First motorcycle importer to Tibet, Lhasa Newah passes away!

Lhasa Newah merchant Karuna Ratna Tuladhar in his BSA Bantam in Lhasa. Imagine a motor cycle to ply in the roof top of the world, the Tibet – the Sandeh (Sandesa) in Nepal Bhasa- of many Newah merchants’ favorite land for business and even for settlement with Sandeh beauties five decades ago. It was Karuna Ratna Tuladhar – father of our pasapin, Travel entrepreneur Amrit Ratna, Writer Kamal Ratna and Educationist Dipak Tuladhar โ€“ rode his first motorcycle, that too a BSA Bantam, a popular bike for racing even now.

He just didn’t buy it in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. He imported it himself to Tibet. According to Kamal, he is said to have taken it by parts and assembled it in Lhasa before he rode it. And Dipak adds that their father went to this Sandesa โ€œat the age of nine, crossing the high Himalayas on horse back. He came back to Nepal after Chinese invasion in Tibet.โ€ Along with his two brothers, Tuladhar Bhaju started a Nepal Transport Service, the first ever transport company in Nepal.

That was how a Newah merchant prospered in Sandesa as a transport merchant, who later shared his wisdom and prosperity with us Nepalese as a successful transport entrepreneur. The man, known as Lhasa Newah sahu, who made the history in 1950 by taking the first motor cycle to Sandesa and pioneered transport business in our own native land is no more with us now.
Karna Ratna Tuladhar, the pioneer of Transport business in both Sandesa (Tibet) and Nepal. According to Amritโ€™s own words, โ€œMy old father, Karuna Ratna Tuladhar, entered to eternal life last Saturday (the 19th of July 2008) at 10:25 pm (at) Martyr Gangalal National Heart Center, Bansbari Hospital. He was eighty-seven when his failed kidney claimed his invaluable life at the end.โ€ Amrit shares with us a moment of happiness that his โ€œfather was born on a Saturday and passed away on a Saturday. What a lucky coincidence!โ€ reminding us the words of the Buddha- Anicchavata Sankhara, meaning โ€œwho ever born one day bids us good byeโ€.

We, The Newah family express our heartfelt condolences on the untimely demise of Karuna Ratna Tuladhar, the respected Newah entrepreneur and a worthy father of our pasapin. We wish him to attain to everlasting peace of Supreme Nibbana with the blessings of Lord Buddha!

In the bw photo are Late Tuladhar riding his BSA Bantam in Lhasa with his nephew. Photo courtesy, bw: Kamal Tuladhar; colour Dipak Tuladhar.

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