War against the Gurkhas (1814-16)
emerged as a powerful Gurkha state in 1768. This country is situated to the
north of India with its boundary touching China in the north and Bengal and
Oudh in the east and south, respectively. In 1801, the British acquired the
districts of Gorakhpur and Basti from the Nawab of Oudh. This move brought the
boundary of Nepal to touch the British frontier. The aggressions of the Gurkhas
into the British territories culminated in a war. In May 1814, the Gurkhas
attacked the British police post and killed 18 policemen and their officer.
Hastings declared war on Nepal. In 1814 several battles were fought between the
British and the Gurkhas. Amar Singh Thapa, the able General of Nepal Army was
forced to surrender.
In March 1816, the Treaty of Sagauli was concluded. The Gurkhas gave up their claim
over the Tarai region and ceded the areas of Kumaon and Garhwal to the British.
The British now secured the area around Simla and their north-western borders
touched the Himalayas. The Gurkhas had to withdraw from Sikkim and they also
agreed to keep a British Resident at Katmandu. It was also agreed that the
kingdom of Nepal would not employ any other foreigner in its services other
than the English. The British had also obtained the sites of hill stations like
Simla, Mussoori, Nainital, Ranikhet and developed them as tourist and health
resorts. After this victory in the Gurkha War Hastings was honoured with
English peerage and he became Marquis of Hastings.