Introduction to Mahapratihar

Mahapratihar falls among the important Administrative Positions in the History of The Lichhavi Dynasty. The Position was conferred by the King to his trusted men only. They acted as the Bridge between the King and the People.

An Individual couldn’t meet the King without getting the permission of the Chief Administrator. They were also superior to Pratihar. This Title wasn’t unique to Nepal. Indian Kings also had a Mahapratihar in their court.

Duties of Mahapratihar

Bodyguard of King

Mahapratihar is said to have been the primary Bodyguard of the King. They were also given High Administrative Authority by the King. In the History of the Lichhavi Dynasty, these administrators always managed to become De-Facto Rulers.

He was from the upper class of Pratihars. They were the Hajuriya of the King. He filtered the visitors of the King and only choose visitors that were actually important to the King or mentioned issues as such.


Mahapratihar wasn’t just limited to being the Bodyguard of the King. They also assisted the King in running the administration of Nepal. When the Kings got weaker, some consolidated their power to become the De-Facto Rulers of Nepal.

Later, they were the primary source of Administrative Decisions in Nepal. Some of their consolidated duties are:

1. Selection of Brattas: The government required many officers to run the Administration of Nepal. Mahapratihar had to select them and refer them to the King. They would discuss the decision properly and select the Bratta. Bratta’s were the Government Officers that were given salary.

2. Local Administration: Mahapratihar, when they became the De-Facto Ruler, made decisions as they pleased. They could provide independence to Govern one’s village to the Panchalik. However, the Panchalik had to be satisfactory and acceptable to the Chief Administrator. It increased their reputation and popularity further cementing their reign among the people as well.

3. Decentralization: Decentralization of Governance was an important plan of action of the Kings of the Lichhavi Dynasty. It loosened the burden of the Central Government and increased the independence of the Local Government as well and Mahapratihar’s had the major duty to determine the process of Decentralization.

Mahapratihar also acted as Sarvadandanayak and managed both Pratihar and Dandanayak. They also maintained contact with Other Administrative Tribunals (Kuther, Sulli, Ligwal, Mapchowk, Bhattadhikaran) and guaranteed the smooth administration of Nepal through Paramasan and Mahabaladakshya.

Important Mahapratihar’s

Ravi Gupta

Ravi Gupta was the first influential co-ruler of Nepal. He rose to power in 512 A.D. during the reign of King Basantadeva. He was the first member of the Gupta family to exert dominance over the Lichhavi Kings of Nepal and establish the Guptas as powerful rulers.

Gupta was appointed as Dutak and later claimed the position of Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar. It was, at the time, the highest position conferrable to an average citizen. He almost became the co-ruler of Nepal 19 years after his first mention. However, he became unpopular and disappeared after conducting some scandals.

Bhaum Gupta

Bhaum Gupta was a co-ruler of Nepal from 557 A.D. to 590 A.D. who held the posts of Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar. He was made the chief administrator and officer of the Lichhavi Dynasty.

He decentralized the government’s power, increased local independence, and brought various administrative reforms. He also claimed the divine title of Paramdaivat and the de facto rule of Nepal, but his fall came after King Shivadeva rose to the throne in 590 A.D. and removed him from politics.


Mahapratihar was the Chief Minister and a Leading Administrative Post in the Lichhavi Dynasty. They primarily acted as a liaison between the King and the People while making important Administrative Decisions. He was also the Personal Aid of the King.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Mahapratihar – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.