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Treaty Between Nepal and Tibet (1856) [378]


MARCH 1856

Translation of the Nepalese version of the Text of the Treaty of Chaitra Sudi 3, 1912 (V.E.), i.e. March 1856

The Bhardars (Nobles) of Gorkha Government and those of the Government of Bhot (Tibet) have by our own free will decided to sign this document. If war commences on account of the fact that one party to this treaty breaks the ahad (agreement), then the violator of the ahad will have sinned against God. We have signed this ahad with God as a witness.

Clauses of the Treaty

1. Pratham Kura (Article One): The Government of Bhot is to give to the Gorkah Government a salami of rupees 10,000 annually.

2. Doshro Dura (Article 2): Gorkha is to render assistance to Tibet, as far as possible, if she is invaded by a foreign power.

3. Teshro Kura (article 3): Bhot is not to impose jagat mahsul (custom duties) that had been hitherto levied upon the Gorkha subjects through out the territory of Tibet.

4. Chouthon Kura (article 4): The Government of Gorkha is to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Kuti and Kergon and Jhung and return to the Tebtans the sepoys, sheep, and yaks captured during the war, and when the conditions of the treaty were fulfilled. The Tibetans, in return, are also to give back to the Gorkhali cannons and also the Sikh prisoners of war who had been captured in 1841 in the war between Bhot and Dogra ruler.

5. Panchoun Kura (Article 5): Gorkha is permitted to station a Bhardar (envoy) in Tibet, instead of a Nayak that had been stationed there previously.

6. Chhaithoun Kura (article 6): Gorkha is allowed to keep their kothis (trade-marts) in Lhasa with the right to trade in jewels, ornaments, grains, and clothes.

7. Satoun Kura (article 7): The Gorkha Bhardar in Bhot is authorized to settle disputes bewteen the Gorkha subjects and the Gorkha Kashmiris. But the disputes between the Gorkaha subjects and the Bhotes are to be settled by the representatives of both Governments. The Nepalese Bhardar was prohibited from settling disputes between the Bhotes.

8. Athoun Kura (article 8): Gorkha and Bhote Governments are henceforth to return the criminals that escaped into each other's territory.

9. Nawoan Kura (article 9): The life and property of the Gorkha merchants were to be protected by the Government of Bhot. If the Bhote looter cannot restore the looted articles of the Gorkhalis the Bhot Government would compensate for the loot. The Gorkha Government was to act in similar fashion and protect the property of the Bhotes in the country of the Gorkha.

10. Dasaun Kurar (article 10): The Gorkha and Bhote Governemts are to protect the life and property of those subjects who had helped the enemy during the war.


1. Source: P. Uprety, Nepal-Tibet Relations, 18501930 (Kathmandu, 1980), pp. 213214. Reprinted by permission. This treaty is extracted from a copy of the Ahad preserved in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu. See New Unnumbered Poka (Bundle) titled " Correspondence with China and Lhasa," The sub-poka (Bho 50, which contains the treaty is labeled as " The Conversation between Maharaja Jang Bahadur Rana and the Resident Ramsay."

Reproduced from M. C. van Walt van Praag's Status of Tibet: History, Rights and Prospects in International Law. With permission of the author.

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