Thursday, February 4, 2010


Nepal 5 Rupees
Front: King Birendra, Goddess Taleju Temple
Back: Yaks

Nepal's stability was threatened even more when Birendra and most of his family (including Queen Aiswarya) were massacred at a royal dinner on 1 June 2001. However published reports from eyewitnesses and the results of an investigation carried by a two man committee made up of the Chief of the Supreme Court Keshav Prasad Upadhaya and the speaker of the House of Representatives Taranath Ranabhat, confirmed his eldest son and heir, Dipendra, was the gunman. There is some speculation that Gyanendra was behind a conspiracy. The motive given for Dipendra's actions were a clash with his mother over his wish to marry Devyani Rana. Dipendra also had a history of alcohol and illegal drugs abuse and had also suffered from depression in the past. Dipendra was proclaimed king but died a few days later of self inflicted gunshot wounds. Birendra's brother, Gyanendra, then became King.

Late King Birendra was born at the Narayanhity Royal Palace in Kathmandu as the eldest son of the then Crown Prince Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and his wife Crown Princess Indra Rajya Laxmi.

Late King Birendra was the first Nepalese monarch to receive a formal education. He spent eight years studying at St Joseph's College a Jesuit school in Darjeeling, India. On 13 March 1955 his grandfather King Tribhuvan died and his father succeeded to the Nepalese throne. With his father's ascension Birendra became the Crown Prince of Nepal.

In 1959 Late King Birendra enrolled at Eton College in the United Kingdom. After studying at Eton until 1964 he returned to Nepal where he began to explore the country by travelling incognito to remote parts of the country where he lived on whatever was available in the villages and monasteries. He later completed his education by spending some time at the University of Tokyo before studying political theory at Harvard University from 1967 to 1968. Late King Birendra enjoyed to travel in his youth and went on trips to Canada, Latin America, Africa and a number of Asian countries. He was also an art collector and supporter of Nepalese crafts people and artists. He also learnt to fly helicopters.

Birendra was married to Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Rana from the Rana family on 27 February 1970. The wedding which was billed as one of the most lavish Hindu nuptial ceremonies in history cost $9.5 million to stage. Birendra and Aishwaraya had three children.

* Prince Dipendra (27 June 1971 – 4 June 2001)
* Princess Shruti (15 October 1976 – 1 June 2001)
* Prince Nirajan (6 November 1977–1 June 2001)

Taleju temple in Kathamandu was constructed in 1564 by the King Mahendra Malla. This temple is totally devoted to Taleju, a type of the goddess Durga. The Taleju temple is one of the most well known temples out of the three Taleju temples construted by the Malla kings. Apart, Kathamandu, the other two Taleju Temples are in Bhaktapur and Patan.

Information and Image Obtained From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

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