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Saptari and Mahottari Affairs, 1810-11 AD January 6, 2008

Filed under: History — rammanohar @ 1:50 pm

Saptari and Mahottari Affairs, A.D. 1810-11

During 1810-11, the government was confronted with serious administrative problems in Saptari and Mahottari districts of the eastern Tarai region. These two districts comprised a single administrative unit at that time.

On Marga Badi 9, 1866 (November 1809), Subba Achal Thapa had been appointed chief of the state-operated Bhangaruwa market in Saptari, (Regmi Research Collection, vol. 40, p. 136). His functions and duties were as follows. (Abstract translations of relevant sections):

1. Procure merchants from India and have them settle at Bhangaruwa.

2. Encourage traders and merchants from the hills and the Tarai to buy and sell commodities at Bhangaruwa at current prices. Do not use force while doing so.

3. Use revenue (from specified sources) to buy commodities at the end of three years, indicating the profit made through the buying and selling of commodities and obtain clearance.


4. Collect taxes and other dues from the inhabants of the villages assigned to the Bhangaruwa market at the customary rates. Do not increase the rates and oppress the subjects.

5. While supplying commodities required by the palace from time to time, send a note indicating the actual cost. Do not seek to make any profit on such supplies.

6-7. Reseanable expenses incurred in purchasing commodities from different areas, or in supplying commodities to the palace, as well as in paper, mattresses, lamps, etc. for the establishment, shall be debited.

11. No duties (sair) shall be collected on commodities purchased inside the Kingdom; expenses incurred in packing and transporting commodities on lands and villages not assigned to the market.

14. Administer justice in the market and the lands and villages assigned to it, collect fines, penalties, and escheats, and credit the proceeds to the accounts.

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 40, pp. 141-45.

Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Subba Achal Thapa was warned not to interfere in the collection of revenue from raikar lands in Saptari and Mahottari. The warning added, ”In case revenue delines as a result of your oppressive actions, the loss may be realized from yu, and you may also be punished with fines.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 11.

Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Royal order to Subba Achal Thapa:

”A letter sent by Ganga Prasad Giri to Raghav Singh has been referred to us. according to that letter, the ryots of Saptari are fleeting to India, and the country is being ruined, because you have been collecting the following unauthorized levies and payments:

(a) A tax of three rupees from the owner of a draft ox.

(b) Ghee worth five ruees for each buffalo from dairy-farmers.

(c) One maund of oil for each oil-press from oil-men.

(d) Five rupees from each vendor operating with a capital of ten rupees.


(e) A levy of 1½ annas on each ryot.

(f) Forced and unpaid labor (begar) on raikar lands.

”We have granted no authority to you to make such collections. Nor have we authorized you to prevent the local inhabitants from procuring goods from India. One the contrary, we had granted you authority only to collect a levy of one anna in each rupee worth goods purchased by Indians beyond a radius of five or six kos from the Bhangaruwa market, and to act according to the regulations in other matters.

”But now it seems that you have collected payments in contravention of the regulations and thus ruined the country, refund all such unauthorized collections, and marke purchase on behalf of this market at current prices.”

The royal order then gave the following instructions to Subba Achal Thapa:

(1) Let those who visit the market for buying and selling goods do so at current prices.

(2) Let ryots who procure salt, gur, etc. from India at their own cost do so.

(3) Supply goods to traders at reasonable prices for purposes of trade.

(4) Do not collect any tax on commodities bought by the local inhabitants for personal consumption. Collect such tax only from those who buy commodities for purposes of trade.

(5) Bring back all the ryots who have fled from your oppression.

(6) The Subba shall dispose of complaints submitted at his Kachahari by any merchant. Do not take over such complaints yourself.

(7) Do not visit the villages to dispose of disputes among merchants. Do so only of complaints are submitted to you. The Subba shall not encroach upon your jurisdiction in this regard.”

The royal order concluded: ”Both the market and the country belong to us. Function in consultation with the Subba in such a manner that revenue is collected and the market too is operated. Do not impress forced and unpaid laborfrom the inhabitants of mal lands. Employ only the market. You shall be held responsible if your oppressive measures ruin the country.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 13-14.


Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Royal order to the Subedars, Jamadars, Huddas, and soldiers of the Bhagawati-Dal and Sri-Dal Companies:

”We have appointed Subba Achal Thapa to discharge functions relating to the market of Bhangaruwa in Saptari-Mahottari. We not appoint Subba Jayafar to discharge functions relating to raikarmal lands. Both of them belong to us. in case any dispute arises between them in the course of the discharge of their functions, do not quarrel with the employees of Subba Jayafar or with the ryots of raikarmal lands on the plea that you are under the command of Subba Achal Thapa.”

