|Regions with significant populations|
|Nepal||43,98,053 (16.6% of Nepal) (2011 census)|
|India||6 million (approx.)|
|Nepali(Khas-Kura) as mother tongue|
|Almost all are Hindu|
|Related ethnic groups|
Chhetri (Hill Rajputs, Kshetri, or Chhettri), synonymous with Kshatriya and Khatri are Nepali language speaking warrior caste of Khas descent in Hinduism and also referred to as an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic community among Nepalis ans Indian Gorkhas consisting of Brahmins (Bahun), Thakuris, Kami, Damai, Sarki, Badi, and Gandarbhas. Khas Chhetri (referred as Khas Rajput) were traditionally considered a division of Khas people with Khas Brahmin (commonly called as Khas Bahun).
Chhetri is a derivative form of the Sanskrit word Kshatriya. According to 1854 Legal Code (Muluki Ain) of Nepal, Chhetris are the social group among the sacred thread bearers (Tagadhari) and twice-born people of the Hindu tradition. They make up 16.6% of Nepal's population according to the census of 2011, making them the most populous caste or ethnic community in Nepal. Chhetris speak an Indo-Aryan language Nepali language as mother tongue.
Chhetris are primarily Hindu (99.48% according to the 2001 Census). Those Chhetri who follow Hinduism may also follow Buddhism. The ancient religion of the Chhetri is Masto which uses nature worship and can still be seen in western Nepal's Karnali district and in India's Gorkhaland. In Nepal's hill districts the Chhetri population rises to 41% compared to 31% Brahmin and 27% other castes. This greatly exceeds the Kshatriya portion in most regions with predominantly Hindu populations.
In the early modern history of Nepal, Chhetris played a key role in the Unification of Nepal, providing the core of the Gorkhali army of the mid-18th century. Bir Bhadra Thapa was a Thapa of Chhetri group and leading Bharadar during Unification of Nepal. His grandson Bhimsen Thapa became Prime Minister of Nepal.
The most prominent feature of Nepalese Chhetri society has been the ruling Shah dynasty (1768–2008), the Rana Prime Ministers (1846–1953), Pandey (Clan of Kalu Pande), Thapa (Family of Bhimsen Thapa), Thapa Kings of Jumla, Khadka Kings of Gorkha, Basnyat Kings of Khaptad, Family of Shreepali Basnyat Abhiman Singh Basnyat, Kehar Singh Basnyat , Malla Kings of Khas Desh, etc. that marginalized the monarchy, and the Chhetri presence in the armed forces, police, and Government of Nepal. In traditional and administrative professions, Chhetris were given favorable treatment by the royal government.[page needed][page needed][page needed]
Physical Features & militarianism
Chhetri had dominated high military positions and monopolized the military force at the times of Chhetri autocratic administrators like PM Bhimsen Thapa and PM Jung Bahadur Rana. There were 12 Basnyats, 16 Pandes, 6 Thapas and 3 Kunwar officers totalling to 51 Chhetri officers in the year 1841 A.D. The most prominent officers at Shah administration were the Kazis which had control over civil and military functions like a Minister and Military officer combined. Rana Jang Pande, the leader of Pande faction, was the Prime Minister of Nepal in 1841 A.D. which might have caused large Pande officers at 1841. After the rise Rana dynasty(Kunwars), the number changed to 10 Basnets, 1 Pande, 3 Thapas and 26 Kunwar officers totalling to 61 Chhetri officers in the year 1854 A.D.
Links with Indian Royals
Rana dynasty of Chhetri ruler Jung Bahadur Rana have marital ties with Maratha royal Gaekwad dynasty. Asha Laxmi Raje, the granddaughter of Chandra Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana(Chandra SJB Rana) was married to Prince Sangramsinhrao, son of former King Pratap Singh Rao Gaekwad of Baroda State. Also, the Scindia Dynasty was maritally linked to Rana dynasty of Nepal by Queen Mother of Gwalior State Vijaya Raje Scindia. Her daughter Usha Raje Scindia married Pashupati Shamsher JB Rana. Their daughter is Devyani Rana who married to Kunwar Aishwarya Singh, son of Minister Kunwar Arjun Singh. Madhavrao Scindia who was former head member of Scindia Dynasty also married a Rana lady from Nepal. Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia's mother was daughter of General Yuvaraj SJB Rana. Similarly, Dr. Karan Singh, former royal of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), was married to Yasho Rajya Laxmi, daughter of General Sharada Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana and granddaughter of Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana.
Almost all Chhetris are Hindu. As per 2011 Nepal census, Chhetris are the largest Hindu adherents in the nation with 43,65,113 people which is 99.3% of total Chhetri population. Chhetri religion began with shamanism and nature worship.
- Bir Bhadra Thapa, Warrior at Unification of Nepal
- Amar Singh Thapa (Sardar), Warrior at Sino-Nepalese War
- Bhimsen Thapa, Second Prime Minister of Nepal
- Kalu Pande
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- Mathabarsingh Thapa, Seventh Prime Minister of Nepal
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- Gagan Singh Bhandari, Nepalese General
- Jung Bahadur Rana
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- Juddha Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Padma Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Gagan Thapa, Minister of Health
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