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Showing posts from February, 2013


The Soviets had a penchant for declaring their cities "Hero Cities" in tribute to their resilience in the face of the mighty German Wehrmacht bearing down on them with all its might. Stalingrad, Leningrad and Kiev come to mind as cities that determined not to surrender. If there is one "Hero City" in Nepal, then it must be the legendary town of Kirtipur.

The town has been famous in Nepalese history as the citadel that fought the invading Gorkha army of King Prithivi Narayan Shah bravely - three heroic times. Kirtipur surrendered only after exacting a heavy price on the forces of the king, including the death of his favorite general Kalu Pandey in the first assault. In the second assault the king's brother Surpratap was struck by an arrow in his eyes thus blinding him. It was only at the third attempt did the king conquer Kirtipur in 1767 A.D. opening up the route into the valley. Some historical accounts including the accounts of the Italian Capuchin priests p…