Jung Bahadur Rana

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Shree Teen Maharaja
Jung Bahadur Kunwar
श्री ३ महाराजा
जङ्ग बहादुर कुँवर
Shree Teen Maharaja Jang Bahadur Rana
8th Prime Minister of Nepal
Sri 3 Maharaj of Kaski and Lamjung
In office
15th September 1846-1st August 1856
Monarch King Rajendra
King Surendra
Preceded by Fateh Jung Shah
Succeeded by Bam Bahadur Kunwar
In office
28th June 1857-25th February 1877
Monarch King Surendra
Preceded by Bam Bahadur Kunwar
Succeeded by Ranodip Singh Kunwar
Personal details
Born Bir Narsingh Kunwar
18 June 1817
Died 25 February 1877(1877-02-25) (aged 59)
Citizenship Nepalese
Nationality Nepali
  • Maharajkumar General Jagat Jung Bahadur Rana
  • Maharajkumar General Jit Jung Bahadur Rana
  • Maharajkumar General Padma Jung Bahadur Rana
  • Maharajkumar General Ranabir Jung Rana
  • Maharajkumari Badan Kumari Rana
Parents Father Bal Narsingh Kunwar
Relatives Uncle Mathabarsingh Thapa
Known for First Rana Prime Minister of Nepal
Shree Teen Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana
श्री ३ महाराज जङ्गबहादुर कुँवर राणा
King of Lamjung and Kaski Kingdom
His Highness Commanding General
Svasti Sri Madati Prachandra Bhujadandyetyadi
Sri Sri Sri Maharaja
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India
Jang Bahadur Rana.jpg
Reign 6 August 1856 – 25 February 1877
Coronation 6 August 1856[2]
Predecessor established
Successor Ranodip Singh Kunwar
Spouse Sri 3 Maharani Hiranyagarbha Devi
Kaila Maharani
Ganga Maharani (Mudama Mussamat)
Siddhi Gajendra Lakshmi Basnyat
Putali Maharani
Misri Maharani
Mina Maharani
Dakchoke Rani
Issue Maharajkumar Bhim Pratap Jung Rana
Maharajkumar General Jagat Jung Bahadur Rana
Maharajkumar General Jit Jung Bahadur Rana
Maharajkumar General Padma Jung Bahadur Rana
Lieutenant-General Baber Jung Rana
Maharajkumar General Ranabir Jung Rana and 7 other sons
Maharajkumari Badan Kumari Rana
Sri 5 Tara Rajya Lakshmi
Sri 5 Lalit Rajeshwori
Sri 5 Somgarva Divyeshwari
Full name
Jung Bahadur Kunwar Ranaji
Dynasty Rana dynasty
Father Bal Narsingh Kunwar
Mother Ganesh Kumari Thapa Kunwar
Religion Hinduism

Shree Teen Maharaja Sir Jung Bahadur Kunwar Ranaji[3] (born as Bir Narsingh Kunwar (Nepali: वीर नरसिंह कुँवर), GCB, GCSI, 18 June 1817, Borlang, Gorkha – 25 February 1877, Patharghat, Rautahat; popularly known as Jung Bahadur Rana (Nepali: जङ्ग बहादुर राणा)) was a Khas Rajput (Chhetri)[note 1] ruler of Nepal and founder of the Rana Dynasty of Nepal. His real name was Bir Narsingh Kunwar but he became famous by the name Junga Bahadur, given to him by first Prime Minister and C-in-C Mathabar Singh Thapa, his maternal uncle.

His mother Ganesh Kumari was the daughter of Kaji Nain Singh Thapa, brother of PM Bhimsen Thapa of then ruling Thapa dynasty.[5] Through the influence of his maternal side, he enjoyed privileges. During his lifetime, he eliminated the factional fighting at the court, removed his family rivals such as Pandes and Basnyats and paved way for the finding of Rana Dynasty, introduced innovations into the bureaucracy and the judiciary, and made efforts to "modernize" Nepal. He remains one of the most important figures in Nepalese history, though modern historians have also blamed Jung Bahadur for setting up the dictatorship that repressed the nation for 104 years from 1846 to 1951 and left it in a primitive economic condition. Others exclusively blame his nephews, the Shumsher Ranas, for Nepal's dark period of history.[6] Rana rule was marked by tyranny, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution.[7][8]

Immediate ancestors

Sardar Ram Krishna Kunwar; great-grandfather of Jang

His father, Kaji Bal Narsingh Kunwar, was in court the day Rana Bahadur Shah was murdered by his own half-brother Sher Bahadur Shah; as a retaliation Bal Narsingh killed him on the spot. For this action, he was rewarded with the position of Kaji, which was made hereditary in his family, also he was the only person allowed to carry weapons inside the court. He was great grandson of Ram Krishna Kunwar, a great military leader at the times of King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Through his mother Ganesh Kumari, he was related to the aristocratic Thapa dynasty of PM Bhimsen Thapa, which helped him enter the royal court at a young age. Through his maternal grandmother he was related to the aristocratic Pande family as his maternal grandmother Rana Kumari was the daughter of Kaji Ranajit Pande, an influential royal courtier.[5]

Early life

By 1850 Jung Bahadur had eliminated all of his major rivals, installed his own candidate on the throne, appointed his brothers and cronies to all the important posts, and ensured that major administrative decisions were made by himself as prime minister. At this point, he took the unprecedented step of travelling to Britain, France and Egypt[9] leaving from Calcutta in April 1850 and returning to Kathmandu in February 1851. Although he unsuccessfully tried to deal directly with the British government while he was there, the main result of the tour was a great increase in goodwill between the British and Nepal. Recognizing the power of industrialised Europe, he became convinced that close co-operation with the British was the best way to guarantee Nepal's independence.

