Mahendra of Nepal
|Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah|
|King of Nepal|
|Reign||13 March 1955 – 31 January 1972|
|Coronation||2 May 1956|
|Born||11 June 1920|
Narayanhity Royal Palace, Kathmandu, Kingdom of Nepal
|Died||31 January 1972 (aged 51)|
Dialo Bangala, Bharatpur, Kingdom of Nepal
|Spouse||Crown Princess Indra Rajya Lakshmi Devi |
(m. 1940–1950, her death)
Queen Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Devi (m. 1952–1972, his death)
Prince Dhirendra 
|Father||Tribhuvan of Nepal|
|Mother||Kanti Rajya Lakshmi Devi|
Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (Nepali: महेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाह; 11 June 1920 – 31 January 1972) was King of Nepal from 1955 to 1972.Mahendra was born 11 June 1920 to King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal. Although Tribhuvan was nominally king since 1911. Mahendra was captive in Narayanhity Royal Palace, virtually a gilded cage. In 1940 he married Indra Rajya Lakshmi Devi, daughter of General Hari Shamsher Rana. Mahendra had 3 sons, Birendra, Gyanendra, Dhirendra and three daughters Shanti, Sharada, and Shobha. Crown Princess Indra died in 1950. In 1952, Mahendra married Indra's younger sister, Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Devi. This marriage produced no children.
1960 Coup d'état
On 15 December 1960, the then King Mahendra suspended the constitution, dissolved the elected parliament, dismissed the cabinet, imposed direct rule and imprisoned the then-prime minister Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala and his closest government colleagues. Mahendra instituted a Panchayat hierarchical system of village, district and national councils, a variant of guided democracy. He pursued a foreign policy of neutrality between China and India.
Rule in Panchayat System (1960–72)
In 1960, King Mahendra used his emergency powers and took charge of the State once again claiming that the Congress government had fostered corruption, promoted party above national interest, failed to maintain law and order and ‘encouraged anti-national elements’. Political parties were outlawed and all prominent political figures, including the Prime Minister were put behind bars. Civil liberties were curtailed and press freedom muzzled. King Mahendra, then, through an ‘exercise of the sovereign power and prerogatives inherent in us’ promulgated a new constitution on December, 1962 introducing a party-less Panchayat system. The political system (Panchayat System) was a party-less "guided" democracy in which the people could elect their representatives, while real power remained in the hands of the monarch. Dissenters were called anti-national elements.
The Panchayat System was formulated by King Mahendra after overthrowing the first democratically elected government and dissolving the parliament in 1960. On 26 December 1961, King Mahendra appointed a council of 5 ministers to help run the administration. Several weeks later, political parties were declared illegal. At first, the Nepali Congress leadership propounded a non-violent struggle against the new order and formed alliances with several political parties, including the Gorkha Parishad and the United Democratic Party. Early in 1961, however, the king had set up a committee of 4 officials from the Central Secretariat to recommend changes in the constitution that would abolish political parties and substitute a "National Guidance" system based on local panchayat led directly by the king.
Mahendra implemented a land reform policy, which provided land to many landless people. The Mahendra Highway (also called East-West Highway) that runs along the entire Terai belt in southern Nepal was constructed during his reign. He launched the Back to the Village National Campaign in 1967 which was one of his largest rural development efforts. He also played a key role in making Nepal a member of the United Nations in 1955.
British Field Marshal
King Mahendra was appointed as a British Field Marshal in 1960.
King Mahendra and Queen's visit to USA in 1967
King Mahendra and the Queen Ratna were greeted by the then President of USA, Lyndon B Johnson and Mrs. Johnson in Washington DC in 1967. The royal couple of Nepal was greeted with the 'guard of honor'.
Death and survivors
Mahendra suffered a heart attack while hunting in Chitwan with Tiger Tops Hotel proprietor John Coapman, also associated with the CIA at the time, who reported in 1977 that Mahendra died in his arms after eating dinner "on shikar" and died 31 January 1972 in Bharatpur.
- Sovereign of the Order of Nepal Pratap Bhaskara
- Sovereign of the Order of Ojaswi Rajanya
- Sovereign of the Order of Nepal Taradisha
- Sovereign of the Order of Tri Shakti Patta
- Sovereign of the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu
- Most Glorious Mahendra Chain (26 February 1961)
- Commemorative Silver Jubilee Medal of King Tribhuvan (11 December 1936)
- Iran: Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi, 3 July 1960
- Iran: Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire, 14 October 1971.
- Japan: Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, 19 April 1960
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, 13 July 1960
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of Legion of Honour, 24 February 1956
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose, 1958
- Belgium: Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II, 1964
- Germany: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1964
- Kingdom of Laos: Collar of the Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol, 1970
- Pakistan: Nishan-e-Pakistan, 1970
- Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 25 April 1967.
- United Kingdom: Royal Victorian Chain, 26 February 1961
- Philippines: Collar of the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Raja, 1971.
|Ancestors of Mahendra of Nepal|
- ^1 Possibly no heir for the time period of 1911 through 1920. Previous Crown Prince: Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah, from 1906 to 1911.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.|
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- "Late King Mahendra with his family".
- "1954 50p 1rs king mahendra".
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- "Good or bad, right or wrong, for better or for worse, King Mahendra bequeathed a legacy that has shaped the course of political events in Nepal for four long decades".
- Whelpton, John (17 February 2005). The monarchy in full control:1961-1979. ISBN 9780521804707.
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- "Permanent rebellion: The story of B.P. Koirala". Hinduonnet.com. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
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|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 26 August 2011.
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|archiveurl=missing title (help). Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "orders". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "ODM of Nepal: King Tribhuvan Silver Jubilee Medal 1935". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "Grand State Banquet". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- Presidência da República
- Benelux Royal Archived 28 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah
| Crown Prince of Nepal
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah
| Crown Prince of Nepal
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah
Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah
| King of Nepal|