The narrative of Jung Bahadur Rana’s daring leap into the Trishuli River is a well-known anecdote in Nepalese mythology, representing his courage and tenacity. While the precise historical authenticity of this event is debatable, it is an essential component of the mythos surrounding his ascent to power.

The Incident

According to the legend:

  • Context: The episode is claimed to have occurred during a period of political unrest in Nepal, before Jung Bahadur rose to power. He was under threat from warring forces and needed to flee an impending peril to save his life.
  • The Leap: Pursued by his foes, Jung Bahadur is reported to have made a daring escape by riding his horse down a high cliff and into the Trishuli River. This daring plunge was designed to demonstrate his extraordinary courage and mental fortitude.

Symbolism and Impact:

  • Symbol of Bravery: Jung Bahadur’s plunge into the Trishuli River has come to represent his bravery, resilience, and strategic insight.
  • Popular Legend: While the factual authenticity of this occurrence is unclear, it is nevertheless a famous tale in Nepal and contributes to Jung Bahadur Rana’s larger-than-life personality.

Historical significance:

  • Rise to Power: Jung Bahadur Rana rose to power through a series of clever manoeuvres and decisive actions, including the Kot Massacre in 1846, which cemented his supremacy in Nepalese affairs.
  • Rana Dynasty Establishment: Following his ascent to power, Jang Bahadur founded the Rana regime, which controlled Nepal with an iron fist for over a century until the democratic movement of 1951.

The myth of Jang Bahadur’s leap into the Trishuli River, whether true or not, emphasises the dramatic and stormy nature of his rise to power and his lasting legacy in Nepalese history.


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