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
DynastyShah dynasty
MotherAishwarya Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shah

Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (Nepali: दीपेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाह, 27 June 1971 – 4 June 2001) was the king of Nepal for three days from 1 to 4 June 2001. For the duration of his three day reign he was in a coma, having shot himself[1] after a killing rampage directed against his extended family.

As the eldest of the three children of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, Dipendra was the crown prince.[2] Under the Nepalese constitution, the privy council named Dipendra king upon the death of his father.[3] Upon Dipendra's death, his father's brother Gyanendra became king.

Early life[edit]

Dipendra was born on 27 June 1971 at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace as the eldest child of Birendra, the Crown Prince of Nepal, and Princess Aishwarya.[4] In his family he was known as "CP" and famously as "Dippy" among his friends.[citation needed]


Dipendra received his early education from Kanti Ishwori High School, Kathmandu. Then he went to Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu. Later, he attended Eton College in the United Kingdom. After Eton, he attended Tri Chandra college affiliated to 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 all Nepal topper receiving gold medal. He 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, his younger brother and sister and 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.[5]

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.[1] 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.[1]

Much controversy surrounds the circumstances of the massacre, and even today, with the monarchy abolished, many questions remain within Nepal about its cause.[6] 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.[6]


  • Upendra portrayed the crown prince in the 2002 Indian film Super Star, which was loosely based on the massacre.[7]
  • 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.[8]


National honours
Foreign honours


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mullins, Lisa (1 June 2011). "Why Nepal's Crown Prince Went on a Killing Spree". PRI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Bodyguards fired over Nepal royal massacre". Irish Times. 3 July 2001. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Nepal mourns slain king". BBC. 2 June 2001. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  4. ^ Gregson, Jonathan (5 June 2002). Massacre at the Palace: The Doomed Royal Dynasty of Nepal. Miamax. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7868-6878-0.
  5. ^ Lisa Mullins (1 June 2011). "Why Nepal's Crown Prince Went on a Killing Spree". PRI. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b Barry Bearak (8 June 2001). "A Witness To Massacre In Nepal Tells Gory Details". New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Super Star - is it really superstar v/s real star? People say 'No'..." viggy.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ Padukone Chaitanya (9 January 2007). "Pracchi's tragic take". DNA India. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.

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