The Nepalese Rupee (रूपैयाँ, symbol: रू, Rs.; code: NPR) is the official currency of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The Nepalese rupee is subdivided into 100 paisa. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal. The Nepalese rupee was introduced in 1932, when it replaced the Nepalese mohar at the rate 2:1.
Prior to 1994, the Nepalese rupee (रू) was pegged to the Indian Rupee (₹) at the rate रू1.45 = ₹1, however since then it has been pegged at the rate रू1.60 = ₹1 currently.
The rupee was introduced in 1932, replacing the silver mohar at a rate of 2 mohar = 1 rupee. At first, the rupee was called the Mohru in Nepali. Its value was pegged to the Indian Rupee in 1994 at a rate of 1.6 Nepalese rupees = 1 Indian rupee.
The early banknotes which were issued between 1945 and 1955 during the rule of King Tribhuvan were not put into circulation by a Central Bank which did not exist in Nepal at that time. The issuing authority was the treasury which had the name Sadar Muluki Khana. Therefore, the notes of king Tribhuvan were not signed by a bank governor, but by a Kajanchi (head of the treasury) who was a high Hindu priest at the same time. Nepal’s early paper currency probably includes the only notes of the world which were signed by a high priest. These early notes were printed by the Indian Security Press in Nashik and do not have any security features, except for the watermarks and the special paper on which they are printed.
Starting with King Mahendra who succeeded to his father Tribhuvan in 1955, the banknotes were issued by Nepal Rastra Bank (Nepal National Bank) which was founded in April 1956. The signature of the governors of this institution is found on the banknotes which were issued after this date.
Under King Mahendra, the Nepalese Government became “His Majesty’s Government” (expressed by "Shri 5 ko Sarkar" which literally means “the government of the five times honoured”) and remained this way during the rule of Birendra and Gyanendra. Two series of banknotes were issued during the rule of king Mahendra: The first series shows the king in civilian clothes wearing the Nepalese “topi” while on the notes of the second series the king is shown in military uniform. The second series comprised for the first time notes of the high value of 500 and 1000 rupees.
During King Birendra’s rule, one can also distinguish between two major series of banknotes. The first series features the king wearing the military uniform while on the notes of the second series the king is wearing the traditional Nepalese crown adorned with feathers of the bird of paradise. During this period regular banknotes of 2 and 20 rupees and special banknotes of 25 and 250 rupees were issued for the first time. The legends found on the last issues of Gyanendra revert to Nepal sarkar (“Nepalese Government”), thus omitting the reference to the king.