Introduction to Sarvadandanayak

Sarvadandanayak was the most powerful administrator of the Lichhavi Dynasty. They had enormous Powers and sometimes assumed the facto power as the Ruler of Nepal. These Administrative Posts were also prevalent in India at the time. It is said that Sarvadandanayak was the Chief or the Head of the Dandanayak. They were also the most trusted Officers of the King.

Sarvadandanayak has been repeatedly mentioned in multiple Inscriptions that show Families with High Political Power claiming the post. Therefore, it was an important Powerful Position of the Lichhavi Dynasty.

The Word Danda doesn’t mean Soldier or Army. It means Punishment or Duty. Therefore, the one that administers the fulfilment of duties and provides actual punishment is known as Dandanayak, and the Chief Dandanayak who supervises them is Sarvadandanayak.

It is generally assumed that Sarvadandnayak was the Chief Policing Officer of Ancient Nepal and had significant importance in the Administration.

Functions of Sarvadandanayak

Assist the King

The Primary Duty of Sarvadandanayak is to assist the King in making Political Decisions and conducting an Efficient Administration of Nepal. They were present at the Paramasan.

They also needed to guide the Administrative Tribunals of Nepal such as Kuther, Sulli, Mapchowk, Bhattadhikaran, etc.

Guidance of Dandanayak

Dandanayak is the Police officer that administered the Fulfillment of Duties by the common citizens. Sarvadandanayak is the supreme of Dandanayak and therefore, needs to guide Dandanayak in their day-to-day activities and observation.

Decide Punishment

Upon the Violation of Any Law, Rajagya’s or Even Dharma Shastras, the individuals who violated it were given Harsh Punishment. The Amount and Type of Punishment were decided by the Sarvadandanayak, either in Paramasan or even alone in Minor Crimes. They made Dharmashastras the basis of their Penal Laws.

Maintain Peace and Order

Similar to the Police Officers who exist to maintain peace, law, and order in Society, Sarvadandanayak was concerned with maintaining peace and order in the Ancient Society. They would have also had to punish those that ensued chaos in Society and harm the well-being of Society as a whole.

Important Sarvadandanayak’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 the highest position conferrable to an average citizen. He almost became the co-ruler of Nepal 19 years after his first reference.

Bhaum Gupta

Bhaum Gupta was a co-ruler of Nepal from 557 A.D. to 590 A.D. He held the Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar posts. 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 and Amshuverma rose to the throne in 590 A.D. and removed him from politics.


Sarvadandanayak was a highly respected and powerful Governmental Position during the reign of the Lichhavi Dynasty in Nepal. They were in charge of advising the King on political matters, monitoring Dandanayak and choosing the means of Punishment. Ravi Gupta and Bhaum Gupta were the most important Sarvadandanayak of the Period.


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