Foreign relations

Maharaj Jung at London in 1850

Nepal began to experience some successes in international affairs during the tenure of Jung Bahadur. To the north, relations with Tibet had been mediated through China since Nepal's defeat in 1792, and during the early nineteenth century embassies had to make the arduous journey to Beijing every five years with local products as tribute to the Qing emperor. By 1854, however, China was in decline and had fallen into a protracted period of disturbances, including the Taiping Rebellion (1851–64), revolts by Muslim ethnic groups north of Tibet, and war with European powers. The Nepalese mission to Beijing in 1852, just after the death of the sixth Panchen Lama, was allegedly mistreated in Tibet. Because of this slight, the Nepalese government sent a protest letter to Beijing and Lhasa outlining several grievances, including excessive customs duties on Nepalese trade. In 1855 Nepalese troops overran the Kuti and Kairang areas. The Nepalese-Tibetan War lasted for about a year, with successes and failures on both sides, until a treaty negotiated by the Chinese resident and ratified in March 1856 gave Nepalese merchants duty-free trade privileges, forced Tibet to pay an annual tribute of 10,000 rupees to Nepal, and allowed a Nepalese resident in Lhasa. In return, Nepal gave up territorial gains and agreed that it, as well as Tibet, would remain a tributary state subject to China. As the Qing Empire disintegrated later in the century, this tributary status was allowed to lapse, and even Tibet began to shake off its subordination.

Begum Hazrat Mahal took refuge in Kathmandu with her 10-year-old son in 1859 Birjis Qadr and some other loyal staff .The then Prime Minister of Nepal, Jung Bahadur Rana, gave her shelter at the palace in Thapathali (which now houses an office of the Nepal Rastra Bank ,Tapathali Durbar), said Samim Miya Ansari . Jung Bahadur Rana took the step despite being in good terms with the British at the time .

In 1858 King Surendra bestowed upon Jung Bahadur Kunwar the honorific title of Rana, an old title denoting martial glory used by Rajput princes in northern India.[a] He then became Jung Bahadur Rana, and the later prime ministers descended from his family added his name to their own in honour of his accomplishments. Their line became known as the house of the Ranas. Jung Bahadur remained prime minister until 1877, suppressing conspiracies and local revolts and enjoying the fruits of his early successes. He exercised almost unlimited power over internal affairs, taking for his own use whatever funds were available in the treasury. He lived in the high style of an Anglicised native prince in the British Raj, although unlike the Indian princes he was the ruler of a truly independent nation, an ally rather than a subordinate of the British.


  • 1817–1835: Jung Bahadur Kunwar
  • 1835–1840: Second Lieutenant Jung Bahadur Kunwar
  • 1840–1841: Captain Jung Bahadur Kunwar
  • 1841–1845: Kaji Captain Jung Bahadur Kunwar
  • 1845–1848: Kaji Major-General Jung Bahadur Kunwar
  • 1848–1856: Kaji Major-General Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana
  • 1856–1857: Kaji Commanding-General Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana, Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski
  • 1857–1858: His Highness Commanding-General Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana, Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski
  • 1858–1872: His Highness Commanding-General Sir Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana, Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski, GCB
  • 1872–1873: His Highness Commanding-General Sir Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana, T'ung-ling-ping-ma-Kuo-Kang-wang, Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski, GCB
  • 1873–1877: His Highness Commanding-General Sir Jung Bahadur Kunwar Rana, T'ung-ling-ping-ma-Kuo-Kang-wang, Maharaja of Lamjung and Kaski, GCB, GCSI




  1. ^ Jung Bahadur Rana was a noble of Khas group who renamed Khas as Kshetri (क्षेत्री) borrowed from Kshatriya.[4] He had Kunwar (surname) and had blood relations with Khas Thapa dynasty of Mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa.[5]
  1. ^ He was not actually a Rajput - the claim is considered to be fictitious.[10]


  1. ^ Google Books
  2. ^ Royal Ark
  3. ^ http://www.royalark.net/Nepal/lamb3.htm
  4. ^ Dor Bahadur Bista (1991). Fatalism and Development: Nepal's Struggle for Modernization. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-0188-1. 
  5. ^ a b c JBR, PurushottamShamsher (1990). Shree Teen Haruko Tathya Britanta (in Nepali). Bhotahity, Kathmandu: Vidarthi Pustak Bhandar. ISBN 99933-39-91-1. 
  6. ^ Rana, Purushottam S.J.B. (1998). Jung Bahadur Rana: the story of his rise and glory. Book Faith India. p. 150. ISBN 81-7303-087-1. 
  7. ^ Dietrich, Angela (1996). "Buddhist Monks and Rana Rulers: A History of Persecution". Buddhist Himalaya: A Journal of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Lal, C. K. (16 February 2001). "The Rana resonance". Nepali Times. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Conference of Mr Jean Français ambassador of France to Nepal, 24 April 1967.
  10. ^ Bista, Dor Bahadur (1991). Fatalism and Development: Nepal's Struggle for Modernization. Orient Blackswan. p. 37. ISBN 978-8-12500-188-1. 

Further reading

  • Regmi, D. R. (1958). A century of family autocracy in Nepal: being the account of the condition and history of Nepal during the last hundred years of Rana autocracy, 1846–1949. Kathmandu: Nepali National Congress. p. 326. 

External links

  • Library of Congress
  • Mc Findia
  • Royal Ark
  • Gautam, Prawash. (2011-10-02). Kot legacy and lessons. www.ekantipur.com. Retrieved: 26 December 2011.
Jung Bahadur Rana
Born: 18 June 1817 Died: 25 February 1877
Regnal titles
Preceded by
New creation
Maharaja of Lamjang and Kaski
Succeeded by
Ranodip Singh Kunwar
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