Ranodip Singh Kunwar

Introduction to Ranodip Singh

Ranodip Singh was the Third Rana Prime Minister of Nepal and the brother of Jung Bahadur Rana. He ruled Nepal from 1877 A.D. until his assassination in 1885 A.D. He is one of the most religious Rulers in Nepal.

Despite his short length, he brought several reforms and changes within Nepal. He promoted Education in Nepal and encouraged Intellectual and Religious Activities.

He brought changes to the Religious Temples in Nepal endowing them with Lands and funds for Development. He also brought Administrative Reforms in Nepal.

For his contributions, Ranodip Singh was conferred the Title of KCSI (Knight Commander of the Star of India).

Biography of Ranodip Singh Kunwar

Early Years and Rise to Power

Ranodip Singh Kunwar was born on 3rd April 1825 A.D. as the son of Bal Narsingh Kunwar. He was also the younger brother of Jung Bahadur Kunwar. The Early Life of Ranodip Singh isn’t well-known. He possibly lived with his Mother and his Brothers.

After Jung Bahadur managed to become the Commander-In-Chief and Prime Minister of Nepal after the Kot and Bhandarkhal Parva, Ranodip Singh Kunwar also got the opportunity to participate in the governance of Nepal.

During Jung Bahadur’s visit to Britain, Ranodip Singh Kunwar was appointed as the administrator of the East and West, giving him the opportunity to hone his administrative skills.

He also led the Nepali Army in the Nepal-Tibet War from 1845 A.D.-1856 A.D. He also led the army to suppress a rebellion that was occurring in the British Territory.

Ranodip Singh Kunwar was made the Commander-in-Chief, the second strongest position of the Rana Regime in 1862 A.D., and served one and a half decades in this role.

He emerged as a leader in governance, taking a leading role in the Third Nepal-Tibet War from 1845 to 1856 and leading the Nepali army against British rule in India in 1857.

In recognition of his service to the nation, Ranodip Singh was awarded the prestigious title of KCSI (Knight Commander of the Star of India).

By this time, he had already served as the Commander in Chief for a significant period and had become a skilled administrator, adept at handling government documents and other important tasks.

Following the death of Jung Bahadur on February 25, 1877, Ranodip Singh was appointed as the third Maharaj and Prime Minister of Nepal the very next day. He served in this position until his own assassination on February 22, 1885.

Reign of Ranodip Singh Kunwar

The Reign of Ranodip Singh Kunwar was filled with instability, plotting, and competition among the Kunwar Family.

Ranodip Singh Kunwar was an innocent ruler according to Historians and failed to consolidate and neutralize the conflict between the Jung and Shumsher Families.

38 Saal Parva

The 38 Saal Parva, which happened during the reign of Ranodip Singh Kunwar, ended the opportunity of the Jung Family to the Prime Minister post and established the Shumsher Family, led by Dhir Shumsher, to inherit the Rana Regime.

The event began with the role of succession set by Jung Bahadur Rana, which was not satisfactory to many. Ranodip Singh succeeded Jung Bahadur Rana as prime minister, followed by Jagat Shumsher, and then Dhir Shumsher.

When Ranodip Singh did nothing to change the hierarchy list, tensions arose within the Rana family. Jagat Jung and Dhir Shumsher despised each other, and Jagat Singh planned to become the prime minister after Ranodip Singh.

The Royal Family supported the Jung family, but Crown Prince Trailokya Bikram Shah suddenly died, and rumors spread about the cause of his death.

Dhir Shumsher became the Commander-in-Chief, and Jagat Jung was appointed as the country’s Western Commander. In the final attempt to remove Ranodip Singh and the Shumsher Brothers, the 38 Saal Parva happened.

Ranodip Singh decided to go on a pilgrimage, leaving Dhir Shumsher, the commander-in-chief, to rule Nepal.

Dhir Shumsher became very powerful alongside his sons. King Surendra died, and his grandson, Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah, became the King of Nepal at the age of five. Narendra Bikram Shah, along with Bikram Thapa and possibly Jagat Jung, developed a major plot in the year 38 to assassinate Prime Minister Ranodip Singh.

However, the plot was discovered, and 150 people were caught. Dhir Shumsher wanted to give them a deterring punishment, but the British Embassy and Ranodip Singh were against it.

Narendra Bikram Shah and Ranodip Singh were sent to Illahabad Prison. Jagat Jung was removed from the hierarchy list. According to the Nepalese account, 21 men were sentenced to death in the 38 Saal Parva.

42 Saal Parva

42 Saal Parva, in which Ranodip Singh Kunwar was assassinated, was the end of the J.B.R descendants’ rights over the post of Prime Minister and the establishment of the Sons of Dhir Shumsher as Shree Teen Maharajas.

The conflict between the Jung family and the Shumsher family erupted after the death of Jung Bahadur Rana, leading to a power struggle between Jagat Jung and Dhir Shumsher. After the death of Crown Prince Trailokya, the Royal Family joined forces with the Jung family against the Shumsher family.

In 1942, the Shumsher family decided to kill Prime Minister Ranodip Singh and capture the post of Prime Minister for themselves, as they believed that the role of succession set by Jung Bahadur Rana was unscientific and biased.

Moreover, the Shumsher family wanted to live the well-furnished life that the Jung family was leading.

Bir Shumsher, with the help of his brothers and maternal uncle, planned to kill Ranodip Singh before his pilgrimage. The assassination was successful, and Bir Shumsher became the new prime minister of Nepal.

