NEPAL

BRIEF HISTORY

The Royal House of Nepal claims descent from the Chitor dynasty ruling at Udaipur. Ajaya Simha (alias Mincha Khan), younger son of Bhupal Ranaji Rao, established himself as Prince of Nayakot, Lambjang, Kaski, and Tanhun ca. 1495. His successor, Jagdeva Khan, conquered the principality of Kaski and secured the title of Shah from the Emperor of India during the sixteenth century.

Drabya Shah, great-grandson of Jagdeva, conquered Gorkha, establishing himself as the founder of the fortunes of the dynasty. His descendant, Prithvi Narayan, entered the Katmandu valley and ejected the Malla dynasty, becoming King in 1768. His successors conquered or subdued all the remaining petty principalities and unified the kingdom. They twice invaded Tibet but were severaly beaten and forced to become tributaries of the Emperor of China. The Indian borderlands and seized several principalities, thereby coming into conflict with the British East India Company.

Although severely beaten back to within reach of their borders, the Gurkha soldiers put up such an heroic defence that won the admiration of their foes. Enemies became firm friends and peace terms were generous, leaving Nepal as a virtually independent buffer state. The close association with the British forces, date from this period, captured Gurkha units being recruited en masse.

Court intrigues and the succession of minors, resulted in the advent of powerful Ministers. Assassinations and revolutions became commonplace as different court favourites and their families competed for power. Eventually, and perhaps inevitably, the tables were turned. The prime ministership became a virtual dictatorship.

Jang Bahadur Kunwar Ranaji, became Prime Minister in 1846 after yet another bloody coup. He consolidated his position in 1857, laying the foundations of a military oligarchy, which lasted for a century. He received the title of Maharaja of Lambjang and Kaski and the offices of Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief made hereditary within his family.

The status of the King during the Rana period closely resembled that of the Emperors of Japan. He became a semi-divine figure, greatly venerated but kept away from political matters, his movements watched and actions closely controlled. The Prime Minister's position was not unlike that of the Shogun, his office was hereditary and he controlled all political and military affairs. Foreign relations were limited to the periodic tribute missions to China and close co-operation with the British in India, no more than a handful of foreigners were permitted to visit the country and trade was restricted.

The immense contribution by Gurkha troops during the Great War prompted recognition of the full independence of the country, by Britain, in 1923. Although diplomatic relations were opened with the major European powers, the closed system remained in place. However, Nepal could not remain immune from the strong currents of change that engulfed South Asia in 1947 and 1948. Within two years a revolution had broken out, overthrowing the Rana oligarchy and bringing the monarchy centre-stage once more.

The 1950 revolution may have secured a democratic regime, but Nepal's journey has not proved to be a stable one, since then. The Kings of Nepal have often had to play an important part in Nepalese politics. On two occasions the constitution has been abrogated and democratic institutions suspended, with the King assuming executive powers.

King Birendra, Queen Aishwari, their two younger children and five other members of the Royal Family were massacred by the then Crown Prince Dipendra, in the grounds of Narayanhiti Royal Palace in June 2001. This was the worst incident of its kind in modern history. King Gyanendra, the surviving brother of Birendra, succeeded to the throne in an atmosphere of much confusion and great sadness. He attempted to solve the mounting crisis of a Maoist revolution by dismissing the ineffectual elected politicians and assuming direct rule in 2006. The result of his actions were to unite opposition against him, leading to riots in the streets and further unrest, until he was forced to bow to popular pressure and recal parliament in 2007. He was subsequently deposed by the Constituent Assembly on 28th May 2008, when Nepal was declared a federal republic.

