KATHMANDU – The last king of former Himalayan kingdom of Mustang, Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, 86, has died during the course of treatments at Chabahil-based Om Hospital in Nepal.
It has been learned that Bista, popular as Mustangi Raja in Nepali, was admitted to the Chabahil-based Om Hospital some days ago. He suffered from geriatric disorders along with hypertension and uric acid.
Bista succeeded his father Angun Tenzing Tandul in 1964, continuing a family line that could trace its lineage back to Ame Pal, the warrior who founded the kingdom in 1380.
Bista enjoyed the titular kingship of Mustang till 2008 when the Government of Nepal indexed Mustang after Nepal was declared republic in the wake of political changes in the country.
Nepal allowed the title of petty kings (for life) in the former states of Mustang, Salyan, Jajarkot, and Bajhang even after their annexation to Nepal.
Bista had lived most of his life in the medieval walled capital of Lo Manthang, but moved to Kathmandu over a year ago after he became ill, suffering from heart and kidney problems.
He acted as a spiritual leader to the local Loba community, who speak a variant of Tibetan and are culturally and linguistically closer to Tibet than Nepal.
The region was closed to visitors until 1992 and numbers are still strictly regulated.