Illustration of Bhimsen Thapa
V. Hunjan ©Believe Collective

Bhimsen Thapa served as Nepal's first Prime Minister for 31 years, under 6 different Nepali kings. Having befriended Crown Prince Rana Bahadur Shah at an early age, Thapa served as his personal secretary in India when he became king, before then being appointed Prime Minister. Bhimsen Thapa campaigned for South Asian countries to unite in opposition to the increasingly powerful and aggressive British East India Company, but he was unable to garner much support from other countries. This lack of unity directly affected the outcome of the Anglo-Gorkha war of 1814-16 which can be regarded as the starting point of the history of the British Gurkhas. Thapa is regarded as a national hero in Nepal: as a wise and fair leader who introduced a number of impoprtant social and military reforms.

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