Queen of Nepal

Introduction to Rajendra Laxmi Shah

Rajendra Laxmi Shah was the Queen of Pratap Singh Shah and the Mother of Rana Bahadur Shah. She was born in Palpa as the daughter of King Mukund Sen. She acted as the Regent Queen of Rana Bahadur Shah after the death of her Husband Pratap Singh Shah. She ultimately died in 1785 A.D.

Death of Pratap Singh Shah

Pratap Singh Shah, the son of Prithvi Narayan Shah ruled Nepal from 1831-1834 B.S. He was able to defeat and capture the lands of Chitwan which was a strategic location. After his death, a crisis emerged in Nepalese politics.

Two-year-old Rana Bahadur Shah was placed on the throne. But a two-year-old infant isn’t able enough to rule a kingdom. So, a regent is required.

They function as a presiding officer to take care of the country’s affairs until the King or Queen becomes old enough to rule (18 years).

Anti-Gorkha Conspiracy

A serious quandary arose in Nepal’s Court. One of the clans of the then-Court was “Anti-Gorkha.”

They wanted to end the Shah Dynasty’s reign over Nepal and re-establish the Mallas. In the past, some had attempted to assassinate P.N. Shah as well. The Anti-Gorkha wanted Rajendra Laxmi Shah to go Sati and die alongside her husband, and Maijurani to be the Regent (female) or Rajmata.

However, other courtiers protested against this, and she was established as regent or Rajmata in 1834 B.S.

Arrival of Bahadur Shah

The Portrait of Bahadur Shah

Bahadur Shah, who was exiled, also arrived in Nepal 20 days after the death of his brother, Pratap Singh Shah.

His arrival marked the beginning of dual rule in Nepal for a temporary period. Bahadur Shah occupied himself with the management of foreign policies and war. Rajendra Laxmi Shah began handling the administrative aspects of Nepal.

Also, they punished the Anti-Gorkha Group for their conspiracy and treason. The powers were clearly defined and separated between the two, and it seemed to be going quite well. However, the squabbles began after 5 months.


Rajendra Laxmi was afraid that Bahadur Shah would avenge his exile from Nepal and make himself king. Bahadur Shah was afraid that the Queen Regent would convince the courtiers against him, and history would repeat itself.

This inner insecurity transitioned into a heated argument. Bahadur Shah, like P.N. Shah, wanted to continue the failed Western conquest of Nepal and acquire as many kingdoms as possible.

Rajendra Laxmi wanted to strengthen the administration of Nepal and allow space for political stability before commencing the Western Conquest of Nepal for the second time. This clearly showed that both Rajendra Laxmi and Bahadur Shah wanted to rule independently of one another.

Bahadur Shah decided to capitalize on his popularity to arrest Rajendra Laxmi. He blamed and criticized Rajendra Laxmi for her affair with a courtier. Thus, it classified Nepal’s court into two clear chains, or groups.

One supported Bahadur Shah, and the other supported Rajendra Laxmi. This event climaxed when Rajendra Laxmi arrested and imprisoned Bahadur Shah for his conspiracy and allegations against her.

Upon the request of Gajaraja Mishra (an influential courtier and the man who signed the Sugauli Treaty), Bahadur Shah was freed, but the feud wasn’t settled yet. Bahadur Shah, out of extravagance and ego, imprisoned Rajendra Laxmi Shah.

Not only that, but Bahadur Shah also killed Rajendra Laxmi’s lover.

The Re-rise of Rajendra Laxmi Shah

Following the Royal Tussle, Bahadur Shah prioritized his Western Conquest mission. Bahadur Shah attacked and eventually prevailed over Tanahu. The King of Tanahu united against Palpa, eventually regaining his territory.

Also, the United Front of Chaubise Kingdoms planned on attacking Gorkha and capturing it. Hence, Bahadur Shah decided to travel to Gorkha and prevent the uprising.

Meanwhile, Mahoddimkirti Shah (P.N. Shah’s brother) investigated Rajendra Laxmi Shah’s alleged affair and exonerated Rajendra Laxmi from all allegations.

Thus, while Bahadur Shah was busy with his Western conquests in 1836 B.S. Ashoj 10, Rajendra Laxmi Shah centered all powers around herself. She punished Bahadur Shah’s group and improved the position of her supporters in the Court.

Bahadur Shah successfully escaped. Mahoddimkirti Shah was sent to Kashi. Finally, Rajendra Laxmi Shah became the sole regent queen of Nepal from 1836 B.S. until she died in 1842 B.S.

Contributions of Rajendra Laxmi Shah

Some major events and territorial gains happened during her reign. She improved Nepal’s relations with the British East India Company and introduced peace and safety in Nepal.

She repelled a rebellion in Vijayapur (a kingdom in the east conquered by P.N. Shah) in 1839 B.S. The rebellion was led by Karna Sen’s wife (the Last Queen of Vijayapur). The act of reclaiming Vijayapur was a failure for Karna Sen’s wife.

Rajendra Laxmi also repulsed the United attack in Gorkha’s Sihranchowk in B.S. Poush, 22. Sihranchowk was attacked in 1838 and 14 soldiers were killed. Nepal later dispatched armies once more.

The attack was easily crushed, and the Chaubise States were defeated. After the defeat of the Chaubise States, chaos ensued among them.

Rajendra Laxmi used this situation to her advantage. In 1840 B.S., Parvat and Kaski, two kingdoms of Chaubise States, parted ways.

King Siddinarayan Shah of Parvat signed a treaty accepting Nepal’s sovereignty in exchange for the continuation of his kingdom. Other kingdoms, such as Palpa and Tanahu, were eventually defeated and unified under Nepal.

Some other important kingdoms were also conquered and unified during the reign of Rajendra Laxmi Shah.

Rajendra Laxmi’s reign as Regent Queen was quite stable during those six years. The conquest of Nepal took on new forms, and the territory of Nepal was extended to the Kaligandaki river.

The kingdoms of Lamjung, Kaski, Tanahu, Nuwakot, Dhor, Pauju, Rupakot, Charikot, etc. were integrated under Nepal. Furthermore, Nepal emerged as the most powerful kingdom in the northern Indian Subcontinent.

Some historians argue that Nepal’s unification by P.N. Shah and later addition by Rajendra Laxmi Shah prevented the Britishers from attacking Nepal.


Finally, Rajendra Laxmi died in 1842 B.S. after six years as a solo Regent Queen. Bahadur Shah was called back to Nepal to act as Regent King, as Rana Bahadur Shah was only 10 years of age.

Bahadur Shah freed Dalajita Shah (another brother of P.N. Shah), Abhiman Singh Basnet, and others and planned to conquer lands beyond the Kali Gandaki River.


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Pokhrel, A. (2023). Rajendra Laxmi Shah – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/modern-figures/rajendra-laxmi-shah/