|Language(s)||Nepali, Doteli, Magar, Kumaoni|
|Derivative(s)||Thapa Kaji, Thapa Magar, Thapa Kshatri/Chhetri, Bagale Thapa|
|See also||Basnet, Pande, Rana, Karki, Khadka|
Thapa (Nepali: थापा; pronunciation:[t̪ʰāpā]) is the surname commonly used by Nepali people belonging to the Chhetri caste of Khas group, an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group and Magar people, a Sino-Tibetan ethno-linguistic group. Kshetri Thapa of Kshatriya Varna are addressed as Thapa Kaji while Thapa Magar are addressed as general Magar.
Thapa was a Paikelā (warrior) rank of the medieval Khasa kingdom. Other Paikelās include Khaḍgās, Rānās and Buḍhās.:89 It is proved through many inscriptions in the present day region of Old Khas Kingdom. Yasu Thapa, Dasu Thapa and Raj Thapa were known warriors from the herostone pillars.:90 One of the herostone inscription of Thapa warrior:
The above inscription also proved that Thapa and Khadka (Khadga) were mere military ranks that was born by sons of same father in the country of Khas people. The same name might have been duplicated by Magar people, a Mongoloid or Tartar tribe of central Nepal.
Khas Kshatri Thapa
Khas Thapa are patrilineal groups descended from Khas people. They are popularly known as Thapa Kshetri or Thapa Kaji. This group was divided into many clans like Bagale Thapa, Godar Thapa, Deoja Thapa, Thakuryal Thapa, Mugali(Lamichhane) Thapa, Kalikote Thapa, Suyal Thapa, Punwar Thapa, Khulal Thapa, Sonal Thapa, Bhandare Thapa, Achhami Thapa, Ghimire Thapa, Maharaji Thapa, Patkheti Thapa, Gaunle Thapa and others.
Kshatriya Thapa dynasty were one of the four noble family to be involved in active politics of Nepal together with Shah dynasty, Basnyat/Basnets and Pandes before rise of Rana dynasty. and ruled between 1806 and 1837 and 1843 to 1845. Thapas played important role in Unification of Nepal and had held many prestigious post in the Malla Court and Bijayapur Court. This family grew prominent during the rule of King Prithvi Narayan Shah and were established as dominant faction during reign of King Rana Bahadur Shah. After the assassination of King Rana Bahadur Shah, Bhimsen Thapa rose to the event killing all his enemies and catapulting the Thapa family as most dominant faction in the Royal Court of Nepal.
Thapa family were strengthened in the Royal court by including family members of the another Thapa Bharadar Amar Singh Thapa. Bada (Elder) Kaji Amar Singh Thapa was a legendary military commander and National Hero of Nepal. Thapas have important role in Anglo-Nepalese War where Colonial Power British India Company had major loss at First Campaign. Colonel Ujir Singh Thapa was sector commander at Jitgadh, Kaji Ranajor Singh Thapa at Jaithak, Sardar Bhakti Thapa at Deuthal, Colonel Ranabir Singh Thapa at Makawanpurgadhi and Bada Kaji (Elder Kaji) Amar Singh Thapa at Malaon. Bhimsen's nephew PM Mathabarsingh Thapa was known for his charisma from whom Jung Bahadur Rana rose to power. Thus, the state of administrative Thapa rule in Nepal is politically termed as Thapadom.
Bagale Thapa (Nepali:बगाले थापा) is a prominent clan within Khas Thapa. Bagale Thapas were skillful at both warfare and administration. They belong to Aatreya Gotra in the Gotra system of Hinduism.
The genealogy traces the lineage of all Bagale Thapas to male progenitor (Mūlapuruṣa) King Kalu Thapa Kshatri, who first ascended to the throne at Kāndāmālikā on Saka Era 1111. The DDC of Myagdi district also confirms historical evidence of rule of Thapa dynasty of Takam State (1246-1545 B.S.) by founder Kalu Thapa, whose dynasty continued for 300 years only to be defeated by Dimba Bam Malla to form bigger Parbat State.
Amar Singh Thapa, the war hero of Anglo-Nepalese war belongs to this clan. Similarly, Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa, the most revered among Thapas also belongs to this clan. His nephew Mathabarsingh Thapa was the seventh Prime Minister of Nepal.
Punwar/ Panwar Thapa
Punwar Thapa (Nepali: पुँवर थापा) is another clan of Thapa Chhetri. Punwar/ Panwar, a variant of Parmara dynasty, is a Rajput honorific claimed by different groups. This clan migrated later than other Thapa groups to Nepal from Dhar and Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India. Sardar Bhakti Thapa a war commander at Anglo-Nepalese war, belonged to this clan.
Thapa Magar/Magar Thapa were believed to have come from upper Tibet region as a wild guess given their physique but it is still not been verified firmly about their origin. They fall under Magar ethnic group of Mongoloid Tibeto-Burman family group. They speak Tibeto-Burman language Magar language as Mother Tongue. Thapa Magar are not addressed as "Thapa" but as "Magar".
They form part of Magar ethnic group, one of the core fighting forces of Gorkhali soldiers. Famous Thapa Magars include Arun Thapa, Lakhan Thapa Magar, Biraj Thapa Magar, Victoria Cross holders like Kulbir Thapa, Lalbahadur Thapa and Netrabahadur Thapa.
Links with Indian Royals
Thapas have marital links with Maratha Chhattari royals of Baroda State. Pyar Jung Thapa's daughter, Pragya Shree was married to former King of Baroda State Pratap Singh Rao Gaekwad's grandson Pratapsinh Sangramsinh Gaekwad.
Modern day Thapas are prominent in wide professions. Manjushree Thapa, an English language author is known for Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy (2005), was shortlisted for the Lettre Ulysses Award in 2006. Gagan Thapa, a popular 40-year-old minister is in the Nepalese cabinet. Ujwal Thapa, the President of Bibeksheel Nepali is a leading youth activist and entrepreneur.
Notable people with the surname Thapa
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- "Youths stage symbolic protest against 601 MPs (photo feature)". ekantipur.com. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
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- Regmi, Mahesh Chandra (1978), Regmi Research Series
- Joshi, Bhuwan Lal; Rose, Leo E. (1966), Democratic Innovations in Nepal: A Case Study of Political Acculturation, University of California Press, p. 551
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