclear what this number, added by a second hand, refers to. []