March 16, 2017

ON MICHA KHAN_KANCHHA KHAN, THE MAGARS, SHAH KINGS, RANAS ETC.

[Linguistically, these Michā and Khānchhā kin-words that come almost invariably in every Gorkhali history book buttress an  argument, which Dor Bahadur Bista[3] has also concurred, that they were in fact - Magar brothers of a family. In Magar language, the oldest son in a certain Magar family is called Mijār or Michā(r) and youngest son - Kānchhā. The country’s national language Nepali, has borrowed Kānchhā from Magar language. We understand that lots of words have gone from Magar language to Nepali language and vice versa. Whether sons or daughters, the children in a Magar family are called Mijās[4], which  would therefore become Mijār Mijā and Kānchhā Mijā  for the oldest and youngest sons respectively. The sons - Chhorās are further called Lenjā Mijās and the daughters - Chhoris, on the other hand, are called Majhā Mijas.]



By B. K. Rana

A banner reading ‘welcome to Sen Vanshi and Saru Vanshi  tutelary deity
worship  २०७०’ That was on March 14, 2014
Six years ago in 2011, I was asked a few questions on Nepal’s modern history by a scholar, Dr. Tilak Shrestha downhere, about the Magars_ (Micha Khān_Kanchha Khān), General Abhiman Singh Rana Magar, Jung Bahadur Kunwar and the Sen Kings of Palpa as well.  Those questions he had asked were: whether the Shah kings of Nepal were ‘any Magars' themselves; but he hadn’t read anywhere else General Abhiman Singh, who was killed in 1846 infamous Kot Massacre or Jung Bahadur Kuṇwar being the Magars, as some people still hold a belief that they actually were; that the Sens of Palpa, were Magars too and how did the name 'Rana Magar' come into being – or in other words, how did some Magars obtain ‘Rana’ title for them ? He had further asked whether the Magars simply “did add up Rānā or it is an original term? I am not good at history but curious. Your explanations are appreciated.”  - he had concluded in one of his email communications.[1]

Being myself a Rana Magar from the historic Gorkha proper but not a trained historian of any sort as he had thought, I did briefly answer to those questions. We didn’t discuss the topic any further down the road. But only few weeks ago, the questions have been raised again online.[2]  This short note is written to answer those questions here again although discussing history with people who apparently seem having much less knowledge of  history  than certain mythology is something you frankly won’t want to ! 

I shall copy here again what I had posted to answer Dr. Shrestha’s questions. Fateh Rana lost his life and kingdom while fighting Akbar's military. His son, Manmatha's descendant, Bhupal Rana seems to have entered present day Nepal from Ujjain and settled in Syanja Lasargha in 1495. Bhupal Rana's son Jain Khān's son Surya Khān went to Bhirkot, Syangja in western Nepal hills. Surya Khān had two sons: Michā Khān and Khānchhā Khān. Although, no epigraphic or other historical evidence is available, these Michā Khān and Khānchā Khān are believed to be the Magars by their ethnic origin.

Linguistically, these Michā and Khānchhā kin-words that come almost invariably in every Gorkhali history book buttress an  argument, which Dor Bahadur Bista[3] has also concurred, that they were in fact - Magar brothers of a family. In Magar language, the oldest son in a certain Magar family is called Mijār or Michā(r) and youngest son - Kānchhā. The country’s national language Nepali, has borrowed Kānchhā from Magar language. We understand that lots of words have gone from Magar language to Nepali language and vice versa. Whether sons or daughters, the children in a  Magar family are called Mijās, which  would therefore become Mijār Mijā and Kānchhā Mijā  for the oldest and youngest sons respectively. The sons - Chhorās are further called Lenjā Mijās and the daughters - Chhoris, on the other hand, are called Majhā Mijas.[4]

‘Saru Magar’ and ‘Sen Thakuri’ priests heading towards a hill to worship their tutelary deity  in Huvash Village
Development Committee, Dharampani Paiyaun, Parvat  district, Western Nepal Hills on March 14, 2014
(फागुन ३०, २०७०). Two of the ‘sacred thread-brearers’ are Thakuris and all others are Saru Magars.

The Khān Family had originally ruled Bhirkot. And, from Michā Khān came the Shah and Shahis also.  But academically a very well-known Shah from Bhirkot - Rhshikesh Shah himself doesn't seem accepting that Bhupal Rana descended from Ujjain of India, while fleeing or being chased down by Akbar in 1495, to enter Ridi near Palpa, the central Nepal hills. This chronological record does not match at all. Without being born how would have Akbar fought with Fateh Rana for his daughter in 1495 ? Author Shah further presents a contradictory fact that Akabr was born, 47 years later in 1542.[5]

These Khāns and Shahs have specific meanings: Khān derives from Mongolian root 'Qaan'. The early Mongolians used the title 'Khagan or Khān' and which becomes 'Kehan'  in Chinese, - meaning ruler or emperor in today's term whereas Shah received a blend in Persian or Iranian, meaning - Kings. ​But Mincha and Kanchhā Khān, seem to have retained Mongolian title from Jain Khān. We need to understand why Jain became Khān shedding his widely renowned family Rānā title ? The king of Kaski, Kulmandan Khan became Shah later.



Contd >


[1] On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 8:14 PM, Tilak Shrestha  PhD<000000@hotmail.com> wrote:

A few days ago I mentioned that I read 'Shah' being 'Magar' somewhere, and you concurred. I have not read anywhere General Abhiman Singh being a Magar or Jung Bahadur Kunwar being a Magar. Also are you saying that Sens of Palpa Magar? One more question - how is the name 'Rana Magar' came to being? Did Magars simply add up Rana or it is original term? I am not good at history but curious. Your explanations are appreciated.
[2] ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ayuz Rock01 <00000000@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: On the Magars_ (Michha Khan_ Kancha Khan) _Shah Kings_ Ranas etc.
To: The Langhali Pariwar 1972 <the-langhali-pariwar-1972@googlegroups.com>
Nothing much to say but be notified that Kancha Khan or Mincha Khan none have any relations with Shahi's its totally a different history. Trust me on that the Shahi's were a much superior and old dynasty related to Bali Raj.
तर मगर भाषामामिचा’ ‘खान्चाको अर्थजेठा’, ‘कान्छाहो पछि मुस्लिम प्रभाव परेपछि सिंह, खाँ, आदि राखे चितौनगढबाट भागेर आएका हुन् भनेर हिन्दुस्थानका राजपुतले किन आफ्नो छोरालाई जेठा (मिन्चा), कान्छा (खन्चा) भन्नुपर्थ्यो? पृथ्वीनारायण शाहका मावली दिग्वन्धन सेन मगर हुन् उनकी आमा पनि मगर हुन्>>
[4] Maya GM, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur Kathmandu.
“Mijhar Mija > Jetho Chhora, Kanchha Mija> Kanchha Chhora; Lenjā Mijā > Chhora , Majha Mija > Chhori”

“It was Manmatha’s son, Bhupal Ranaji, who entered the central Himalayan region and reached Ridi, near Palpa, in1495. This contradicts the facts for Akbar was born in A.D. 1542” – Ancient and Medieval Nepal  -1992 pp 66