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Mukhtiyar of Kingdom of Nepal
नेपाल अधिराज्यको मुख्तियार
Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal (cropped).jpg
longest reigning and most influential Mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa
StyleSri Mukhtiyar General
Mukhtiyar Saheb
Residencevarious (incl. Bag Durbar for Bhimsen Thapa)
SeatHanuman Dhoka Palace
AppointerKing of Nepal
PrecursorDamodar Pande (as Mul Kaji of Nepal)
Formation26 February 1806
First holderRana Bahadur Shah
Final holderMathabarsingh Thapa
Abolished25 December 1843
SuccessionMathabarsingh Thapa (as Prime Minister of Nepal)
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Mukhtiyar (Nepali: मुख्तियार) was the position of head of executive of Kingdom of Nepal between 1806 and 1843. It was equivalent to Prime Minister of Nepal. There were 7 Mukhtiyars appointed between 1806 and 1843.


Mukhtiyar is formed from two words: Mukhya and Akhtiyar. Mukhya means Chief[1] and Akhtiyar means Authority.[2] Altogether it means the "Executive Head of the State". Kumar Pradhan suggests that the word has Persian origin and denotes "competent-to-do" or broadly "Commander-in-Chief".[3]


In 1806, the self denounced King Rana Bahadur Shah was made Mukhtiyar (chief authority) and Bhimsen Thapa tried to implement his schemes through Rana Bahadur.[4] On the night of 25 April 1806, Sher Bahadur Shah, step-brother of Mukhtiyar in desperation drew a sword and killed Rana Bahadur Shah before being cut down by nearby courtiers, Bam Shah and Bal Narsingh Kunwar, also allies of Bhimsen.[5][6] It triggered the Bhandarkhal massacre on the royal garden.[7][8] On the grounds of the chaotic situation of the Bhandarkhal massacre, Bhimsen rose to the title of Mukhtiyar.[9] The position of Mukhtiyar was under Pajani (Annual Renewal) system. During the annual muster of 1833, King Rajendra Bikram Shah delayed the retainment of Bhimsen's own position as the Mukhtiyar.[10] On the false charge of murder of infant Prince Devendra on 1837, Bhimsen, his brother Ranbir Singh, his nephew Mathbar Singh, their families, the court physicians, Ekdev and Eksurya Upadhyay, and his deputy Bhajuman Baidya, with a few more of the nearest relatives of the Thapas were incarcerated, proclaimed outcasts, and their properties confiscated.[11][12][13][14] Immediately after the incarceration of the Thapas, a new government with joint Mukhtiyars was formed with Ranganath Paudel as the head of civil administration, and Dalbhanjan Pande and Rana Jang Pande as joint heads of military administration.[15] After about three months in power, under pressure from the opposing factions, the King removed Rana Jang as Mukhtiyar and Ranganath Paudel, who was favorably inclined towards the Thapas, was chosen as the sole Mukhtiyar.[16][17][18][19] However, Ranganath Poudel, finding himself unsupported by the King, resigned from the Mukhtiyari, which was then conferred on Pushkar Shah; but Puskhar Shah was only a nominal head, and the actual authority was bestowed on Ranajang Pande.[20] At the beginning of 1839, Ranjang Pande was made the sole Mukhtiyar.[21][22] but Ranajang's inability to control the general lawlessness in the country forced him to resign from the office, which was then conferred on Puskar Shah, based on Senior Queen Samrajya Lakshmi's recommendation.[23] There was also a brief army mutiny in June 1840.[24] Brian Hodgson sent an indiscriminating report of mutiny to Governor General and he demanded the dissolution of the reigning government. Pushkar Shah and his Pande associates were dismissed by the King, and Fateh Jung Shah was appointed Mukhtiyar in November 1840.[25] The Queen, seeking support of her own son's claims to the throne over those of Surendra, invited Mathabar Singh Thapa back after almost six years in exile.[26] He was greeted with a grand welcome and was offered to lead the government.[27] By December 1843, Mathabar Singh was appointed Prime Minister.[28] Thus, the first Mukhtiyar to title himself as a prime minister, as per the British convention, was Mathabar Singh Thapa.[29]

List of Mukhtiyars of Kingdom of Nepal[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Rana Bahadur Shah.jpg Rana Bahadur Shah
26 February 1806 26 April 1806 Independent
2 Bhimsen-thapa-painting (cropped).jpg Bhimsen Thapa
1806 1837 Independent
3 Ranajang Pande.jpg Rana Jang Pande
1st time
1837 1837 Independent
4 Ranganath Paudyal.jpg Ranga Nath Poudyal
1st time
1837 1838 Independent
5 Puskar Shah.jpg Chautariya Puskhar Shah
1838 1839 Independent
(3) Ranajang Pande.jpg Rana Jang Pande
2nd time
1839 1840 Independent
(4) Ranganath Paudyal.jpg Ranga Nath Poudyal
2nd time
1840 1840 Independent
6 Fatteh Jang Shah.jpg Fateh Jung Shah
1st time
November 1840 January 1843 Independent
7 Mathabar Simha Thapa.jpg Mathabar Singh Thapa
November 1843 25 December 1843 Independent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "English Translation of "मुख्य" - Collins Hindi-English Dictionary". Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ "English Translation of "अख़्तियार" - Collins Hindi-English Dictionary". Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  3. ^ Pradhan, 2012 & glossary xv.
  4. ^ Nepal 2007, pp. 60–61.
  5. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 67.
  6. ^ Nepal 2007, pp. 62–63.
  7. ^ Acharya 2012, pp. 68–71.
  8. ^ Nepal 2007, pp. 63–64.
  9. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 71.
  10. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 150.
  11. ^ Nepal 2007, p. 105.
  12. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 159.
  13. ^ Acharya 1971, p. 13.
  14. ^ Oldfield 1880, p. 310.
  15. ^ Nepal 2007, p. 106.
  16. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 160.
  17. ^ Oldfield 1880, p. 311.
  18. ^ Nepal 2007, p. 109.
  19. ^ Pradhan 2012, p. 164.
  20. ^ Oldfield 1880, p. 313.
  21. ^ Nepal 2007, p. 110.
  22. ^ Acharya 2012, pp. 161–162.
  23. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 167.
  24. ^ Acharya 2012, pp. 168–169.
  25. ^ Acharya 2012, p. 170.
  26. ^ Acharya 2012, pp. 177–178.
  27. ^ Sharma, Balchandra (1976). Nepal ko Aitehasik Rooprekha. Varanasi: Krishna Kumari Devi. p. 295.
  28. ^ Acharya 2012, pp. 11–12.
  29. ^ Kandel 2011, p. 10.