The Shumsher Brothers blamed the murder on Ranabirjung of the Jung Family.

To prevent Jagat Jung from revolting, Bir Shumsher planned to arrest him and his family. However, the brothers secretly planned to kill Jagat Jung, the son of the man who established the Rana rule.

They were successful in doing so and Bir Shumsher became the New Prime Minister of Nepal in 1942 B.S.

The 42 Saal Parva was a result of a divided and conspiring Rana family, which ultimately led to the end of the J.B.R descendants’ rights over the post of Prime Minister and the establishment of the Sons of Dhir Shumsher as Shree Teen Maharajas.

After 42 Saal Parva, Bir Shumsher, Dev Shumsher, and Chandra Shumsher became the Prime Ministers of Nepal.

Death of Ranodip Singh

In 1942, B.S. Ranodip Singh delegated the responsibility of Commander-in-Chief and security of Nepal to Bir Shumsher before going on a pilgrimage. However, Bir Shumsher and his brothers had planned to assassinate Ranodip Singh before he left.

Khadga Shumsher, the illegitimate son of Dhir Shumsher, took responsibility for the killing. The brothers had promised a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who supported the assassination. When the time for the assassination came, Khadga Shumsher and his accomplices entered the chamber of Ranodip Singh under the name of an urgent meeting and shot him dead.

The Shumsher Brothers blamed the murder on Ranabirjung of the Jung Family. Bir Shumsher became the new prime minister of Nepal after the assassination.

Contributions of Ranodip Singh Kunwar

During his 9-year tenure as Prime Minister, Ranodip Singh introduced several reforms in Nepal. Ranodip Singh tried to change the Social and Religious aspects of Nepali Society. He also aimed to bring changes in the Military, Education, and Infrastructural Sectors of Nepal.

Educational Reforms

Ranodip Singh understood the need of expanding Education for limited People only. He ordered the building of a new School Building. He also encouraged Rana Families to study at Durbar High School.

He also prioritized the study of Sanskrit in Neal. He made arrangements to give a fixed amount of Scholarship to Poor Students of the Sanskrit Pathshala. He ensured a meritocratic system in the Sanskrit Pathshala.

Intellectual Reforms

Ranodip Singh was an avid reader of Religious Texts. Because of his interests, he began the Printing of Panchang for the First Time in Nepal. A Scholar named Baspati was given the authority to print the Panchang.

Also, he began a project of commentary and writings on the famous Vendanta-Saar that contributed to the Body of Hindu Philosophical Texts as a whole.

Military Reforms

Ranodip Singh promoted the modernization of the Nepali Military. He extended the practice and exercises of the Military to the grounds near Ranipokhari.

He also prepared several small barracks and Sheds for the keeping of Arms and Ammunition. He contributed, in his short reign to build the military infrastructure of Nepal.

He also established a base designed for War Logistics. War was treated as a priority y Ranoddip Singh Kunwar because of his Military Experience.

Religious Contributions

Ranodip Singh Kunwar was a highly Religious Prime Minister. He believed in Religious Rites, Sermons, and Religious powers as well. Hence, he was conscious to donate to Temples, rebuild them and even provide lands and money for the maintenance of such temples. He spent a sum of money to pave the Road to Pashupatinath Temple with Stones. It increased respect and access to the Temple.

Not only that, he reviewed the Baisathi Haran where the lands of Brahmins had been confiscated. He arranged for a certain amount of money to be provided to such Brahmins.

Administrative Progress

Ranodip Singh Kunwar also attempted to make the Administration of Nepal easy to access, fast-paced, and simple. He divided the Settlement Centers of Nepal into Pahad Settlement Center and the Madhesh Settlement Center.

Also, to prevent the Administrative Practice from going corrupt, he made strict rules against such action. He aimed to bring Good Governance into Nepal’s Administration.

Economic Reforms

Ranodip Singh Kunwar established a sort of Business base in Nepal to trade Money, Silver, Gold, etc. within the Boundaries.

It made taking loans, mortgages, paying employees, etc. easier for other Businesses and Trade Companies.


In conclusion, Ranoddip Singh Kunwar is one of the important figures of the Pre-Shumsher Rana Regime. He acted as the West and East Commanding General, Commander-in-Chief, and the Prime Minister of Nepal in various phases of his career.

Although he failed to end the conflict between Jung and Shumsher families that culminated in the 42 Saal Parva, he still maintained peace within the Palace with religious sentiments.


  • Subedi, Raja Ram, 2061, “Nepalko Tathya Itihas,” Sajha Prakashan
  • Acharya, Baburam. “Nepalko Sanchipta Britanta”, Pramodshumsher-Nirbikram Pyasi 2022 B.S.
  • Regmi, D.R. “Modern Nepal, Volume I and II. F.K.L.M., 1975
  • Pradhan, Kumar. “The Gorkha Conquest” Oxford University Press, Kalkutta 1991
  • Stiller, L.F. “The Rise of House of Gorkha” Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 1975
  • Gyawali, Surya Bikram. “Nepalka Shahbanshi Rajaharu”. Government of Nepal, 2031 B.S.
  • Kumar, Satish. “The Rana Polity in Nepal”. Asian Publishing House, 1967
  • Pande, Bhimbahadur. “Tyas Bakhatko Nepal” Part 1, 2, 3. CNAS, 2032 B.S.
  • Yadav, Pitambar Lal. “Nepalko Rajnaitik Itihas”, 2040 B.S.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Ranoddip Singh Kunwar – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/ranas/ranoddip-singh-kunwar/