- For other uses, see Raja and Rajah .
(also spelled Rajah
, nominative ) is the
term for a monarch
, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna
The female form, the word for "queen", mainly used for a Raja's
wife, is Rani
), from Sanskrit .
The title has a long history in the Indian subcontinent
and Southeast Asia
, being attested
from the Rigveda
, where a is a tribal
chief, see for example the (
), the "battle of ten kings".
Sanskrit is cognate to Latin rēx
), Gaulish rīx
etc., originally denoting
tribal chiefs or heads of small 'city states'. It is ultimately
derived from a PIE
, a vrddhi
formation to the root "to straighten, to
order, to rule". The Sanskrit n
-stem is secondary in the
male title, apparently adapted from the female counterpart which
also has an -n-
suffix in related languages, compare
Old Irish rígain
of the word
in other Indo-European languages
and German reich
Rather common variants in Hindi, used for the same royal rank in
parts of India include Rana, Rao, Raol, Rawal
lower title Thakore and many variations,
compounds and derivations including either of these were used in
and around South Asia by most Hindu, Muslim and some Buddhist
and Sikh rulers, while Muslims also used Nawab
or Sultan, and still is commonly used in
India. In Pakistan, Raja is
still used by many Muslim Rajput
clans as hereditary titles. Raja
is also used as a
by Hindus and Sikhs.
Rajas in the Malay world
ruler of the state of Perlis, Malaysia is titled
the Raja of Perlis. Most of the other state rulers are
titled Sultans. Nevertheless, the Raja has equal status with the
other rulers and is one of the electors who designate one of their
number as the Yang di-Pertuan
Agong every five years.
- Various traditional princely states in
Indonesia still style their ruler Raja, or did so until their
abolition after which the title became hollow, e.g.
Buleleng on Bali.
Sources and references