Dipendra of Nepal

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Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
Crown Prince Dependra Bikram Shah Dev.jpg
King of Nepal
Reign1–4 June 2001
Born(1971-06-27)27 June 1971
Kathmandu, Nepal
Died4 June 2001(2001-06-04) (aged 29)
Kathmandu, Nepal
HouseShah dynasty
FatherBirendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
MotherAishwarya Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah

Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (Nepali: दीपेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाह) (27 June 1971 – 4 June 2001) was briefly the King of Nepal while he was in a coma for three days from 1 to 4 June 2001.[1]

As the eldest of the three children of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, Dipendra was the crown prince. During a shooting rampage on 1 June 2001, Dipendra fatally shot his parents, siblings Prince Nirajan and Princess Shruti, and five other members of the royal family.[2] Dipendra then shot himself, but survived for three days in a coma. Under the Nepalese constitution, the privy council named Dipendra king upon the death of his father.[1] Upon Dipendra's death, his father's brother Gyanendra became king.


Dipendra received his early education at Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu. Later, he attended Eton College in the United Kingdom. After Eton, he attended Tribhuvan University in Nepal and later joined the Military Academy in Kharipati, Nepal. He studied Geography at Tribhuvan University for his master's degree and was a PhD student at the same university. He received military training from Academy of Royal Nepalese Gurkha Army, and piloting training from the Civil Aviation Department.


Dipendra was interested in the fields of social service and had an interest in sports. He used to attend various national and international sports ceremonies where Nepalese players participated. Dipendra became a karateka when he was studying in England and had received black belt at around the age of 20. He was a patron of the National Sports Council and Nepal's Scouts. Dipendra also wrote articles that were published in Nepalese periodicals. His writings were often on the motifs of nationhood and nationality.

Nepalese royal massacre[edit]

On 1 June 2001, Dipendra opened fire at a house on the grounds of the Narayanhity Royal Palace, the residence of the Nepalese monarchy, where a party was being held. He shot and killed his father, King Birendra, his mother, Queen Aishwarya, and seven other members of the royal family before shooting himself in the head. Because he had killed most of the line of succession, he became king while in a comatose state from the head wound.[3]

His motive for the murders is unknown, but there are various theories. Dipendra desired to marry Devyani Rana, the daughter of an Indian royal family whom he had met in England, but due to her family's lower caste and her father's political alliances, Dipendra's parents objected; he was told that he would have to give up his claim to the throne in order to marry her.[3] Other theories allege that Dipendra was unhappy with the country's shift from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, and that too much power had been given away following the 1990 People's Movement.[3]

Much controversy surrounds the circumstances of the massacre, and even today, with the monarchy abolished, many questions remain within Nepal about its cause.[4] Sources of the yet unanswered questions include details such as the apparent lack of security at the event; the absence of Prince Gyanendra, Dipendra's uncle who succeeded him, from the party; the fact that, despite being right-handed, Dipendra's self-inflicted head-wound was located at his left temple; and finally that the subsequent investigation lasted for only two weeks and did not involve any major forensic analysis.[4]


  • Upendra portrayed the crown prince in the 2002 Indian film Super Star, which was loosely based on the massacre.[5]
  • Indian actor Ashish Kapoor portrayed the role of Dipendra in the third season of the documentary series Zero Hour, it showed a reconstruction of the massacre taken from surviving eyewitnesses.[6]


National honours
Foreign honours

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nepal mourns slain king". BBC. 2 June 2001. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Bodyguards fired over Nepal royal massacre". IT20010703. 3 July 2001. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Mullins, Lisa (1 June 2011). "Why Nepal's Crown Prince Went on a Killing Spree". PRI. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Bearak, Barry (8 June 2001). "A Witness To Massacre In Nepal Tells Gory Details". New York Times. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Super Star - is it really superstar v/s real star? People say 'No'..." viggy.com.
  6. ^ Padukone, Chaitanya (9 January 2007). "Pracchi's tragic take". DNA India.

External links[edit]

Dipendra of Nepal
Born: 27 June 1971 Died: 4 June 2001
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Nepal
1–4 June 2001
Succeeded by
Nepalese royalty
Preceded by
Crown Prince of Nepal
Succeeded by