STYLES & TITLES:
The Sovereign: Svasti Sri Giriraja Chakra Chudamani Narayanetyadi Vividha Virudavali Virajamana Manonnata Mahendramala Parama-Nepal-Pratapa-Vaskara-Ojaswi-Rajanya Parama-Gauravamaya-Tejaswi-Tribhuvana-Prajatantra-Shripada Parama-Ujjwala-Kirtimaya-Nepal-Shripada Parama-Projjwala-Nepal-Tara Parama-Pavitra-Om-Ram-Patta Parama-Jyotirmaya Subikhyata-Tri-Shakti-Patta Parama-Suprasiddha-Pravala-Gorkha-Dakshina-Bahu Paramadhipati Atirathi Parama Senadhipati Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Shriman Maharajadhiraja (personal name) Bir Bikram Jang Bahadur Shah Bahadur Shamsher Jang Devanam Sada Samara Vijayinam, King of Nepal, with the style of His Majesty.
The chief wife of the sovereign: Svasti Sri Ojaswi Rajanya Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Sriman Maharajadhiraja Patta Rajninam Bada Maharani (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Devi Shahanam Sada Saubhajnabatinam, Queen of Nepal, with the style of Her Majesty.
The Heir Apparent: Crown Prince (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Yuvarajadhiraj) (personal name) Bir Bikram Shah Deva, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The consort of the Heir Apparent: Crown Princess (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Yuvarajadhiraji) (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Kumari Devi, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
The eldest son of The Heir Apparent: Young Crown Prince (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Nava Yuvaraj) (personal name) Bir Bikram Shah Deva, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The consort of the eldest son of the Heir Apparent: Young Crown Princess (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Nava Yuvaraji) (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Kumari Devi, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
The younger sons of the sovereign, by a Queen: Prince (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Adhirajkumar) (personal name) Bir Bikram Shah Deva, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The daughters of the sovereign, by a Queen: Princess (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri* Adhirajkumari (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Kumari Devi, i.e. Princess, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
Sons-in-law of the sovereign: Kumar (personal name).
Grandsons of the sovereign in the male line: Prince (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri Shahajada) Bir Bikram Shah Deva, with the style of His Royal Highness.
Granddaughters of the sovereign in the male line: Princess (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri Shahajadi) (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Kumari Devi, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
The younger sons of the Heir Apparent: Prince (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri Yuvarajkumar) (personal name) Bir Bikram Shah Deva, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The daughters of the Heir Apparent: Princess (Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri Yuvarajkumari) (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Kumari Devi, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
Sons of the sovereign by lesser wives or concubines: Rajkumar (personal name) Shah.
Daughters of the sovereign by lesser wives or concubines: Rajkumari (personal name) Rajya Lakshmi Devi.
* note: sometimes abbreviated to "Sri Panch", meaning "five Sri".

RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Succession follows male primogeniture amongst the legitimate issue of the sovereign.

Other issue, born of morganatic marriages, classed as legitimate, but not in the line of succession (these individuals are marked as (b) in the text below). The issue of unmarried concubines, likewise, cannot succeed (these individuals are marked as (c) in the text below).

ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
See separate page - link below.


