Lal Mohur or Red Seal

Adulations to the Lord of the Hills, God in the Image of Human, Celebrated among Men, King of Kings, Prithiwi Narayan Sah Bahadur Shamsher Jung, Victorious in battles in the name of gods; to the Honorable and Capable of shouldering Royal Responsibilities Sri Soon Rai, Sri Kum Rai, Sri Jung Rai and all the rest of the Limbu Rai Community is this epistle addressed. Henceforth, we desire your peace as our mind is filled with Dharma (Righteousness) as you lost the battle against our magnificence and you “nau lakh and one” (alluding nine hundred thousand and one Rai-Limbu population of his time) and hence your safety, honor and welfare has become our responsibility. You are hereby granted your freedom to continue to follow your age old custom and tradition without any let or hindrance. We have acknowledged the State of Suk-khim (later anglicized as Sikkim) being beyond our border and should we ever trample upon your aforementioned privileges and heritage, may our own gods destroy us. Signed, sealed and given at our Capital City Kantipur, dated Sambat 1831, Sawan 22. (The date corresponds to July 15, 1774 A.D.)

Transliteration of the Lal Mohur or the Red Seal document published here with kind permission of Organizer of Online News Portal Mr Bijai Rai and Editor Ms Binita Rai

Some important details of historical significance have come to light through this document and they are;

Firstly, that there were certain prominent citizens of Kiratland known to the king whose names have been recorded in this Red Seal Document as mentioned above; though no attempt has thus far been made to locate their descendants.

Secondly, the Kiratis have persistently asserted their numbers being as “nau lakh das Kirat” or nine hundred thousand and ten, which is found corroborated by the king in this document.

And, thirdly, King Prithiwi Narayan Sah calls his eastern neighbor as Suk-khim, which is a Kirati word meaning “New Home”. Even after centuries, many elderly population of that land do indeed call their homeland as Suk-khim till this very day. Needless to say, during the colonial period, the Brits had simply anglicized it as Sikkim and there were none to challenge their arbitrary decision.

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