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Shrēṣṭha (Nepal Bhasa: श्रेष्ठ) is a Nepalese surname meaning "noble” or "great” in Sanskrit.[1] Shrestha may also refer to the Newar caste of Shresthas who prior to the unification of modern Nepal formed the ruling and administrative Kshatriya castes in the court of the Malla kings of Nepal.[2] They also counted among them the trading and business Vaishya castes, and were the pre-eminent traders in between Nepal and Tibet. After the unification of Nepal, Shresthas took up business and trading since their former positions as administrators and courtiers of the royal Malla court was supplanted by the invading Gorkha forces mainly of the Khas tribe.[3] Shresthas are now one of the most dynamic communities of Nepal and have excelled in professional careers such as medicine, civil aviation, science and technology, government service as well as finance and banking.[citation needed]

Language, culture and religion[edit]

The word "Shrestha" was derived from Sanskrit term Shista meaning 'noble' or 'decent'. "Syasya" also means 'warrior' in Nepal Bhasa. Shresthas (or Syasya) served as administrators and courtiers during the rule of the Malla Newar kings that ruled Nepal for six hundred years  – known as the "Golden Era" of Nepal – when much of the cultural and architectural development of Nepal took place. They took a prominent role in the governance and administration of the nation and fought against the Gorkha invasion. They also bravely contributed to protect their country Nepal from external powers like the Mughal.

Notable people[edit]

Politics and civil administration[edit]

Arts, literature and culture[edit]

Public figures[edit]


  1. ^ "Sanskrit dictionary". Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Shrestha, Name Meaning, Origin, Detailed Name Information & Meaning of Names at NameLab". Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  3. ^ Wright, Daniel (1877). "History of Nepal with an Introductory Sketch of the Country and People of Nepal". Cambridge. Retrieved 23 September 2012. Page 86.