Introduction to Mahath

Mahath was a highly esteemed title conferred to extremely powerful ministers or the crown prince during the early medieval period in Nepal. It was the highest prestige conferred to an individual after the king; hence, they acted as the chief minister during their tenure.

However, this term wasn’t unique to Nepal and also existed in the Tirhut Kingdom. In Tirhut, ministers were provided the title of Mahath and Mahamattaka. Therefore, the practice could have been borrowed from the Tirhut Kingdom as well.

The Designation of this Post wasn’t static in Nature. It continuously evolved according to the personality of the Individual holding the post of Mahath. They gained increasing power over time and sometimes claimed the title of Raja or Vijayarajaye to denote their power.

They enlarged their limitations to the fullest and powerful families started calling themselves by the Title itself. Eventually, this bestowed title or designation evolved to become a caste.

Then, the Prime Ministers also stopped calling themselves Mahath and opted for other Alternatives such as Chautara, Praman, etc. Those that held these Titles were well respected in Society as a whole.

Notable Mahaths of the Early Medieval Period

Amongst the Great Mahaths of the early medieval period was Jayasimharama. He was the feudal overlord of Patan during the reign of King Jayastithi Malla. He was also addressed as Mahamantridhiraja and Mahamantri. Therefore, he was the Chief Minister and Chief Administator in the Early Medieval Period.

Anekarama, the Father of Jayasimharama, was also a Mahath during his life. He was similar to the Prime Ministers of Nayakadevi and Devaladevi. He also exercised facto power upon Nepal with the consent of the House Tripura, the family to whom Jayastithi Malla married.

Duties of Mahath

The specific set of duties or norms to be followed by Mahath isn’t well-known.

The particular set of obligations or regulations that Mahath must fulfill is unknown. They did, however, have great authority in the Nepal Mandal and are assumed to have overseen Nepal’s administrative and financial Administration.


The primary duty of any government or state is that of administration. Generally, the ministers and other government officers are elected for efficient administrative purposes. Mahath, being similar to the prime minister, had the duty to ensure that skilled government officers were selected and were competent enough to run the administration of Nepal. They were similar to Sarvadandanayak and Mahapratihar of the Lichhavi Dynasty.


Finance is an important part of a government after administration. Even administration requires the effective deployment of financial resources. As a result, Mahath could have dealt with financial issues such as government official wages, funding Jatras and festivals, and so on.

War and Security

During the Malla Dynasty’s rule, Nepal was subjected to several foreign invasions and internal strife. The Kathmandu Valley’s three kingdoms – Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur – battled many times. As a result, security and war were significant components of Mahath’s duties. Some of them even went so far as to serve as military commanders throughout the conflict.

Advisory Function

The king was the de jure sovereign of Nepal during the Malla Dynasty. However, sometimes the king wasn’t competent enough or mature enough to handle the administration of his own. Therefore, Mahath had to provide political and administrative advice to the king that would result in the greater good of the whole nation.


During the early medieval era in Nepal, Mahath was a very important title and distinction bestowed on immensely powerful ministers or the crown prince. They had enormous authority in the Nepal Mandal. They have been assumed to have overseen Nepal’s administrative and financial Administration.


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