Rana dynasty

The Rana dynasty (Nepali: राणा शासन Rāņā shāsana) was a Khas Chhetri Rajput dynasty[1] which ruled the Kingdom of Nepal from 1846 until 1951, reducing the Shah monarch to a figurehead and making Prime Minister and other government positions hereditary.

Tyranny, isolationism, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution characterized Rana rule.[2][3] This changed in 1951 with the promulgation of a new constitution, when power shifted back to the monarchy of King Tribhuvan.[4] The dynasty is descended from Bal Narsingh Kunwar of Kaski who moved to Gorkha in the early 18th century and entered the service of Raja Nara Bhupal Shah around 1740, and of Bhimsen Thapa (1775–1839), who is counted among the National heroes of Nepal.

Rana Prime Ministers

Nine Rana rulers took the hereditary office(s) of Prime Minister, Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Grand Master of the Royal Orders. All were styled (self proclaimed) Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski.

  • Ratanjit Kunwar Rana (1753-1815)
    • Bala Narsingh Kunwar Rana (1783-1841)
      • I. Shrī Tīn Jung Bahadur Rana GCB, GCSI (18 June 1816 – 25 February 1877). Prime Minister and C-in-C 15 September 1846 to 1 August 1856 and from 28 June 1857 until his death. Granted the hereditary title of Rana on 5 May 1848, as a suffix to the male members of his family. Granted the hereditary title of Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski (to be enjoyed ‘offspring to offspring’, and the hereditary offices of Prime Minister and C-in-C (to be enjoyed in succession by his surviving brothers, his sons, then his nephews), 6 August 1856. Received a salute of 19 guns from the British.
      • Bam Bahadur Kanwar Rana (1818- 25 May 1857; Prime Minister: 1 August 1856 - 25 May 1857)
      • II. Shrī Tīn Ranodip Singh (aka Ranodip Singh Rana) KCSI (3 April 1825 – assassinated 22 November 1885). Ruled 25 February 1877 to 22 November 1885.
      • General Sri Dhir Shumshere Jung Rana Bahadur (1828-1884)


Succession to the prime ministership and the title of Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski was by agnatic seniority, by which the oldest male heir among the sons of equal (a-class) marriages in a generation would succeed. The order of succession was determined by seniority, with each eligible male heir holding a military command, as follows:

  1. Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief (Mukhtiyar the Heir Apparent, with the rank of Field Marshal)
  2. Western Commanding-General.
  3. Eastern Commanding-General.
  4. Southern Commanding-General.
  5. Northern Commanding-General..[5]

External links and Sources

See also


  1. Greater Game: India's Race with Destiny and China by David Van Praagh
  2. Dietrich, Angela (1996). "Buddhist Monks and Rana Rulers: A History of Persecution". Buddhist Himalaya: A Journal of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  3. Lal, C. K. (16 February 2001). "The Rana resonance". Nepali Times. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  4. Kraemer, Karl-Heinz. "Democratization and political parties in Nepal". Harvard University. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  5. "Nepal: Lambjang and Kaski". royalark.net. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  6. Friend in need:1857, Friendship forgotten:1887
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