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Pradhan (Devanagari: प्रधान) is a ministerial title used in regions of Hindu cultural tradition that equates to the more popular term Vizier in rank and function.[1][2] The Sanskrit pradhan translates to "major" or "prime";[3] however, the more modern Hindi definitions provided by the Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary also include "chief" and "leader".[4] The precise interpretation can differ significantly by region. The style was abandoned by many Indian princely states during the Mughal era in favor of Persian styles such as Wasir and Diwan.

Pradhan is also commonly employed as a Newar surname in the Newa (Nepal Bhasa: नेवा) community of Nepal and is also currently used by the Kshatriya and Kayastha people of northern and western India and sometimes even by Brahmins.


  • Pradhan Mantri: Prime Minister (Mantri is the root of Mandarin).
  • Pradhan Senadhipati: Chief of Staff ("Senadhipati" is an old Sanskrit style for a military leader, also used in Nepal for Commander-in-Chief).
  • Pradhan Senapati: Grand General (also translated as Chief of Staff)
  • In modern Nepal, Pradhan refers to the family name of people of the Newar community who trace their roots to northern and central India. Among the Newars, they follow Hinduism and are part of the highest tier "Chhathariya" (छथरिय/क्षत्रीय) Syasyah (Shrestha) clan who are descendants of the Malla (Nepal) royalty and its nobility. The other family names of this group consist of the surnames Malla, Joshi, Rajbhandari, Maskey, and Amatya.[5] "Chhathariya" Syasyah are distinguished by the use of their clan or occupational titles (e.g., Pradhan, Rajbhandari) instead of the all-encompassing "Shrestha" name. Newar caste system stratifies them as belonging to the Kshatriya varna.[6][7]
  • Pradhan was the title of a Minister who sat on the Council of 8 (Ashta Pradhan) in the early Maratha Empire prior to Peshwa administration.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Klaus Glashoff. "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit". Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  4. ^ Stuart, Ronald. The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Edited by Ronald Stuart McGregor. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  5. ^ "Status of Shrestha". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  6. ^ "Nepal". 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  7. ^ "David Gellner: Language, Caste, Religion and Territory. Newar Identity, Ancient and Modern". Retrieved 2012-10-16.