Mahapatras

Introduction to Mahapatras

Mahapatras, Patras, or Pradhanpatras is one of the most important titles of the Late Medieval Period of Nepal. Patras and Mahapatra were the governors of an administrative unit with instrumental powers over Nepal. They were also given the names Pradhanapatra and Murtyangapatra.

As previously stated, Mahapatras gradually acquired power and had the same rights as Samantas. They sometimes asserted their independence and disassociated themselves from the King.

Not only that, but they were also popular and loved by the People. Their Power arose from the fact that the King initially appointed them. This increased their importance among the Common Populace of the Nation. This Increased the Ambitiousness of the Mahapatras.

They especially flourished during the reign of King Jayastithi Malla. Many of them are mentioned in the Reign of Yaksha Malla as well. The Mahapatras dominated the courts of Patan and Kathmandu and continued to wield power even after Nepal’s unification.

Initially, Mahapatras were kept in the official capacity of a minister. They were a feudal governor of a certain Division or a Certain Area of a Kingdom. In some Inscriptions, they were a group of Individuals claiming to be Mahapatras as well. They could collectively govern the Kingdom as a whole. They also worked with Mahath and Mulami to increase their power.

As previously mentioned, Mahapatras might continually grow their power and take the throne and authority of their individual Kingdoms’ central governance. They even managed to pass on their powerful positions to their sons on a generational basis.

Important Mahapatra’s

Meghapala Verma

Meghapalaverma is a well-known Mahapatra during the Malla Dynasty. He is spoken of as a conqueror and destroyer of Enemies. Previously, he was provided the Post of Mulami and had accumulated enough power in his records to ignore the reigning monarch.

Visnusimha

The Most Famous and Powerful Mahapatra was Visnusimha. Visnusimha was the son of Kusumasimha Bharo, who gave his son the right to govern certain areas. Visnusimha is said to have completely ignored the actual king and assumed de facto power over Patan.

Visnusimha ruled Patan from 1536 to 1556 A.D. He built Patan as an independent kingdom and ruled with various treaties throughout a steady reign. Visnusimha used a power vacuum to liberate Patan from Kathmandu’s hegemony and become King. During his 20-year rule, he claimed the titles of King of Kings and Wisest of Kings.

Visnusimha was a follower of both Vaisnavism and Shaivism, and during his reign, all religions flourished. His three sons succeeded him as kings of Patan.

Purandarasimha

Purandarasimha was a king who ruled Patan for 40 years. He shared the kingdom with his brothers Narsimha and Uddhavsimha after their father’s (Visnusimha) death. He then ruled alone for 16 years.

Purandarasimha was known for his bravery and claimed to be an alternative to King Yudhistir. His reign ended with the conquest of Sivasimha Malla. However, the exact reason for his defeat is unknown. After Purandarasimha, Sivasimha Malla and Siddhi Narsingh Malla became the Kings of Patan.

Conclusion

Mahapatras were amongst the most Powerful rulers and Administrators of Nepal in the Late Medieval Period. They are said to be well-loved by the Public. Purandarasimha and Visnusimha are the most famous Mahapatras of Patan.

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). Mahapatras – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/malla-administration/mahapatras/