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The Rana dynasty (Nepali: राणा शासन, Rāņā shāsana) was a Hindu Rajput dynasty 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, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution characterized Rana rule. This changed in 1951 with the promulgation of a new constitution, when power shifted back to the monarchy of King Tribhuvan. 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.
Janga Bahadur Kunwar (Nepali: जंग बहादुर कुँवर) began the dynasty when he came to power through the 1846 Kot massacre (Nepali: कोत पर्व, Kot Parwa) where 36 members of the palace court including the Prime Minister and a relative of the King Chautariya Fate Janga Shah were murdered. These were unstable times and Janga Bahadur brought stability to the country by putting himself firmly in control. He took the title Rana ("king"), the honorific Shrī Tīn (Nepali: श्री ३), meaning his name was preceded by Shrī-Shrī-Shrī, and was accorded 19-gun salutes by the British Raj. However Shah kings were Shrī Pānch (Nepali: श्री ५) -- Shrī-Shrī-Shrī-Shrī-Shrī—called Maharājdhirāj (Nepali: महाराजाधिराज), "king of kings", and given 21-gun salutes. Janga Bahadur's sons and brothers inherited the title Rana, and took it as their family name instead of Kunwar.
After Jang Bahadur's death, his brother Ranodip Singh Rana took the Prime Ministership and title of Jang as per Jang's established wishes. However, the childless Ranodip was murdered in cold blood by four of his nephews: notable among them was Bir Shamshere (son of Dhir Shamsher Rana, youngest brother of Jang) whom Ranodip trusted blindly, for which he would ultimately pay with his life.After death of Ranodip Singh the lineage shifted to the son of Dhir Shamsher .
Rana Prime Ministers
- Shrī Tīn Jung Bahadur Rana, GCB, GCSI (18 June 1816 – 25 February 1877)
- Shrī Tīn Ranodip Singh aka Ranodip Singh Rana, KCSI (3 April 1825 – 22 November 1885
- Ruled 25 February 1877 to 22 November 1885.
- Shrī Tīn Bir Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCSI (10 December 1852 – 5 March 1901)
- Ruled 22 November 1885 to 5 March 1901.
- Shrī Tīn Dev Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (17 July 1862 – 20 February 1914)
- Ruled 5 March to 27 June 1901, when as a result of his progressive nature, he was deposed by his relatives and sent into exile in India.
- Shrī Tīn Chandra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCB, GCSI, GCMG, GCVO (8 July 1863 – 26 November 1929)
- Ruled 27 June 1901 to 26 November 1929.
- Shrī Tīn Bhim Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCSI, GCMG, KCVO (16 April 1865 – 1 September 1932)
- Ruled 26 November 1929 to 1 September 1932.
- Shrī Tīn Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCB, GCSI, GCIE (19 April 1875 – 20 November 1952)
- Ruled 1 September 1932 to 29 November 1945, whereupon he abdicated in favor of his nephew.
- Shrī Tīn Padma Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCSI, GBE, KCIE (5 December 1882 – 11 April 1961)
- Ruled 29 November 1945 to 30 April 1948, whereupon he abdicated in favor of his cousin.
- Shrī Tīn Mohan Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, GCB, GCIE, GBE (23 December 1885 – 6 January 1967)
- Ruled 30 April 1948 to 18 February 1951, at which date he was divested of his titles and later went to India.
-  William Digby-Friend in need:1857, Friendship forgotten:1887
- Lambjang and Kaski - Brief History at Royalark.
- Old pictures of Nepal from Rana Dynasty
- Greater Game: India's Race with Destiny and China by David Van Praagh
- 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.
- Lal, C. K. (16 February 2001). "The Rana resonance". Nepali Times. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Kraemer, Karl-Heinz. "Democratization and political parties in Nepal". Harvard University. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Friend in need:1857, Friendship forgotten:1887