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A copy of a lālamohara from King Gīrvāṇayuddha confirming Gajabhāryā Damāī as drummer at Gorkha Palace (VS 1872)

ID: K_0015_0004E

Edited and translated by Astrid Zotter
Created: 2021-08-17; Last modified: 2022-03-08
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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, 2022. 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.


This copy of a lālamohara from the king, who according to the date must have been Gīrvāṇayuddha, confirms Gajabhāryā Damāī as being in charge of the nagarā drum of Śrī Kālikā of Gorkha Palace.

Diplomatic edition









[In the left margin:]

Bundle (po[kā]) 12, va 9, 533, 842 1


[Concerning] a jāgira

The one who said [was] the nau[sindā]Harṣa.3

The one who watched [was] the nausindāRāma.

Āge: To Gajabhāryā Damāī

From earlier on, the nagarā of Śrī Kālikā of Gorkha Palace, [which has also been] Dubalyā['s charge],4 has been granted to you. This year again Dubalyā seems to have made [petition]5 stating: "May I obtain [it]." It is [hereby] confirmed to you. Take the 80 khetamuris according to the particulars (tapasila) [previously fixed] as remuneration (jāgīra), keep the nagarā bānā ensemble in attendance, be present for service and enjoy [the attendant fruits].

Saturday, the 12th of the dark fortnight of Māgha in the [Vikrama] era year 1872 (1816 CE).6 Auspiciousness.


The document was microfilmed twice; the second time as K_0633_0071.

The document concerns the appointment of the lead drummer of the nagarā bānā musical ensemble attached to the goddess Śrī Kālīkā of Gorkha Palace, even if another potential candidate, Dubalyā—in other documents he is called Dubalyā Damāī (K_0015_0007D, K_0030_0036B)—had also raised his claim. For more on the position of nagarcī of Śrī Kālikā of Gorkha Palace, which apparently rotated between the two persons somewhat frequently, see the copy of an earlier document (K_0030_0036B), originally issued in VS 1863 (1806 CE).


1. While the first abbreviation, po, probably stands for pokā ("bundle") it remains unclear what words the following va, and are abbreviations of. []

2. This number refers to the place of the document in the government ledger, archived as Book (BK) 9, whose entries were microfilmed sequentially from K_0014_0019 (front cover and index) up to K_0015_0044D. The bound material covers the main body (i.e. excluding the initial and final formalities) of 282 lālamoharas from the period VS 1868–1885 that pertain to guṭhī affairs. []

3. The abbreviation bhaṃ stands for bhanne, and nau probably for nausindā. This and the following line state the names of the clerks involved in copying the documents or in checking whether copies were true to originals. Similar marginal notes are also attested in other documents (cf. K_0013_0020B to K_0013_0033E), where sometimes the verbal forms are given unabridged (e.g. K_0031_0019C). The two functions distinguished are bhanne, "saying/telling" (i.e. probably reading it back out loud) and herne "watching" (i.e. probably looking over what was written as it was being read out loud). []

4. Due to corrections and the seal confirming them, the word(s) following Dubalyā cannot be deciphered. Neither the pre- nor postcorrection reading can be reconstructed in their entirety with any certainty, but what was crossed out ended in -yala. []

5. Due to unclear corrections in this place the word that probably denoted the kind of document Dubalyā submitted cannot be deciphered. []

6. The reigning king in whose name the original lālamohara must have been issued was Gīrvāṇayuddha. []