National Heroes of Nepal

First Publish: 15 Jun, 2017 Last Updated: 22 Jun, 2017 Nepal

Nepal is unique and rich. She has given birth to some extra ordinary people who had contributed their knowledge and strength to boast any Nepalese in the world for their typical Nepalese identity.

Nepal is the small landlocked Himalayan country and home to Nepalese people who themselves are divided into more than 120 ethnic groups and speaking 125 different language. Nepal has always been an independent country so Nepalese people do not have any holiday for Independence Day. 

The history of modern Nepal dates back to 18th century when small kingdom and principalities were annexed by King of Gorkha and started hereditary monarchy which last until 2008, when Nepal became Republic.

We are listing down the names of National Heroes of Nepal who had played a significant role for the foundation of various socio-economic and political structure, art and literature, religion and practice and inimitable legacy of Gurkhas. The list includes the figures dated from 5th century BCE (age of deities and lords).  

King Janak

He was the ruler of Videha kingdom and lived in capital Mithila — present time Janakpur of southern Nepal around 7th century BCE. He was a sage and a philosophical ruler. He is the father of Sita (a wife of Lord Ram) and depicted in Hindu sacred book of Ramayana. He was believed to be the King and philosophical guidance to the people.  


She is the manifestation of Goddess Laxmi (consort of God Vishnu) and a daughter of mother earth. She was not born, but found by King Janak while ploughing a field who raised her as foster daughter and later arrange marriage to Lord Rama at the age of 16 and sent off to kingdom of Ayodhaya. She was abducted by Ravan and later rescued by Lord Ram during their 14 years exile from Ayodhaya kingdom.  

Sita is also known as name “Janaki” or “Mithila” and thousands of devotes visit the famous Ram Janaki temple of Janakpur every year. Sita is symbolized as an ideal and chaste woman who is wise, tolerant and virtuous. The story of Ram and Sita can be found in epic Hindu holy book of Ramayana.

Gautam Buddha

Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. He was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautam to King Suddhodhan and Queen Mayadevi at Lumbini, on small kingdom of Kapilvastu of southern Nepal. He left the palace at the age of twenty nine to practice ascetic lifestyle and seek the answers of the human suffering and spend years travelling and preaching knowledge until he decide to meditate under the Bodhi trek and later reached enlightenment. He became the ‘the awaken one’. Buddhism is widely followed throughout the world these days and became one of the religions with growing followers. The Birthday of Buddha is celebrated as Buddha Purnima on the full moon day of first month of Nepalese calendar.  


He was the held in the similar position as Prime Minister during the rule of King Sivadev of Licchavi dynasty at 595 AD. He became the ruler of kingdom as the King was kept a powerless figurehead. He was art and architecture lover.  He was also the man of literature and written several books including the Sanskrit grammar. He built Kailashkut Bhawan Palace of Kathmandu. He boosts the economic status by uplifting the trade and commerce with industrial and agricultural development of the country and formulated foreign policy to maintain peaceful relationship. His ruling era is described as the golden period of Nepal. 

Sankhadhar Sakhwa

He is the founder of Nepal Sambat era. He was the trader and the philanthropist who settled all the debts of local people of Kathmandu Valley during the rule of Ragha Dev by a wealth accumulated from the gold panned from the sand collected near Bishnumati River.  He celebrated the liberation with beginning of Nepal Sambat Era with new lunar calendar which is unpopular today, but used to determine several Hindu festivals. The famous festival of Newars — Mha Puja is created by Sankhadhar Sakhwa.  

King Ram Shah

He was the King of Gorkha Kingdom until 1636 and later his sixth descendent unified the modern Nepal. He was famous as the King of Justice as the saying goes in Nepal — “If you are deprived of justice, to Gorkha”. During his reign, he established various socio-economic, judicial and administrative reforms for the non-biased smooth running of kingdom.

King Prithvi Narayan Shah

The Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah is the founder of modern Nepal. Born in Gorkha kingdom at 1723, he succeeds his father Narabhupal Shah in 1743 and started his mission to unify all the small kingdoms and principalities into one single kingdom we have now. With his Gorkha soldiers (not to be confused with Gurkhas), he commence his unification campaign and declare Kathmandu as the capital after capturing Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan in 1768.  Then he began the extension of Nepalese border and annexed until Garhwal, Simla and Sikkim in northern Indian and inner Himalayas valleys of Tibetan plateau. The size of the country has reached almost twice the size of present day Nepal and later ceded on Sugauli Treaty with British East India Company.

The king of Gorkha started a hereditarily monarchial kingdom of modern Nepal and his lineage ruled until the arrival of Republic Form of Government in 2008. He is the First King of Modern Nepal and known as the Father of the Nation. 

Bhimsen Thapa

He was the first Prime Minister of Nepal during the reign of Rana Bahadur Shah, a grandson of Great Prithvi Narayan Shah. Born in 1775, he was decorated as the position of Mukthiyar (alike PM) after initially serving as the King’s bodyguard and Kaji (Minister). He is regarded as one of the pioneer ruler, great warrior and reformer. He ruled the country as Prime Minster after the assassination of Rana Bahadur alongside the infant King and regent Queen. He built the Dharahara Tower of Sundhara (which was destroyed in Earthquake 2015). He extends the Nepal territory from Sutlej River in the west to Teesta River in the east.  

