Last King of Mustang Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista no more

KATHMANDU: Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, the last king of former Himalayan kingdom of Mustang which was annexed to Nepal, has passed away. He was 86.

It has been learned that Bista, popular as Mustangi Raja in Nepali, was admitted to the Chabahil-based Om Hospital some days ago. He died during the course of treatment at the hospital in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Bista suffered from geriatric disorders along with hypertension and uric acid.

Bista, who was born in 1930 in Lo Manthang, had ascended to the throne after his father King Angun Tenzing Trandul's demise, in 1964 as the then His Majesty's Government of Nepal had acknowledged him as King Trandul's heir apparent.

FILE - Mustang's King Jigme Palbar Bista. Photo: Wikipedia/ Boerniefischer
FILE - Mustang's King Jigme Palbar Bista. Photo: Wikipedia/ Boerniefischer

Bista enjoyed the titular kingship of Mustang till 2008 when the Government of Nepal scrapped the Rajya Rajauta (Petty States and Rulers) Act, 2017 (1961) after Nepal was declared republic in the wake of political changes in the country.

The Act allowed the title of petty kings (for life) in the former states of Mustang, Salyan, Jajarkot, and Bajhang even after their annexation to Nepal.

Bista had been residing in Kathmandu after retiring from his cultural role in Mustang that observes Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

In 1790, Bista's predecessor King Wanggyal Dorje had accepted Nepali sovereignty. He and his successors were recognised as "Petty King", however.