Pratihar

Introduction to Pratihar

Pratihar was an important administrative position during the Lichhavi and Malla Dynasty for transferring Information from Villages to the Capital.

They acted as a mediator between the central, provincial, and local administrations. They also dealt with conflicts, and local quarrels, and traveling throughout Nepal. They were to identify relevant issues and present them to the king.

They were government officers who the government gave salaries in exchange for traveling through villages and providing information to the king.

Pratihar’s duties included communication, resolving conflicts, guarding the palace, assisting Mahapratihar, and registering cases.

They maintained communication between the central and local administrations in the Lichhavi Dynasty.

Many Historians have confused them with Idol Sitters. However, it is clear that Pratihar was numerous and dealt with Conflicts, Local Quarrels, etc.

Duties of Pratihar

Communication

The Ancient Period lacked efficient and fast means of Communication. The Central Administration needed to understand the events happening in the Local Administration.

They also needed to communicate their decisions to the Local Administration. As the King couldn’t travel alone to a specific area every time, the Government Post of Pratihar was established.

The Government hired them based on their reliability, relationship, and other arbitrary criteria. After that, they went to their respective village or gram and informed the center about any key events that needed the attention of the Central Administration.

They would actually travel to the Royal Palace and provide the Information to Mahapratihar.

Their Chief would then communicate the decision to the King. The King would either declare his Decision or organize an assembly known as Paramasan. Then, they would reach a conclusion regarding the communicated event. After that, Dutak would inform the Citizens of the Decisions.

Resolution of Conflict

Local Conflicts are a regular part of any nation with delegated administrative Provisions. However, the Centre couldn’t always manage to give official decisions to all the villages or local levels.

Also, some cases couldn’t be solved by Panchalik. Therefore, Pratihar would actually attempt his best to solve such problems and reach a concrete and favorable decision acceptable to the People. For Example, One of the Conflicts settled by Pratihar was in Anantalingeshwor.

Guard The Palace

Some Historians have stated that they were the Officers who guarded the Doors of the Royal Palace. It needs to be concluded they weren’t just sitting at the Door Palace but they could actually travel to various villages and assist in the Local Administration.

Assist Mahapratihar

Mahapratihar was the highest Government Officer in the Lichhavi Dynasty along with Sarvadandanayak. It was much more important of a post than the regular government officers.

Therefore, the Pratihar had the duty to obey the commands and orders of the Superior Government Officer. These Posts were integral because they had relationships with the People and the King.

Registration of Cases

In the Inscription of Naksal Narayanchaur, it has been stated that people could register their cases to Pratihar. The duty of the government Officer was to present the case to the King within One month of the complaint.

Then, the issue would be attempted to be solved, and justice would likewise be dispensed. After the Resolution of such cases, the Income obtained must be shared between the Panchaliks and them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Pratihar was a crucial government post during the Lichhavi and Malla Dynasty. They acted as mediators between the central, provincial, and local administrations.

Despite being confused with Idol Sitters, they were part of the administration of justice and communication between the central and local administrations.

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). Pratihar – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/lichhavi-administration/pratihar/