SELECT GLOSSARY:
Note: Although many of the offices and titles used in Nepal are common to India, in many instances subtle differences in meaning and function apply. Therefore, some care should be taken to ensure that the meanings that pertain in India are not assumed to apply in the kingdom.
Adhirajkumar: 'son of the ruler of rulers', or Prince. The usual title borne by the sons of a sovereign, his brothers, and paternal uncles.
Adhirajkumari: 'daughter of the ruler of rulers', or Princess. The usual title borne by the daughters of a sovereign, his sisters, and paternal aunts.
Ain Kausal: Law Council.
Ain Khana: Law Office.
Amalidar: Revenue Collector.
Ati-Gauravamya-Tejaswi-Tribhuvan-Prajatantra-Shripada: Grand Master of the Tribhuvan Order of Footprint of Democracy.
Ati-Jyotirmaya-Subikhyat-Tri-Shakti-Patta: Grand Master of the Most Illustrious Order of the Three Divine Powers.
Ati-Nepal-Pratap-Bhaskara: Grand Master of the Nepal Decoration of Honour.
Ati-Prasidha-Prabala-Gorkha-Dakshina-Bahu: Grand Master of the Most Puissant Order of the Gurkha Right Hand.
Ati-Projjwala-Nepal-Taradisha: Grand Master of the Most Refulgent Order of the Star of Nepal.
Atirathi: Field Marshal.
Ati-Ujjwal-Kirtimaya-Nepal-Shripada: Grand Master of the Order of the Footprint of Nepal.
Bada Maharani: the title of the principal Royal consort, or Queen.
Bada Hakim: District Governor.
Baisi: the twenty-two petty principalities in the far-western provinces, before their full integration into the kingdom of Nepal.
Bharadar: 'bearer of the burdens of the state', or Counsellor of State.
Bharadari Sabha: Council of State.
Bijuli Garad: the personal bodyguard of the Rana Prime Ministers, established by Maharaja Ranaudip Singh.
Bintipatra Niksari Adda: Supreme Court of Appeal.
Birta: lands that were conferred by the King in recognition of services, as a mark of respect or ritual gift, but which could be subdivided, sold or mortgaged.
Cand: a leaf shaped ornament set with diamonds and emeralds, used to adorn crowns and headwear. The number of cand corresponding to the number of Sri's which accompany the title of the holder: five for the King, three for the Rana Prime Minister, etc.
Chaubisi: the twenty-four petty principalities in the western provinces, before their full integration into the kingdom of Nepal.
Chautaria: title conferred on senior collateral descendants of the Royal House, originally involving administrative functions, later simply a rank and title of honour.
Chautariyani: the title of a wife of a Sri Chautaria.
Chetri: Nepalese corruption of Kshatriya, the Hindu caste to which princes, aristocrats and warriors belong.
Chobdar: Royal attendant.
Dadar: ADC to a Royal prince.
Darbar: palace or mansion.
Darsan Bhet: levy paid to superiors when an appointment or confirmation to a title or office is recived.
Devi: goddess.
Dharma Adhikar: the Chief Royal Priest, who originally also enjoyed the office of principal judicial officer or chief justice.
Dittha: civil functionary employed as a judicial or administrative officer.
Durbar: palace, audience hall, King-in-Council.
Gadi: throne.
Gaunda: the largest administrative unit during the early Rana regime, containing several principalities or districts.
Gharkhaj Adda: Public Works Office.
Hazuria General: ADC General, the chief officer deputed to keep the King under surveilance under the Rana regime.
Jagir: land granted by the state to soldiers and government servants instead of remuneration, but which they could not transfer or subdivide.
Jagirdar: holder of a jagir.
Jaj: judge.
Jangi Adda (later Jangi Bandobast Adda): War Office.
Jangi Lat: 'war lord', the term used for the Senior Western Commanding General, the active commander of the army.
Jetha: eldest.
Jyotishi: astrologers, consulted by the authorities before any major decision.
Kahila: fourth eldest.
Kaji
: Minister of State, later a title of honour assigned to between four and seven individuals at any one time. Junior in rank to Sahebju, but senior to Sardar.
Kancha: chief or principal.
Kancha Sri Chautaria
: Chief Chautaria.
Kapardar: Controller of the Royal Household.
Khadga Nishana Adda: the Prime Minister's Office.
Khana: office, or government department.
Khardar: secretary, legal draftsman.
Khazanchi: Treasurer.
Khilat: ceremonial robes of honour bestowed by the King as a mark of honour.
Kitab Khana: Civil and Military Registry.
Kot: military store.
Kukri: heavy, curved knife peculiar to Nepal.
Kumar: 'son', the usual title bestowed on the son-in-law of a sovereign.
Kumari Chowk: Accounts and Audit Department.
Lakshmi (or Lakshmi): goddess of prosperity.
Lal Mohur: 'red seal', used to refer to the official seal of the King and also to the edicts to which the seal is affixed.
Mahaprabhu: supreme lord, a form of address sometimes used for the King and princes of the blood-royal.
Maharajadhiraja: 'great ruler of rulers', or King.
Maharajadhiraja Walet Maharaj: 'Great Royal Heir Apparent of the King', a title used for Crown Prince Trailokya from ca. 1853, and designed to signify a rank superior to 'Yuvarajadhiraj'.
Maharaj Adhirajkumar: the usual prefix for the son of a king holding the rank and title of Sri Chautaria.
Maharathi: General.
Mahila: second eldest.
Mal Adda: Revenue Office.
Mantri: Minister of State.
Mir Munshi
: from the Arabic 'Amir-i-Munshi', or commander of the secretaries, i.e. Chief Secretary of the Foreign Office.
Mir Umrao: from the Arabic 'Amir ul-Umara' or commander of commanders. A senior military officer ranking below a Sardar and charged with the command of a fort and surrounding territories, the training and equipment of soldiers and the supply of materiel.
Mukhtiyar: a title of Persian origin meaning 'he who is competant to act' or 'guardian'. Chief Minister or head of the civil administration, first created in 1806 but later superseded by pradhan mantri. Office held by the second most senior military officer in the hierarchy, during the Rana regime.
