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The Ranas of Nepal


Michele Borzoni / TerraProject

The Rana family is one of the most important royal families in Nepal. The Ranas came to power violently during the mid 1800s, replacing the Shah monarch who had been deprived of any power. The Ranas, as prime ministers (raised to the maharajah status), made power hereditary for more than one century, until 1952 when the King Mohan Shamsher presented his abdication on behalf of the Shah monarch. During the period of the Rana's reign, the country was left behind. While the royal court lived in luxury and wealth, the farmers outside Kathmandu lived in very poor conditions. However the Ranas built magnificent palaces in the Kathmandu Valley, and abolished the sati (the Hindu practice of sacrificing widows on their husband's funeral pyre). Today the Ranas represent the economic leading class. Bank directors, foundation leaders, stylists, pilots, army generals, politicians.. Their sons study in the best schools and universities in Europe and the UN. They continue to live in luxury and in memory of their royal past.


 

Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281640

Lok Bhakta SJB Rana, grandson of the maharaja Chandra Shumshere with his wife Kavita Rana in their Kathmandu house, with the tiger hunted by his father. Lok is actually one of the most important advocate, working also in the Supreme Court.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 03/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281639

Gautam SJB Rana, great-great grandson of Mahangra Chandra Shumshere, with his wife Kumari Bahavana Chauhan, who comes from the royal family of Orcha and Dhami in India. Gautam is the director of the "Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust", an NGO based in the US that works to preserve and restore monuments of the Kathmandu's rich architectural past.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 01/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281642

Pramada Shah and her dog Dopey. She comes from the royal family and was a Rana before marriage. Now she is the president of "Saathi" an NGO working against violence towards women and children. Her mother and father-in-law were killed during the royal massacre in 2001.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 06/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281654

Rajni Malla Fistolera, married to an Italian industrialist, her mother was a Rana. She studied fashion Design and Merchandising at the American College of Fashion in London. She is a stylist, and her companies, Zaren Pashmina works closely with Armani, Mila Schon, Fendi and Louis Vitton.

Kathmandu, Nepal Kathmandu, Nepal - 04/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281644

Himalaya SJB Rana, chairman and founder of the Himalayan Bank, Nepal's first joint-venture private bank, with his wife Vijaya Rajya Laxni Rana. He is great grandson of Maharaja Dev Shumshere. He studied first in India and then at Harvard University of Law. He was 24 when he became Finance Secretary in 1951, he was one of the few educated people in Nepal at that time.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 02/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281653

Ashoke SJB Rana, chief executive of the Himalayan Bank, with his wife Chanda Rana.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 03/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281649

Sangeeta Thapa, daughter of Himalaya SJB Rana, with her family: her husband Saunil Bahadur Thapa, his father Surya Bahadur Thapa (five times Prime Minister of Nepal), Siddartha and Seetashma. She is the director and the curator of the Siddartha Gallery in Kathmandu. Her husband is the Head of Field Office for the UNHCR in Kosovo.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 06/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281651

Pratima Rana Prande', great-great niece of Maharaja Dev Shumshere. She studied in New York at the United Nations School and then she moved first to Sri Lanka and then Afghanistan, because her father was working at the United Nations. Her husband is the Chairman of the Nepal Investment Bank.

Kathmandu, Nepal Kathmandu, Nepal - 07/08/2007

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Michele Borzoni / TerraProject / Picturetank BOM0281647

Sarbhagya SJB Rana, great-great grandson of Chandra Sumsher, with his wife Sangita Rana. Sarbhagya is a pilot for Nepal Airlines.

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal - 02/08/2007

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