225-yr-old castle turns to pastureland

Chitwan, November 7:

Historically important Upardang castle has turned into a pastureland these days. Nepali soldiers used this 225-year-old castle as a shelter to prevent the entry of British imperialists into Nepal.

Bir Bahadur Thapa, 29, of Dahakhani village development committee, who was grazing cattle, said, “I am totally ignorant of its history. Until two years ago, people used to come here for picnic but this place is just a pastureland now.”

Politician Maheshwor Lal Shrestha, 68, a resident of Narayangarh, who has keen interest in history said, “This castle was constructed by Satru Bhanjan Shah, grandson of Prithvi Narayan Shah, some 225 years ago.”

The castle, constructed using big rectangular stones, is situated to the east of Bharatpur, at an altitude of 275 metres. Hexagonal castle extended 21 metres to east, 33 metres to west, 41.25 metres to north and 33 metres to south.

Some fragments of castle can still be found here, locals said.

For the construction of this castle, elephants and horses were used to carry stones, old people of this area told this correspondent.

According to Dr Suryamani Adhikari, lecturer and a historian, this castle was constructed for the protection of Chitwan in 1834 BS.

Another historian Dr Devi Prasad Kandel said, “Bahadur Shah, son of Prithvi Narayan Shah, had sent troops here under the command of his son, Satru Bhanjan Shah.” According to a history book of Yogi Narahari Nath, it took one year, five months and 20 days (1884 Kartik 12 to 1885 Chaitra 1 BS) to build the castle.

Janaklal Sharma, a historian wrote in his book ‘Rapti Valley’ that it was constructed by Satru Bhanjan to protect Nepal from Britain.