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Kirtipur is a town in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal, which straddles two hills overlooking the valley, about 5 km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient town, established in 1099, is reputed for its weavers and builders. The town is also home to Tribhuvan University, which sits at the bottom of the hills.

The conquest of Kirtipur was considered a crucial step to conquering the entire valley in the eyes of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king of Gorkha. The future unifier of Nepal tried to subdue the town three times. He suffered defeat in 1857 and 1864, but succeeded in 1867. Incensed by this stubborn resistance, Prithvi Narayan Shah ordered that all the male residents of the town have their lips and nose cut off, sparing only those who played wind instruments. Once Kirtipur was safely in his hands, Prithvi Narayan Shah proceeded to conquer the whole valley within a year.