Amar Singh Thapa

He was the great warrior and soldier of Gorkha Army led by Prithvi Narayan Shah and responsible for the greater extension of Nepal then.  He fought several battles during the unification of modern Nepal and took in-charge of the western side of Nepal during the Anglo Nepal War with British East India Company. With less than 200 soldiers, he was able to take care of his fort for six months but never surrendered. General Amar Singh Thapa was fearless combat soldier and slightly inclined with religious values. He built the original temple of Goddess Ganges in Gangotri (present time India). After signing Sugauli Treaty, he was so disheartened that he took a pilgrimage tour to Gosaikunda and later died there. His bravery was well valued by the British too. He is known as the “Living Lion of Nepal”,

 “I am a cub of tiger; don’t mistake me with a carcass eating dog”

— Amar Singh Thapa


Balbhadra Kunwar

He was the warrior and best known for his valour at Nalapani during Anglo-Nepal War (1814-1816) against British East India Company. Captain Balbhadra Kunwar was supported by troop of 600 soldiers including women and children at Nalapani to fight against the well supplied East India Company. Using the advantage of the fort and landscapes, Nepalese soldiers with stones, Khukuri and basic guns stand against the horde of 3500 British East India soldiers with their latest weapons and cannons. Although the battle was lost and ended up on signing Sugauli Treaty, the valour and bravery of Balbhadra Kunwar was well acknowledged. 

King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah

He was the eighth King of Nepal on lineage to Prithvi Narayan Shah. During his reign, the establishment of monarchism was in jeopardy as the powers were in the hands of Rana family. Founded by Jung Bahadur Kunwar (Rana) in 1846 to continue hereditary Prime Minister position, the Ranas were known for the tyrannical ruling style causing both socio-economic exploitation and improvement. It was the times when the King is just a mere figurehead and country’s each move is decided by Ranas.

King Tribhuwan played a major role for the re-establishment of monarchy in 1950 and abolished 104 years long Rana autocracy and established democracy. King Tribhuwan is the key figure to free the Nepalese people from autocratic rule of Ranas. Many of the important heritage sites, Nepal oldest and largest University (Tribhuwan University) and only International Airport (Tribhuwan I.A.) are named after him.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa

She was the first Nepalese woman of Nepal to climb the world highest Everest. She had successfully climbed other peaks like Mont Blanc, Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m) before attempting for Everest, She reached the Everest summit on 22 April, 1993 but unfortunately lost her life during the descend as the weather worsened and avalanche got them.  


He was the artist — key figure in the art and architecture of Nepal. Born in Kathmandu at 1245, he is keen in art since his childhood and later his art and designs are spread in the various parts of Nepal and China. He is known for building White Stupa at Miaoying Temple of Beijing, He was sent as leader of 80 artist members to Tibet by then King of Kathmandu to assist the stupa design and constructions ordered by Emperor Kublai Khan.

Most of the Arniko’s work are found in China and include notable masterpieces of Buddhist Stupas, Temples and shrines along with the fine paintings of Emperor Families. His art works brought a great influence in later dynasties of China spreading Himalayan Buddhist art of Nepal. He is known as “Balabahu Araniko” in Nepal.

Bhanubhakta Acharya

He is the original poet Nepal who understands the inner essence of literature and wrote in simple common language that everyone can understand. He was born to wealthy family in 1814 A.D. and had a raised with proper education. Inspired by the conversation with the grass-cutter, he reckons what he had to do in his life. He has written numerous books with collection of his romantic and satiric humor. But his significant work is the translation of Epic Story of Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepalese language. He is regarded as the pioneer of Nepalese literature and honored as the ‘Adikavi’ — the first poet. Motiram Bhatta has played important role to popularize the works of Bhanubhakta. Every year on 29th Ashad (around 13th July) is celebrated as the Bhanu sJayanti commemorating the birth of Bhanubhakta Acharya.  

Moti Ram Bhatta

He was multi dimensional figure — a young poet, writer, biographer, researcher and musician who had a great contribution in the Nepalese Literature. He was also one of the first people to establish a library in Nepal, He was highly inspired by the literature of Bhanubhakta Acharya and also played significant role to popularize his several unknown work. He developed a new style of writing and creates the metrical poems. In his short life span of 30 years, he was able to create the newer dimension to Nepalese language and literature. He had wrote more than twenty five books and speculated that many of his works were unable to be preserved.

Mahaguru Falgunanda

He is the newest member of the National Heroes list of Nepal.  He was the saint and religious teacher of Kirati people who are found in the eastern part of Nepal. He was born in 1885 A.D. in Illam. Less popular among the Nepalese than any other from the list, he is best known for his socio-cultural and religious speech about the essence of knowledge, non-violence and love.  

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