Sometime during the 1895-1901 reign of the hereditary prime minster Bir Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana was advised that a “salutation melody” should be composed for both the king and the prime minister. The military band, under the directorship of Dr AM Pathan was given the task, and the Shree Teenko Salaami (for the Rana hereditary prime minister) and the Shree Paanchko Salaami (for the king) were composed. (It is claimed that the anthem was composed by Bakhat Bahadur Budhapirthi, who was a member of Pathan’s band.)
The prime minister’s successor, on assuming to office, ordered that words be composed for the tunes. The task fell to the Nepali Language Publications Committee, the superintendant of this group turned to his assistant, Pandit Chakrapani Chalise, a prominent poet, who wrote words to both anthems.
With the ousting of the hereditary Rana prime ministers in the early 1950s, the Shree Teenko Salaami was no longer used, and the Shree Paanchko Salaami (king’s anthem) gained more prominence. The anthem underwent some minor changes as a result. The 1962 constitution, handed down by the king, made this anthem into law, thus making it no longer just the royal anthem, but the “ras triya gaan” (national song). Upon official adoption, the second stanza was dropped. The verse that was left honours the king.
After the popular protests against the monarchy in the spring of 2006, the anthem was suspended and after a public competition, another anthem was written for the country.
Special thanks to: Prakash Thapa for providing some of this information.