The royal order added: ”We have exempted the inhabitants of raikar lands from forced and unpaid labor obligations. As such, do not create any trouble on such lands. In case the ryots flee because of your actions, so that the country is ruined, and complaints are accordingly submitted to us, and in case you quarrel with Subba Jayafar and his employees, you shall be severely punished. In case any dispute arises between the two Subbas, report the matter to us, and we shall dispense justice after hearing both sides.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 14-15).

Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Royal order to Subba Jayafar and Subba Achal Thapa:

We exempt the ryots of raikar-mal lands in Saptari from forced and unpaid labor obligations. Impress such labor from the inhabitants of birta and jagir lands to transport goods bought for the (Bhangaruwa) market, and those procured for the palace. Any one who impresses forced and unpaid labor from ryots on raikar-mal lands will be punished.

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 16.

Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Royal order to the Chaudharis, Kanugoyes, Mokadams, Jethraiyats, ryots, sairdars, mahaldars, Ijaradars, and others of Saptari and Mahottari:

”We have received reports that because unauthorized levies and payments (as described above) have been collected from you in the name of the (Bhangaruwa) market, and forced and unpaid labor has been impressed from the inhabitants of raikar-mal lands, you have gone over to India.

”We have sent orders to Achal Thapa forbidding him to collect such unauthorized levies and payments. Come back and reoocupy your lands with full assurance. In case you suffer from any oppression in the future, represent the matter to us through Subba Jayafar Adhikari, and we shall take appropriate dicisions. Have no doubts on any account.

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 17.



Chaitra Badi 8, 1867

Royal order to ryots inhabiting raikar lands in Saptari and Mahottari:

”Any person who vacates his raikar holding and shifts to birta, jagir or other lands shall be under obligation to pay taxes due on the raikar holding vacated by him. we hereby reconfirm the remission of taxes on 2 kathhas for each bigha of cultivated lands as stipulated in the 1850 Vikrama (A.D. 1793) settlement, in addition to ther remissions as stipulated therein.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 18.

Chaitra Badi 9, 1867

Jayafar was assigned as ijara for the collection of revenue in Saptari and Mahottari for a three year period from Baisakh Badi 1, 1868. He succeeded Raghava Simha.

The ijara entitled Jayafar to appropriate revenues from all available sources in these two districts, with the exception of the following sources:

(1) Emoluments and perquisities of Chaudharis and Kanugoyes.

(2) Chanda-Chiraki tax (collected on Brahman priests from India).

(3) Salami levy from the heads (Mahanta) of monasteries.

(4) Fines, fees, and penalties collected on cases referred to the palace.

(5) Fines and penalties collected on Pachakhat cases.

(6) Treasure-troves.

(7) Levies collected on behalf of the Crown (Raja-Anka).

The ijaradar was also allowed one-sixth of income accruing from escheat property. He was required to supply rhinoceros horn, baby rhinoceros, and bison (gaurigai) horn to the palace. In addition, he was required to meet all expenses on the local administrative and military establishments.

Net payments stipulated by the ijaradars to the government every year were as follows:

Vikram Year Amount

1868 Rs 62,001

1869 Rs 62,501

1870 Rs 63,101

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, pp. 31-33.

Chaitra Badi 9, 1867

Royal order to the Chaudharis, Kanugoyes, Mahaldars, Mokadams, Jethraiyats, and ryots of Saptari and Mahottari:

”The districts of Saptari and Mahottari, so far administered by Raghava Simha Khadkha, have now been placed under the authority of Subba Jayafar. All your allotments, rights and privileges, etc. have been reconfirmed. With due assurance, work together with the Subba and make the country populous and prosperous. Persuade all Chaudharis, Mokadams, and ryots who have left the districts to come back and reoccupy their lands, and pay your taxes through the Subba. Represent your grievances, if any, through him, and we shall redress them.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 41, p. 33.

Jestha Sudi 5, 1867

Disputes on the question of jurisdiction had arisen between Subba Achal Thapa and Subba Jayafar Adhikari’s predecessor, Raghava Simha Khadka, also. On Jestha Sudi 5, 1867, the following royal order was issued in the name of Subba Achal Thapa:

”Raghava Simha Khadka’s men have complained that revenue from sair duties has declined as a result of the monopoly (ekahatti) granted in the sale and purchase of commodities in the district of Saptari. You are, therefore, ordered to function in such a manner that Raghava Simha Khadka does not incur any loss, and the business of (Bhangaruwa) market too is not obstructed.

”Revenue from the Bhusahat levy has been included in your assignment. Issue a receipt allowing remission for the amount collected from this source to Raghava Simha Khadka.”

Regmi Research Collection, vol. 39, pp. 207-8.


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