Historical administrative division of Nepal

This article discuss all administrative divisions of Nepal implemented from unification era (18th century) to now. Administrative division of Nepal is recently been changed by promulgating the new constitution of Nepal in 2015 Sep 20. Click to see: New federal structure of Nepal and Proposed Federal structures.

Sub-division after the unification

During King Rajendra Bikram and PM Bhimsen Thapa in 1816 A.D. Nepal was divided into 10 districts. All eastern areas from Dudhkoshi river was in one Dhankuta district.


Sub-division of Rana era

During the rule of Rana PM Bir Shamsher (1885-1901) Nepal was further divided into total 32 districts. There were 20 districts in hill and 12 districts in terai. Palpa and Dhankuta were the center (gaunda) of west and east. Terai districts used to be call Tahsil (तहसिल).

Under Dhankuta gauda (धनकुटा गौंडा) there were 6 districts :-
  1. East no 1 (पूर्व १ नम्वर) Kabhre (काभ्रेपलाञ्चोक), Sindhupalchowk (सिन्धुपाल्चोक)
  2. East No 2 (पूर्व २ नम्वर) Dolakha (दोलखा), Ramechhap (रामेछाप)
  3. East No 3 (पूर्व ३ नम्वर) Okhaldhunga (ओखलढुंगा), Solukhumbu (सोलुखुम्बु)
  4. East No 4 (पूर्व ४ नम्वर ) Bhojpur (भोजपुर), Khotang (खोटाङ्)
  5. Ilam (इलाम) now Illam and Panchthar (पाँचथर)
  6. Dhanuta (धनकुटा) now Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha (संखुवासभा), Terathaum (तेह्रथुम), Taplejung (ताप्लेजुङ्)

Other Eastern Districts/Tahsils:-
  1. Jhapa now Jhapa (झापा)
  2. Biratnagar (विराटनगर) now Morang (मोरङ्) and Sunsari (सुनसरी)
  3. Saptari now Saptari (सप्तरी) and Siraha (सिराहा)
  4. Mahottari now Dhanusha (धनुषा), Mahottari (महोत्तरी) and Sarlahi (सर्लाही)
  5. Udayapur now Udayapur (उदयपुर)
  6. Khajhani (खजहनी) now Sindhuli (सिन्धुली)
Central Districts:-
  1. Kathmandu (काठमाडौं) now Kathmandu (काठमाडौं)   
  2. Bhaktapur (भक्तपुर) now Bhaktapur (भक्तपुर)
  3. Lalitpur (ललितपुर) now Lalitpur (ललितपुर)
  4. Birgunj (वीरगञ्ज) now Bara (बारा), Parsa (पर्सा), Rautahat (रौतहट)
  5. Chisapanigadhi (चिसापानीगढी) now Makwanpur (मकवानपुर), Chitwan (चितवन)
Western Districts:-
  1. West no 1 (पश्चिम १ नम्बर) Dhading (धादिङ्), Nuwakot (नुवाकोट), Rasuwa (रसुवा)
  2. West no 2 (पश्चिम २ नम्बर) Gorkha (गोरखा)
  3. West no 3 (पश्चिम ३ नम्बर) Kaski(कास्की), Lamjung (लमजुङ्), Manang (मनाङ्), Tanahun (तनहुँ)
  4. West no 4 (पश्चिम ४ नम्बर) Syangja(स्याङ्जा), Parbat (पर्वत)
  5. Palimajh Khand (पालिमाझ खण्ड) Kapilvastu (कपिलवस्तु), Nawalparasi (नवलपरासी), Rupendehi (रुपन्देही)
  6. Palpa (पाल्पा) now Palpa (पाल्पा)
  7. Baglung (बाग्लुङ्) now Baglung (बाग्लुङ्), Mustang (मुस्ताङ्), Myagdi (म्याग्दी)
  8. Gulmi (गुल्मी) now Arghakhanchi (अर्घाखाँची), Gulmi (गुल्मी)
Districts in present Mid western region:-
  1. Pyuthan (प्यूठान) now Pyuthan (प्यूठान)
  2. Salyan (सल्यान) now Salyan(सल्यान), Rukum (रुकुम), Rolpa (रोल्पा), Jajarkot (जाजरकोट)
  3. Dailekh (दैलेख) now Dailekh (दैलेख), Surkhet (सुर्खेत)
  4. Jumla (जुम्ला) now Dolpa (डोल्पा), Humla (हुम्ला), Jumla (जुम्ला), Mugu (मुगु), Kalikot (कालीकोट)
  5. Dang (दाङ्) now Dang (दाङ्)
  6. Bankebardia (बाँके बर्दिया) now Banke (बाँके), Bardiya (बर्दिया)
Districts in present Far Western region:-
  1. Doti (डोटी) now Achham(अछाम), Bajhang (बझाङ्), Bajura (बाजुरा), Doti (डोटी)
  2. Baitada (बैतडा) now Baitadi (बैतडी), Darchula (दार्चुला)
  3. Dadeldhura (डडेलधुरा) now Dadeldhura (डडेलधुरा)
  4. Kailali (कैलाली) now Kailali (कैलाली), Kanchanpur (कञ्चनपुर)