Muluki Adda (later Muluki Bandobast Adda): State (i.e. Home) Office.
Muluki Khana: State Treasury.
Munshi Khana: Foreign Office.
Naba Yuvaraj: 'young crown prince', or Heir Presumptive. The usual title for the eldest son of the Heir Apparent.
Nayab: the usual title for Regent, before 1806. Taken from the Mughal term 'naib', meaning deputy or lieutenant.
Nazzar: a present or offering, usually gold coins, given by an inferior to his superior.
Panch: 'five' of 'five times', a reference to the King or Royal family, from the Royal honorific style 'Sri Panch' or 'Sri Sri Sri Sri Sri'.
Parama-Gaurabmaya-Tejaswi-Tribhuvana-Prajatantra-Shripada: Sovereign of the Tribhuvan Order of the Footprint of Democracy.
Parama-Jyotirmaya-Subikhyata-Tri-Shakti-Patta: Sovereign of the Order of the Three Divine Powers.
Parama-Nepal-Pratap-Bhaskara: Sovereign of the Nepal Decoration of Honour.
Parama-Ojaswi-Rajanyako-Manapadvi: Sovereign of the Most Glorious Order of the Ojaswi Rajanya.
Parama-Pavitra-Om-Ram-Patta: Sovereign of the Order of Om Ram Patta.
Parama-Projjwala-Nepal-Taradisha: Sovereign of the Most Refulgent Order of the Star of Nepal.
Parama Senadhipati: Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
Parama-Suprasiddha-Prabala-Gorkha-Dakshina-Bahu
: Sovereign of the Most Puissant Order of the Gurkha Right Hand.
Parama-Ujjwala-Kirtimaya-Nepal-Shripada: Sovereign of the Order of the Footprint of Nepal.
Pavitra-Om-Ram-Patta: Grand Master of the Order of Om Ram Patta.
Pradhan Mantri
: Prime Minister.
Pradhan Senadhipati: Chief of Staff.
Pridhuladhisha: Grand Master of the Royal Orders.
Raj: principality, royal.
Raj Guru: spritual counsellor to the King.
Raja: title of a vassal or subordinate ruler.
Rajkumar: 'royal son', title borne by the sons of a Raja and by the sons of a Nepalese King by a lesser wife or concubine.
Rajkumari: 'royal daughter', title borne by the daughters of a Raja and by the daughter of a Nepalese King by a lesser wife or concubine.
Rajpratinidhi: Regent.
Rajya: vassal principality, a term also applied to the property holdings of certain vassal rulers, but which could not be subdivided, sold or mortgaged.
Rajya Lakshmi (also Laxmi, or Luxmi): title borne as a suffix by female members of the junior branches of the Royal clan, or female members of the Rana family of Lambjang and Kaski, by birth or equal marriage.
Rajya Lakshmi Devi
(also Laxmi, or Luxmi): title borne as a suffix by a princess of the Royal Family, by birth or equal marriage.
Ramadhipati: sovereign.
Rana: title borne as a suffix by the male-line descendants of the former hereditary Prime Ministers of Nepal and Maharajas of Lambjang and Kaski, frequently mistaken as their surname.
Rathi: Lieutenant-General.
Sadar Dafdar Khana: Civil Lands Office.
Sahayakrathi: Brigadier-General.
Sahibju: title of honour conferred on certain senior members of the Royal clan.
Sahila: third eldest.
Sarbangamaphi rajya: vassal principality where the ruler retained the land revenue, and other taxes, collected within his territory.
Sardar: originally a military title equivalent to General and assigned to four individuals at any one time, later a title of honour conferred on both military and civil officials, junior in rank to Kaji.
Senadhipati: Commander-in-Chief.
Sera Fera-ko Adda: the office administering the private lands of the royal family.
Shah (or Shaha): title borne by the Kings of Nepal and their male-line descendants. Originally conferred as a title by the Muslim King of Delhi on Kulananda Khan, after he made himself ruler of Kaski. Also borne by several families descended from rulers of certain vassal principalities.
Shahajada: 'Shah's son', or Prince. The usual title borne by the grandsons and male of a sovereign, in the male line. Taken from the Mughal title Shahzada meaning 'king's son'.
Shahajadi: 'Shah's daughter', or Princess. The usual title borne by the granddaughters and female descendants of a sovereign, in the male line. Taken from the Mughal title Shahzada meaning 'king's daughter'.
Sipahi: 'sepoy', i.e. soldier.
Sircar: the government, the state.
Sri: an honorific placed before a name or title to enhance the holder's dignity.
Subha: a civil title conferred on subordinate officials, junior in rank to Sardar.
Sunnad: Royal Warrant. A document or parchment conferring titles, emoluments, privileges, office, or land revenue rights.
Taksari: Master of the Mint, an officer also responsible for weights and measures, customs collection, etc.
Teen: 'thrice', a reference to the Rana Prime Minister or his family, from his honorific style 'Sri Teen' or 'Sri Sri Sri'.
Teen Chand: the headress of the Maharaja of Lambjang and Kaski.
Thahila: fifth eldest.
Thakuri
: one who belongs to or descends from the caste of ruling families.
Thekka rajya: vassal principality, following unification, in which the ruler farmed the revenues of his principality, from which he remitted a fixed amount to the central government.
Tower: widowed, from the English Dowager.
Top Khana: armoury.
Uparathi: Major-General.
Vaidya: government or army traditional physician.
Vakil: diplomatic representatives posted to Calcutta or Lhasa.
Walet: alternative title for Heir Apparent, first used Crown Prince Trailokya in the middle of the nineteenth century and taken from the Mughal title 'Vali Ahad' meaning 'successor by virtue of a covenant'.
Yuvarajadhiraj: Heir Apparent, Crown Prince.
Yuvarajadhiraji: Crown Princess.
Yuvarajkumar: Prince, the usual title for the younger sons of the Crown Prince.
Yuvarajkumari: Princess, the usual title for the daughters of the Crown Prince.
Zamindar: landholder.
Zilla: administrative unit in the Terai and grouped into circles or zones, each governed by a Bada Hakim.

