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the aristocratic clan that ruled Nepal from 1846 to 1951 -52. Their ancestors, the Kunvars, took part in the creation of a centralized Nepalese state in the mid-18th century and served as qadis (ministers). During the palace crisis of 1846, as the result of a bloody coup on Sept. 15, General Jang Bahadur Rana was made prime minister and commander in chief.
The autocratic military-feudal regime of the Rana family in Nepal began in the second half of the 19th century. The office of prime minister and other high posts—especially military —became the hereditary privilege of the Ranas, with the king of the Shah dynasty being merely the nominal head of state. The domestic and foreign policies of the Ranas were conservative and held back the country’s development. The Rana regime was overthrown in 1951–52, and the clan ceased to exist as a political force. Some of its members retained high posts in the governmental apparatus, the army, and the diplomatic service.