TIMELINE: Milestones in political history of Nepal

(Reuters) - Nepal’s King Gyanendra was dethroned on Wednesday after a special assembly abolished the country’s centuries-old monarchy.

Here is a chronology of the history of Nepal and its monarchy.

Medieval period - Nepal is divided into many small kingdoms.

1768-90 - The present Shah dynasty begins after King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquers Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon in Kathmandu valley and unites Nepal’s eastern and western kingdoms.

1846 - Jang Bahadur Rana takes over as prime minister and establishes the hereditary rule of the Ranas as prime ministers which lasts for another 104 years. The Shah kings are reduced to figureheads with no authority.

1946 - The Nepali Congress party is formed.

1948 - The country’s first constitution is promulgated.

1950 - King Tribhuvan seeks asylum in India after falling out with the Ranas, who implicate him in a conspiracy against them. The Ranas install Gyanendra, then a toddler, as king.

1951 - King Tribhuvan is restored to the throne and the monarchy once again becomes an important centre of power.

1955 - King Tribhuvan dies and is succeeded by King Mahendra.

1959 - New constitution is promulgated, first general elections are held. Nepali Congress party wins absolute majority.

1960 - King Mahendra bans all political parties.

1972 - Mahendra dies. He is succeeded by his son King Birendra.

1990, April - King Birendra, under pressure from the pro-democracy movement, lifts 1960 ban on political parties.

Nov - King proclaims a new constitution establishing a multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy.

1996 - Maoists launch an armed rebellion from remote Himalayan foothills to try to topple the monarchy.

2001, June - King Birendra and most members of the royal family are killed by then crown prince Dipendra, who also dies after the shoot out. Prince Gyanendra becomes king.

2005, Feb - King Gyanendra takes absolute power vowing to crush the Maoists.

2006, April - King Gyanendra gives up absolute power after widespread protests. Veteran politician Girija Prasad Koirala, sworn in as prime minister, invites the rebels for talks.

Nov - Prime Minister Koirala and rebel chief Prachanda sign a peace deal, ending a war that killed more than 13,000 people.

2007 - The ruling alliance and the Maoists agree to abolish the monarchy after elections.

2008, April - Nepalis vote in historic constituent assembly elections in which Maoists emerge as the largest political party.

2008, May 28 - Special assembly elected in April agrees to abolish the monarchy to make Nepal a republic.

Compiled by Gopal Sharma; Editing by David Fogarty