A Catalogue of Palm-leaf and Selected Paper Manuscripts Belonging to the Durbar Library, Nepal


Mahāmahopādhyāya Hara Prasād Sastri, an Indian scholar affiliated with the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and Cecil Bendall, professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University in England, made a research expedition to Nepal in 1898–99. A major objective of the expedition was to examine and catalog the palm-leaf manuscripts in the Durbar Library, many of which had been acquired by Mahārāja Sir Vīra Sumsher Jung Bahādur Rānā. According to Bendall, this collection, “as regards the antiquity of the documents,” was “surpassed by no Sanskrit Library known to exist.” This book, printed in 1905, contains a complete catalog of the manuscripts, which are in various languages of India and Nepal, prepared by Sastri. Listed are religious texts and works on medicine, astronomy, drama, poetry, rhetoric, politics, and other topics. Some of the rarest manuscripts, including several in the historic Gupta script, are described in detail. Also included is a “History of Nepal and surrounding Kingdoms (1000–1600 A.D.),” compiled by Bendall and based on the texts of the manuscripts in the Durbar Library. The history contains tables of the reigning kings of Nepal and of the neighboring kingdoms.

Last updated: September 18, 2015