History of Medieval Nepal: Malla Dynasty

Last Updated on April 25th, 2022

After the Lichhavi period ended, the Malla era began. They were the rulers of Tirhut who intermarried with royalties of Kathmandu valley and began their era.

The Malla dynasty ruled from the 12th century to the middle of the 18th century over the Kathmandu valley. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Malla’ means ‘warrior’. King Aridev Malla was the first to hold the title of Malla. As King Aridev was playing wrestling, his son Abhay was born So he puts “Malla” after his name.

King Aridev Malla was the first king of the Malla Dynasty.

The Malla rulers were great patrons of art and architecture who contributed to the fine arts, sculpture, stone and wood carving, bronze work, and painting. The Malla kings made important contributions to the development of Nepalese culture. They promoted Hinduism as well as Buddhism. They used the Sanskrit language for literary purposes. They also built many temples, palaces, public buildings, ponds, and other monuments during their regime.

Yaksha Malla was the last king of the Dynasty.

During the Malla era, who ruled over the period is not clear? Almost all of the following are thought to be kings.

  • Aridev Malla
  • Abhaya Malla
  • Jaydev Malla
  • Jaybhimdev Malla
  • Jaisinghdev Malla
  • Anant Malla
  • Ananda Malla
  • Rudra Malla
  • Jayasthiti Malla
  • Dharma Malla
  • Yaksha Malla

Yaksha Malla

Yaksha Malla is the grandson of Jayasthiti Malla. He was very powerful and his borders of the kingdom were extended far and wide. But after his death, The kingdom of Valley was divided by their sons.


The old name of present-day Bhaktapur is Bhadgaon. Before the partition of the Valley, this kingdom is called Nepal Mandala and the Bhadgaon is the capital city.

Eldest son of Yaksha Malla, Rai Malla is the first king of Independent Bhadgaon.

Jagajyotti Malla is a famous king of Bhadgaon. He asked to keep records in the Nepali language in Anantalingeshwar. He also started the practice of Kumari puja, Bisket Jatra, and Bhairav Jatra in the Bhadgaon.

Bhupatindra Malla is known for his artistry. He built Sundhara at Malati Chowk, Narasingha, and Hanuman at the entrance of the Royal Palace. In 1759, he built the Nyatapola Temple which is also known as the five-story Temple.

Similarly, he built 55 Window Temple (Pachpana Jhyale Durbar) and a golden gate. His statue is placed on a stone pillar in front of the Palaces. During the regime of Ranjit Malla on 1 March 1826, Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Bhadgaon. This victory marked the beginning of modern Nepal.


The old name of present-day Kathmandu is Kantipur. Ratna Malla, the eldest son of Yaksha Malla established Kantipur in 1538 B.S. Mahindra Malla, Pratap Malla, and Jai Prakash Malla are some of the famous kings among the 14 kings of Kantipur.

Mahendra Malla

Mahendra Malla was known as the guardian of the people. He used to eat after he is sure that the people of his kingdom eats. He was the first to introduce silver coins in Nepal and it was called “Mahendra Malli“.

Pratap Malla

Pratap Malla is a famous King of Kantipur. He erected a statue of Hanuman at the main entrance of the Royal Palace. That is why the name of the Palaces is called Hanuman Dhoka. Pratap Malla built the Rani Pokhari in the name of his beloved queen.

Jay Prakash Malla

Jay Prakash Malla was the last king of Kantipur. He started the practice of Kumari puja in Kathmandu. During his regime, on 13 September 1825 B.S. Prithvi Narayan Shah had conquered Kantipur. Kantipur was ruled by the following Malla kings.


The old name of present-day Lalitpur is Patan. Siddhi Narsingh Malla is a famous and clever king. To keep Patan safe from Bhadgaon and Kantipur, he makes a friendly relationship with Gorkha King, Ram Shah. He built the Krishna Temple made up of stone in Patan Durbar Square.

Yoganarendra Malla was the son of Srinivas Malla. During his regime, there was war between the kingdom of Valley. In the war with Bhadgaon, He died while taking tobacco in Changu Temple. it is believed that his tobacco was poisoned by the spy of Bhadgaon.

He erected his statue in front of Patan Durbar Square. There is a bird on the statue’s head. He said, “Until the color of the statue fades and the bird will not fly away from head, remember that I am alive” Even now one of the windows is kept open and the bed is made in the room, remembering that King Yoganarendra Malla is not dead. On 24 September 1825, Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Patan.

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