Kaiser Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana
Field Marshal H.H Sir Kaiser Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, GBE (8 January 1892 – 7 June 1964) was a field marshal in the Royal Nepalese Army. He was the third son of H.H Maharaja Sir Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, GCB, GCSI, GCMG, GCVO the fifth Prime Minister of Nepal of the Rana dynasty and Bada Maharani Chandra Loka Bhaktha Rajya Lakshmi. He was the younger brother of Tin Maharaja Sir Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana and Sir Baber Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana.
Kaiser Shamsher married twice and had five sons and five daughters. On 20 April 1904 he married his first wife, Lakshmi Rajya Lakshmi Devi (1895– 1954), the then heir apparent and eldest daughter of King Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal. In 1943 Kaiser Shamsher married Krishna Chandra Devi, daughter of Mukunda Bahadur Singh of Bajura.
During his lifetime Kaiser Shamsher occupied various posts and had many responsibilities both in the civil and the military administration. In 1901 he was appointed Major General. In 1920 Kaiser Shamsher became a Lieutenant General. In 1922–30 he served as the chairman of the Kathmandu municipality. Later he was the Southern Commanding General (1934–45) and Eastern Commanding General (1945–47). Kaiser Shamsher worked as Director General of various institutions, such as the Royal Museum (1928–39), the Archaeology Department (1931–39), and the Foreign Affairs Department (1932–37). As a foreign minister of Nepal, he attended the coronation ceremony of George VI on 12 May 1937 at Westminster Abbey in London. In 1947–48 Kaiser Shamsher was appointed as Nepal’s ambassador to the Court of St. James. In 1951–53 he was Commander-in-chief. He also served as minister of Defence (1951–55) and minister of finance and administration (1952–53). In 1956 Kaiser Shamsher was promoted to Field Marshal. Kaiser Shamsher passed away on 7 June 1964 at the age of 72.
In 1895, Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana built the Kaiser Mahal for his son. Within the Garden walls Kaiser Shamsher created an exquisite ensemble of pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture, and European-inspired pergolas, balustrades, urns, and statues. He erected six impressive freestanding pavilions, each dedicated to one of the six seasons of Nepal. These pavilions provided the Garden’s architectural framework and lent a cosmopolitan flavor to the formal arrangements of flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Field Marshal Sir Kaiser Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana was also an avid book collector, and his personal library at the Kaiser Mahal is now open to the public. The Kaiser Library is situated in the Kaiser Mahal near the Western Gate of the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. The Kaiser Library itself is unique in terms of art, architecture, cultural heritage, photographs, and paintings mingled at one place. The Kaiser Library is one of the unique and oldest libraries in Nepal. Right from his very young age, Kaiser Shamsher was interested in buying and collecting different types of books and newspapers. In that very young age he also got a chance to visit England with his father. He was very much impressed by the government of England, as well as by the library system and the proper management of books there. Book collection was his hobby and his visit to Britain & British libraries led to the increase in the number of his books and change in the structure of his own library. From England, he brought back with him many books to Kathmandu. Even though the books in his library grew in number they were his personal property and ordinary people didn't get chance to read them or to have an access to his library. The library was limited to the members of his family, special people of the nation and special visitors from abroad. Before his death in 1964 A.D. he wished to hand over his library to the government, thereby making it a national property so that everybody could get the benefit out of it. It was established in 1969 A.D. with the donated personal collection by Her Highness Krishna Chandra Devi Rana as per the will and in memory of her late husband.