Brief History About Nepali Literature | Sneha Jha

nepali literature

Knowing Nepali Literature

Nepali literature has a very long history. It dates back to the time even before the unification of current day Nepal.

It is believed to be living for hundreds of years both in verbal and written form.

But due to insufficient research, it is still hard to exactly know when the Nepalese literature started to flourish.

Nepalese writings were basically written in Sanskrit, Newari due to the Newar rulers as well as in Nepali.

It was in various forms like religious texts, or writing on stones, different types of Chronicles, etc.

The recorded form of Nepalese literature goes back to the times of Adhikabi Bhanubhakta Acharya. It has about 200 years of its history.

At the time of unification, people in Nepal spoke more than 100 languages and it became a huge problem for people of one place to understand the language of others because of a different dialect.

So, to come to a common ground, people created the Nepali language. After the formation of the language, the Nepali language slowly started to flourish.

One hundred and twenty-four languages are listed to date but if we talk about literary writings then most of the writing is found either in Nepali, Newari or Maithili.

The Nepali language has been an official national language since 1958 B.S. The Nepali language had evolved from Sanskrit and the main theme for the early writing was religion.

The Nepalese literature could not evolve in its full fledge in the past because of the dominance of the Sanskrit language and Sanskrit was only feasible to Brahmins i.e. a group of people.

So, many people did not have the access to contribute in it. Even Bhanu bhakta Acharya had translated Ramayana, into the Nepali language which is a Hindu epic.

This work had a huge impact on Nepali society and people started reciting it thinking of it as a story of God.

People started getting more invested in religious themes but as change is inevitable, slowly and gradually, the trend of Nepali literature started changing.

By the mid of eighteenth center, the mainstream was occupied by folk narratives as well as folk song.

In the eighteenth century, Prithivi Narayan Shah’s memoir had also contributed to Nepalese literature but it was more of a historical recording than an actual literature.

After the occurrence of another century, Nepalese literature had started to lean towards the genre of stories and poems.

It gave more exposure to creative ideas and many people started to invest their thoughts in Nepalese literature.

20th century became literary as Motiram Bhatta published the works of Bhanubhakta Acharya.

Muna Madan by Laxmi Prasad Devkota had a huge impact on the Nepalese audience. It caused a stir in people’s thinking and it is still considered to be the best selling Nepalese work. 

The poem is in the words of a common man which created an even more impact on the people of Nepal. And even the younger generation can somewhat relate to it as it never gets old.

Now different forms of writing are famous in Nepal which are poems, epics, essays, stories, fiction, dramas etc.

Many people claim that the poet Suwananda Das was the first literary figure of modern-day Nepal.

Other important literary figures include B.P. Koirala, Siddhicharan Shrestha, Balkrishna Sam, Lekhnatha Paudyal, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Narayan Wagle etc.

The famous writers of the modern-day are Subin Bhattarai, Abhi subedi, Amar Neupane, Manjushree Thapa etc.

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Sneha Jha is affiliated with blogging sites like Offline thinker as the art of writing intrigues her. She believes that words have power and public speaking is challenging which is the reason why she is also a public speaker. She loves spelling out her thoughts and interacting with others. She is one of the people who loves challenging herself with new opportunities and ventures and learning a lot through it. She has converted her passion into a profession due to which she loves every second of her work. She is an easy-going person and the simplest of things can make her happy.


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