Nepal has a long glorious history. Its civilization can be traced back to thousands of years before the birth of Christ. History reveals dynasties of Ahirs and Gopalas, Kirants, Licchavis and Thakuris ruling the country before the Malla period began. Modern Nepal is an amalgamation of a number of principalities which had independent entities in the past. Before the campaign of national integration launched by King Prithivi Narayan Shah – the first Shah King of Nepal, Kathmandu valley was ruled by the Malla Kings, whose contribution to arts and culture are indeed great and the Malla era is considered to be the golden age of Nepal. In 1768 A.D., the Shah King defeated the Malla Kings and unified the country that was divided into small independent Kingdoms.
The revolution of November 1950 brought an end to autocratic Rana regime that ruled the country for 104 years since 1846 A.D. The Ranas seized all the power from the Shahs but revered the existence of King in Nepal. After the fall of Ranas in February 1951, Nepal first saw a dawn of democracy. The parliamentary government under the multi-party system was adopted for some years which was later followed by Panchayat System in 1960. The popular people’s movement of 1990 reinstated the multi party democratic system and the new democratic constitution of the Kingdom was promulgated on November 9, 1990.
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev became the king of Nepal on June 4, 2001, following the death of his elder brother late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. This was not the first time for Gyanendra to have been crowned as the King of Nepal. He was declared king during a political plot on November 7, 1950 when both his father King Mahendra and his grandfather King Tribhuvan along with other royals fled to India. In January 1951, his grandfather King Tribhuvan returned to Nepal and resumed the throne.
After ascending the throne, Gyanendra dismissed the parliament in October 2002 and declared a state of emergency in the country. He also dismissed a series of prime ministers and by February 2005, took complete control.
In April 2006, King Gyanendra was forced to give up his absolute rule following wide spread protests. He was stripped from all his political and cultural rights.
On May 28, 2008, Nepal was declared a federal democratic republic by the newly elected Constituent Assembly. The Nepali government then sent a letter to King Gyanendra to vacate the Narayanhiti palace within the 15-day deadline given by the Constituent Assembly. With the new Constituent Assembly in effect, Gyanendra and his family now assume their roles as general citizens of Nepal, with Gyanendra being the last in the line of the Shah Dynasty.