Date: Iron Horse year, 4th month, 16th day (1870)
Lines: 19
Script: ’khyug ma tshugs; title in dbu can


  1. (title) lcag ’rta lo yi sku zha[b]s skya gan pa gnam la gn[ang ba’i] rgan gya yod ’dzin du bris ba zhu leg pa shog
  2. si ri Zrgyal zhab (rin po che)
  3. mi rje sku zhabs rtsa rda bhir kyi zhabs drung nas blo smad sgan pa gnam la kha 1 lce gnyis dmar po rjen log snyog ba ’ding log dran pa sar skye mi ngan
  4. dzug thad dkon mchog spang ’tsug thogs nas rgan rgya gnang pa la | shar phyog (rdo rje) (mkha’ ’gro) | lho phyog (rin po che) (mkha’ ’gro) | nub phyogs padma (mkha’ ’gro) | byang phyogs las
  5. kyi (mkha’ ’gro) | dbus phyog (sangs rgyas) (mkha’ ’gro) la sogs pa’i phyogs bzhi tshams ’rgyad kyi (dkon mchogs) spang ’tsug thogs nas | rting ri yul ba rtsos pa’i tshe dbang (lhun grub) rtang yed yul
  6. ba rtsos pa’i skre (chos skyabs) | tshug pa yul ba rtsos pa’i nam kha | gya ga yul ba ’tsos pa’i ’du li skyabs | sa dmar yul ba ’tsos pa’i zla ba | ’tsang li yul
  7. ba rtsos pa’i (chos skyabs) | rted pa yul ba ’tsos pa’i tshe dbang tshe ri | spu a yul ba ’tsos pa’i spen pa tshe ri | rdzong pa yul ba rtsos pa’i spen pa | chos
  8. ’khor yul ba rtsos pa’i (bkra shis) | spu rang yul ba rtsos pa’i tshe dbang bsam grub | rdzar yul ba rtsos pa’i ka lu | khye ga yul ba rtsos pa’i dpal sang |
  9. tshe ring klu rag yul ba rtsos pa’i (g.yung drung) bon skyab | dang dkar rdzong sa yul ba ’tsos pa’i ji rta bram | phan leg yul ba ’tsos pa’i tha ru | spags gling
  10. yul ba rtsos pa’i (nyi ma) bsam sgrub | skag pa yul ba rtsos pa’i tshe dbang don sgrubs cas la sku zhabs kyi sku ’dung rab gnam stan bar la rgan rgya gnang pa
  11. la | – – 1– pu rang lcag blo bo smad pa’i kyi ’dug zhus nas gnang sa byung na (ma tog)
    | gal srid phyi dgra nang dgra che bring cung gsum nas thon pa byung na | sku zhabs
  12. dong du bzhug nas mnga’ zhabs skyabs du dad nas rdos lan rtang phyog gsung ba (ma tog) | nga yi mi ngan byed rgyu phar zhag nas mi nus zer ba zhal nas tshigs
  13. zur tshams yang thon pa shar tshe – – 1 – an nang bzhin kyi bha dngul 100 cig nang phyo- gs gsung nas dgong gi (dkon mchogs) spang rtsug bzhin rgan gya gnang pa yin la zad
  14. mnga’ zhabs nas skyang sa sgrul lo yi rgan rgya la mi nas sa lta bu’i las byas nas phyags
    rdam gnang pa byung na rgan pa mi dus de thog du shar shar su thad nas mi yong na | bha dngul 20 re khel dnge
  15. dang gsung mol kyang yul gang yod du gleng mo byung kyang | sa sbrul lo yi rgan rgya nang bzhin la phya nas byas nas rtang ba (ma tog) {±6S} (seal superi mposed on deletion)
  16. {±5S} (seal superimposed on deletion) sku zhabs (ga gas) kyang | phyi dgra nang dgra sogs dang i sar kyi dpon po sogs thon pa shar tshe | sku zhabs dang mnga’ zhabs zhal bros kyi thogs
  17. nas | mnga’ zhabs sgyab du dang sku zhabs dong du bzhug pas | rdos lan rtang phyog gsung ba (ma tog) | sku zhabs nas khyed mnga’ zhabs la mi ngan 1S
  18. pa dang | sgo yod mi nus gsung ba {shar} dang | gyab du sgyur ba sogs byung na | dgong gi (dkon mchog) spang tsug dang bha byang phyog gsung nas rgan rgya gnang pa yin don bya
  19. de la sku dung rab nam zhug bar du mi gal gsung pa’i rgan rgya lcags rta zla 4 tshes 16 la (pho brang) skun skyabs gling nas gnang pa’i sku zhabs kyi phyags rtags (seal)

