Kaji (Nepal)

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Kaji Vamshidhar Kalu Pande, Kaji of the Gorkha Kingdom and one of the widely known Kaji from Nepal

Kaji (Nepali: काजी) was a title and position used by nobility of Gorkha Kingdom (1559–1768) and Kingdom of Nepal between 1768 and 1846. Many other contemporary kingdoms used the same title for their ministers.


Historian Mahesh Chandra Regmi suggests that Kaji is derived from Sanskrit word Karyi which meant functionary.[1]


Ganesh Pande was the first Kaji under King Dravya Shah of Gorkha Kingdom.[2] He helped Dravya Shah to become King of Gorkha and was later appointed Kaji of Gorkha[note 1] in 1559 A.D.[3][4] Another significant Kaji of Gorkha was Kalu Pande born in the family of Ganesh Pande.[1] He was son of Bhimraj Pande who was also a Kaji during the reign of King Nara Bhupal Shah.[1] Kalu Pande led Gorkhalis in the Battle of Kirtipur. He had set up a base on Naikap, a hill on the valley's western rim, from where they were to mount their assaults on Kirtipur.[5] He was killed in the battle after being surrounded by enemy forces.[6][7] The ministers and officials of Kantipur Kingdom also had the title of Kaji. Kashiram Thapa was a Kaji and army commander in the reign of King Jaya Prakash Malla.[8][9]

Both as per Francis Buchanan-Hamilton and Dilli Raman Regmi, there were 4 Kajis forming the government in Nepal.[10] In the rule of King Rana Bahadur Shah, 4 Kajis were appointed and were to work under the direction of King and Chautariya.[11] The number of officers including Kajis changed after King Rana Bahadur abdicated in favour of his minor son Girvan Yuddha Bikram Shah.[10] During the reign of Bhimsen Thapa, there were inner and outer circle of Kajis who acted as decision-making body and military commander and governors respectively.[12] Kaji along with Chautariya and Bada Hakim were appointed to run the administration as governors.[13] No single family had full dominance in the position of inner circle of government. All Thapas, Pandes and Basnets held similar shares in the inner circle.[14][15][page needed]


Chief (Mul) Kaji was considered equivalent to Prime Minister of Nepal before King Rana Bahadur Shah created the position of Mukhtiyar in 1806 and carried executive powers of nation to completely control Nepalese administration.[16] In 1794, King Rana Bahadur Shah came of age and appointed Kirtiman Singh Basnyat as Chief (Mul) Kaji among the newly appointed four Kajis though Damodar Pande was the most influential Kaji.[11] Kirtiman had succeeded Abhiman Singh Basnyat as Chief Kaji.[17] Kirtiman was secretly assassinated on 28 September 1801, by the supporters of Raj Rajeshwari Devi[18] and his brother Bakhtawar Singh Basnyat, was then given the post of Chief (Mul) Kaji.[19] Later Damodar Pande was appointed by Queen Rajrajeshwari as Chief Kaji.[20] After the execution of Mulkaji Damodar Pande in March 1804, Ranajit Pande was appointed as Mulkaji (Chief Kaji) along with Bhimsen Thapa as second Kaji, Sher Bahadur Shah as Mul Chautariya and Ranganath Paudel as Raj Guru (Royal Preceptor).[21][22]

List of people with title Kaji[edit]

List of people with name Kaji[edit]

Kaji was also used as given name and middle name. Notable Nepalese people with first name and middle name Kaji:

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The position of Kaji in Gorkha hill principality was not of only a mere minister but of the chief or prime minister.


  1. ^ a b c Regmi 1979, p. 43.
  2. ^ Shrestha 2005, p. 129.
  3. ^ Regmi 1975, p. 30.
  4. ^ Wright 1877, p. 278.
  5. ^ Vansittart, Eden (1896). Notes on Nepal. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 978-81-206-0774-3. Page 34.
  6. ^ Majupuria, Trilok Chandra (March 2011). "Kirtipur: The Ancient Town on the Hill". Nepal Traveller. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  7. ^ Wright, Daniel (1990). History of Nepal. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. Retrieved 7 November 2012. Page 227.
  8. ^ Paodel & Āsā 2003, p. 186.
  9. ^ Khatri 1999, p. 10.
  10. ^ a b Pradhan 2012, p. 8.
  11. ^ a b Pradhan 2012, p. 12.
  12. ^ Pradhan 2012, p. 91.
  13. ^ Pradhan 2012, p. 92.
  14. ^ Baral, Lok Raj (2006-01-01). Nepal: Facets of Maoist Insurgency. Adroit Publishers. ISBN 978-81-87392-75-0.
  15. ^ Shrestha 2005.
  16. ^ Nepal, Gyanmani (2007). Nepal ko Mahabharat (in Nepali) (3rd ed.). Kathmandu: Sajha. p. 314. ISBN 9789993325857.
  17. ^ Karmacharya 2005, p. 56.
  18. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 34.
  19. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 35.
  20. ^ Pradhan 2012, p. 14.
  21. ^ Nepal 2007, p. 58.
  22. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 55.