After 1961 restructure by King Mahendra

Before Apr 13, 1961 there were 35 districts in Nepal.

On 1961 (BS 2018/1/1) Nepal was divided into 14 Zones and 75 districts by King Mahendra.

In 1972 Nepal was further divided into 4 development regions by King Birendra. And in 1980, the westernmost region was further divided in to two regions creating mid-western and far-western regions.

In 1975 (BS 2032/8/26) Tibrikot (तिब्रीकोट) district was renamed as Kalikot (कालीकोट), because of which Kalikot district is also known as Kanchho Jilla (कान्छो जिल्ला, the Youngest district).

During 1987 Local election there were 33 City Panchayat & 4,015 Village Panchayat in Nepal.



Democratic era

Before the 2015 constitution, Nepal was divided into 5 development regions and 14 zones and 75 districts in nested-hierarchical manner. 75 districts were divided into City and Villages and each city and villages were further sub-divided into 'wards' ranging from minimum 9 (in vdc) to maximum 35 (ktm). For example- Mt Everest was situated in: Eastern Development region, Sagarmatha  zone, Solukhumbu district, Khumjung V.D.C., Ward no 4.

For 1992 Local election (according the new constitution of 1990) 36 Municipalities & 3,995 VDCs were created from old city and village panchayats.

During 1997 Local election there were 58 municipalities and 3,913 VDCs.

Until July 2011, Nepal had 58 municipalities & 4,915 VDCs. These municipalities were:- State 1: Damak, Mechinagar, Bhadrapur, Ilam, Dharan, Itahari, Inaruwa, Biratnagar, Khandbari, Triyuga, Dhankuta, Bhimeshwar, Kamalamai, State 2: Birganj, Gulariya, Malangwa, Siraha, Lahan, Gaur, Kalaiya, Jaleswar, Rajbiraj, Janakpur, State 3: Kathmandu, Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Madhyapur Thimi, Ratnanagar, Bharatpur, Hetauda, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Panauti, Bidur, State 4,5,6: Gorkha, Pokhara, Lekhnath, Butwal-Rupandehi, Siddharthanagar- Rupandehi, Nepalganj, Tikapur-Kailali, Kapilvastu, Byas-Tanahu, Putalibazar-Syangja, Ramgram-Nawalparasi, Baglung, Tansen-Palpa, Waling-Syangja, Narayan-Dailekh, Ghorahi -Dang, Tulsipur-Dang, Birendranagar-Surkhet, State 7: Dhangadhi, Bhim Dutta, Amaragadhi, Dasharathchand, Dipayal-Silgadhi.

Govt declared new 41 municipalities in 2011 July merging 161 VDCs but not implemented.

In May 8 2014 Government added 72 new municipalities (including already announced 41 and merging 283 VDCs together) making total 130 municipalities.

In Dec 2014 Govt again added 61 municipalities making total 191 municipalities and VDCs reduced to 3,276.

Though the new constitution was implemented on 2015 Sep, gov kept changing the old system.

Govt added 26 more municipalities in Sep 2015 and 46 more in 2017 March making total 263 municipalities before the new constitution implemented for local level and after the constitution promulgated.


new structure (after constitution of 2015 implemented)

Provinces vs DR & Zones: Under the new system there are now 7 provinces in Nepal removing the old 5 development regions (DR) and 14 zone system.

Districts: The old 75 districts are kept as it is except two districts (Nawalparasi & Rukum) are split.  In 2017 Aug 21 Government recognized two parts of Nawalparasi & Rukum as separate districts effectively making total 77 districts in Nepal.

Local levels: currently there are total 753 local levels including 6 metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities and 460 villages-councils. (see detail


References:-