SOURCES:
Madhu Raman Acharya. Nepal Enclyclopedia. A concise encyclopedia of the facts and knowledge about the kingdom of Nepal. Nepal Encyclopedia Foundation. 1994.
Krishna Kant Adhikari. Nepal under Jang Bahadur, 1846-1877. Buku, Kathmandu, 1984.
Nepal Almanac (A Book of Facts). Yuba Raj Singh Karki, Katmandu, Nepal, 1983.
Prof. Isvar Baral and Shri Debu Mozumdar (eds.), Nepal: 1960-61 Trade & Information Directory. Nepal Trading Corporation, New Delhi, 1961.
Kumar Bahadur Bhatta. Some important marriages of the Royal Family and the Ranas. The People\rquote s Review: A Political and Business Weekly. Pasang Lhamu Sadak, Kathmandu, 2532.
Mark Brentnall. The Princely and Noble Families of the Former Indian Empire: Vol. 1: Himachal Pradesh. Indus International, New Delhi, 2004.
Bikrama Jit Hasrat (ed.). History of Nepal As Told by Its Own and Contemporary Chronicles. Bikrama Jit Hasrat, Hoshiarpur, 1970.
Perceval Landon. Nepal. Constable and Co. Ltd., London, 1923.
Nepal 1972-73 Trade & Information Directory. The Eastern Trading & Investment Co., Katmandu, 1973.
The Orders, Decorations and Medals of Nepal. Katmandu, 1999.
Ishwari Prasad. The Life and Times of Maharaja Juddha Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana of Nepal. Asia Publishing House, New Delhi, 1975.
Prakash A. Raj. Queens of the Shah Dynasty in Nepal. Nabeen Publications, Kathmandu, 1997.
Padma Jung Bahadur Rana. Life of Maharaja Sir Jung Bahadur of Nepal. Pioneer Press Co. Ltd., Allahabad, 1909.
Prabhakar SJB Rana, Pashupati SJB Rana, Gautam SJB Rana, and Panjiar Prashant. Nepal, art et civilisation des Ranas. Naef-Kister SA, Geneva, 2002.
Pramode Shamshere Rana. A Chronicle of Rana Rule. R. Rana, Kathmandu, 2000.
Dr. Jagadish C. Regmi (com. & ed.)."Historical & Biographical Dicionary of the Royal Shah Family". Nepal - Antiquary, Journal of Socio-Historical Research, Nepal Studies Digest, No. XLI-XLV, December 1981 (Paush, 2038), Naxal, Kathmandu, 1981.
P.C. Roy Chaudhury (ed.). Champaran Bihar District Gazetteer. The Superintendent, Secretariat Press, Bihar, Patna, 1960.
Adrian Sever. Nepal Under the Ranas. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1993.
Tulsi Ram Vaidya. Prithvinarayan Shah. The Founder of Modern Nepal. Anmol Publications, New Delhi, 1993.
Adrian Sever. Aspects of Modern Nepal. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1996.
Adrian Sever. Nepal Under the Ranas. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1993.
Ludwig F. Stiller, SJ. Letters from Kathmandu: the Kot Massacre. Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies. Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, 1981.
Tulsi Ram Vaidya. Prithvinarayan Shah. The Founder of Modern Nepal. Anmol Publications, New Delhi, 1993.
Who is  Who - Nepal. Katmandu School of Journalism, Dillibazar, Katmandu, 1977-1999.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Casey Bazewick
.
Torkel Nybakk Kvaal.
Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.
Stephen Ruelberg.
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