Iron Horse year. A document issued by the hereditary lord of Baragaon, Candra Bir, to the headmen of the enclave. The document opens with conventional expressions of unity and immutability—that there should not be two tongues in one mouth, the colour red should not change (to white), sediment should not be stirred up from the depths, memories should not be reawakened, etc. The witnesses invoked are the Three Jewels, the dakinis of the four cardinal directions and the centre, and the Three Jewels of the four cardinal directions and the four interstices. The members of the following communities—Tiri, Taye, Tshug, Gyaga Samar, Tsele, Te, Putra, Dzong, Chongkhor, Purang, Dzar, Khyenga, Lubrag, Dangkardzong, Phelag, Pagling and Kag—i.e., all the communities of Baragaon with the omission of Sangdag—who are led by their (named) headman, should be members of a single community, Lower Lo. If major, average or minor enemies from either outside or within should appear, the lord should stand in front with the subjects behind, and they should remonstrate [with these enemies]. If I should even mention as an aside that I am unwilling or unable to act, I shall, in conformity with the law, pay a fine of 100 rupees: I have issued this document in accordance with the witness borne by the Triple Gem invoked above. Likewise, as for the subjects, if any headmen or officials, acting in such a way that they digress from the sealed document of the Earth Snake year (1869, i.e. last year) fail to come immediately following the issue of a sealed [summons], they shall pay a fine of 20 rupees each. Moreover, if there should be any argument [on the part of the lord, gsung mol] or [among the subjects, gleng mo] in any community, people should act in accordance with the sealed document that was issued in the Earth Snake year. And as for the noble lord: if any enemies from the outside or the inside, or the ‘lord of the i sar’, should arise, the lord [Candra Bir] and the subjects should hold a discussion, and on that basis, they should dispute [with these enemies] with the lord in front and the subjects behind him. If I, your lord, should reject my subjects in any way I shall pay my fine (bha byang phyog < ’ba’ sbyang chog) as specified above before the Triple Gem as my witness. I have issued a sealed document to this effect (earlier?), and now I issue this sealed document to state that I and my successors, as long as my lineage lasts, shall not diverge from this purpose. Issued in the Iron Horse year, on the sixteenth day of the 4th month, from Kun skyabs gling Palace. The lord sets his seal.

A clue to the circumstances that elicited this unusual expression is found in line 16: the “lord of the i sar” who is specified as a possible enemy of Baragaon. In 1856 the government of Nepal took away from the ruling family of Bargaon the right to collect taxes, and simultaneously deprived them of certain other privileges. The office was instead auctioned to a contractor (Nep. ijaradar) (Regmi 1978: 88). The expression “lord of the i sar” (i sar kyi dpon po) is almost certainly intended to render this Nepali term. The contractor, however, apparently engaged some other branch of the Baragaon aristocracy as his local agents, and the excesses of the latter prompted the people to protest directly to the government. The protest is recorded in a document, dated 1865, one copy of which was photographed in Dzong and another in Chongkhor. The text is apparently the Tibetan translation of a missive from Kathmandu (cited by Regmi ibid.: 88) which begins by quoting back to the addressees—the people of Baragaon—the details of the complaint which they originally lodged against the contractor and the ’new’ lords. While I hope to deal with this document at greater length in a future publication, a few examples will suffice for now to give an idea of the nature of Baragaon’s griev- ances. Among other things, the newcomers impose fines without prior consultation with local leaders; insist on payment of taxes in a more costly variety of barley than was customary; have prolonged from four to eight months the period during which the people must provide them with fodder and fuel; requisition animals for transport at unreasonably short notice; have extended the privilege of tax exemption to their own illegitimate children; demand the payment of fines in cash rather than a combination of cash and grain; have raised the fine for sleeping with low-caste Artisans from one rupee to eight rupees, and send their livestock into the fields before the harvesting. The ijara contract system was clearly against the interests of both the hereditary rulers of Baragaon and the subjects of the enclave, and the two factions, who were otherwise often at odds with each other, made common cause against it.