Sam Cowan

Sam Cowan is a retired British general who knows Nepal well through his British Gurkha connections and extensive trekking in the country over many years.

The Gorkha War and its aftermath

A comprehensive analysis of the Kalapani issue

Men of valour: A personal tribute

Retired British General Sam Cowan recounts the times he spent with five Gurkha Victoria Cross holders from the Second World War.

How a mighty Rana met his match and learnt a hard...

For some reason, he must have thought that the Star was not eye-catching enough, and this article centres on his efforts to, as he saw it, put things right

Baber Shumshere’s relentless quest

Chandra tries to control a growing demand for more Awards led by his son Baber but reveals an acute sensitivity to the position of the monarch and steps in to help an errant son-in-law in serious trouble with the British in India.

Ranas and Gongs

Part 1: Recruiting haggles, Chandra, the game-changer, and getting a “K” for Bhim

A worried monarch

Sam Cowan returns with fresh insights on the drafting of the Nepal's 1959 constitution, the subsequent general election, and a new witness to King Mahendra's coup d'état.

Keeping open Nepal’s road to China

A photo essay on the Rasuwagadhi road and why landslides are cutting it more often
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office main building in snow on 16 December 2009. Photo credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Flickr

A secret Nepal file and the battle for information

Filling a gap in the diplomatic history of Nepal from the Cold War days.

Corruption in world football and the fall of Ganesh Thapa

A chronicle of how corruption sabotaged football in Nepal.

The curious case of the Mustang incident

In 1960 a Nepali officer was shot by Chinese soldiers along the border, causing a heated diplomatic dispute. Decades later, the details of the case are still contentious