Gorkha Administration

Introduction to Shah/Gorkha Administration

The Shah/Gorkha Administration spanned from 1558 A.D. in Gorkha to 1846 A.D. in Nepal before the Rise of Jung Bahadur Rana and the Rana Regime. Shah/Gorkha Administration was characterized by Important Political and Military Positions and dominance of Judicial Administration with multiple roles and responsibilities to Dispense Justice.

Important Administrative Positions


The Shah Kings in both Gorkha and Nepal were deemed as the most Powerful Authority from 1558 A.D. to 1846 A.D. They were also considered as Divine Reincarnation with Divine Authority. King was concerned with the Politics, Expansion, Military and Justice, and Economy of Nepal and Gorkha.


After the Unification of Nepal and the Death of Pratap Singh Shah, Kings of the Young Age rose to the throne. As they weren’t competent enough, the Administration and Internal Affairs of Nepal were guided by the Regent in the name of the King. the Queen Mother or the Primary Relative of the Young King was made the Regent. Some of the most Prominent Regents of the Shah/Gorkha Administration are Rajendra Laxmi Shah, Bahadur Shah, Lalita Tripura Sundari, etc.


The Kazi, an influential administrative designation in Nepal, held a significant role in the central administration throughout history. Selected based on merit and public trust, the Kazi assisted the king in governing the kingdom. Responsibilities included maintaining law and order, collecting taxes, and managing diplomacy. They acted as advisors to the king, implemented his orders, and ensured the welfare of the people.


Chautariyas held high-ranking positions in the Gorkha state’s administration in Nepal. Acting as co-operators of the king, they facilitated communication and provided assistance in governance. They served as intermediaries between the grassroots and the king’s advisor, the Kazi, ensuring the king was well-informed. Chautariyas also governed strategically important regions, maintaining law and order, collecting taxes, and settling disputes. In times of war, they led armies, strategized, and protected civilians.


Mukhtiyars held a crucial role in 18th-century Nepal, especially during the reign of child kings. They acted as regents and governed the country in the king’s name. Mukhtiyars had the authority of the king, making important decisions, selecting officials, collecting taxes, and administering justice. Their duties included assisting the child king, maintaining stability, overseeing the administration, revenue collection, and acting as prime ministers.

Cha Thar Ghar

Cha Thar Ghar refers to the six aristocratic houses that held significant power in the Kingdom of Gorkha, Nepal. These families, including Pande, Aryal, Pantha, Khanal, Rana Magar, and Bohara, were appointed to key positions by King Drabya Shah. They exerted influence in Gorkha and continued to hold sway in the United Palace Court of Nepal after the country’s unification. The Pande clan, particularly figures like Ganesh Pande and Kalu Pande, were the most powerful among them, shaping Nepal’s political landscape for decades.

Other Administrative Positions


Khardar held a significant administrative post in Nepal, established by Prithvi Narayan Shah. They were educated individuals responsible for the daily administration, record-keeping, and assisting chief administrative officers.

Their duties included addressing citizen concerns, settling land disputes, overseeing development activities, and managing accounting tasks. While their role in the judiciary is unclear, they collaborated with heads of departments and offices to make administrative decisions.

Skilled and knowledgeable, Khardars played a crucial role in the administration of Nepal during its unification and can be considered equivalent to the present-day Secretary of Nepal.


Kapardar held a significant position as the chief employee and butler in the Royal Court of Nepal, serving the Shah Kings. They were responsible for managing the palace, distributing salaries, and attending to the personal needs of the king.

Trusted individuals were appointed to this post to handle the vast responsibilities associated with the royal property and the efficient functioning of the palace. They were instrumental in ensuring the smooth operation of the court and meeting the king’s requirements.


Khajanchi held a crucial position as the officer responsible for managing the finances and treasury of the Royal Palace in Nepal. Comparable to a finance minister or treasurer, their primary role was fiscal in nature. They safeguarded the treasury, distributed funds, and monitored financial transactions. Additionally, they coordinated with the Kapardar, the chief officer of the palace, to manage expenditures. The Khajanchi’s responsibilities included revenue collection and ensuring transparent and accountable financial records.


Sardar held important administrative and military positions in Gorkha and later Nepal, delegated by the government. While not as powerful as a Kaji, they were appointed from noble families and had diverse responsibilities.

Their duties encompassed defense, participating in wars, administration, and serving in the judicial system alongside Dharmadhikari, Dittha, Bichari, and Bahidar. Sardars played a vital role in fortifying important regions, participating in warfare, and governing administrative regions.

Judicial Administration


Dharmadhikara was a vital post in the Kingdom of Gorkha, responsible for resolving disputes and finalizing cases based on Dharmashastras. They held a position equivalent to the Chief Justice during King Ram Shah’s reign. Appointed by the king with advice from scholars, Dharmadhikara that were Brahmins guided the main court and appointed representatives in district-level courts. They had the authority to decide local cases and their judgments were verified with the religious authority’s seal. The position held significant power and importance in the Nepalese court system during Prithvi Narayan Shah’s reign.


Dittha, the Chief Judicial Officer of the Kingdom of Gorkha, held a crucial position in the judicial administration. Second, only to the king and Dharmadhikara, Dittha provided final verdicts for cases in the royal palace and managed administrative affairs. They oversaw the hiring and management of police and ran the offices and tribunals they headed. The appointment of Thakuri individuals to the post of Dittha was significant, reflecting their honesty and passion.


Bichari, an assistant judicial administrator prevalent during Prithvi Narayan Shah’s reign, had the primary responsibility of collecting evidence and initiating cases in court. They worked closely with Ditthas and Dharmadhikaras, conducting interrogations and reaching joint results. Bicharis were appointed based on their education, moral character, and practical knowledge of the law. Their duties included determining property, investigating truthfulness, and overseeing ordeals. Though historical records are limited, it is believed that the Magars were chosen for their honesty and integrity.


Bahidar held a significant but relatively modest role in the judicial administration of Gorkha and Unified Nepal. They assisted people in registering complaints, acted as unofficial accountants of the court, and provided support to senior judicial administrators. As literate individuals, they helped the illiterate population in documenting their cases. Bahidars were entrusted with maintaining the court’s financial records and ensuring its smooth functioning.


Amali or Amaldar held important roles as administrators and judicial administrators in the central court of Nepal, both in Gorkha and Unified Nepal. They were assigned to oversee small districts or areas, conducting judicial proceedings and resolving civil cases. They coordinated with Bichari and Dharmadhikari representatives, collected land revenue, ensured peace and security, and supervised law enforcement in their respective districts.

Taksar and Dhansar

Taksar and Dhansar courts were established as judicial bodies during their time, handling civil cases and complaints, excluding severe punishments. These courts had a structured procedure, involving Bichari, Dittha, and other officers. The chiefs oversaw the proceedings, with Dittha sometimes presiding over the courts in heinous cases. The courts focused on fair trials and provided assistance to the accused, ensuring their attendance. The appointment of qualified chiefs emphasized the importance of knowledge and intellectual abilities.


The Shah/Gorkha Administration was characterized by Military and Judicial Administration with a priority of the King, Regent, and De Facto Prime Minister. the Position of Prime Minister also was played from Kaji to Chautariya to Mukhtiyar to Prime Minister. So, Shah Administration was continuously changing.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Shah/Gorkha Administration – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/gorkha/shah-gorkha-administration/