Maharaja

From Academic Kids

Template:Wikify 1. Maharaja (also spelled maharajah) comes from the Sanskrit words maha meaning "great" and raja meaning "king". It was and is used primarily for Hindu potentates. The female equivalent to Maharaja is Maharani (or Maharanee), a title used either by the wife of a maharaja or by a woman ruling in her own right.

On the eve of independence in 1947, India (including present day Pakistan) consisted of more than 600 princely kingdoms each with its own raja (if the king were Hindu) or nawab/sultan (if he was Muslim).

The British directly ruled 1/3rd of India, the rest was ruled by the above mentioned princes under the considerable influence of British representatives in court.

The word maharaja may be construed to be simply "king" (as in Jammu and Kashmir), in spite of its literal translation as "great king". This was because only a handful of the kingdoms were truly powerful and wealthy enough for their rulers to be entitled kings; the remaining were minor principalties, towns or groups of villages. The word, however, still means emperor in contemporary Indian usage.

The title of Maharaja was not as common before the British colonization of India, upon which many rajas were elevated to maharajas, regardless of the fact that scores of these new maharajas did not deserve that title on account of the small size of their kingdoms. Frequently a Raja was elevated to the rank of Maharaja for some reason unrelated to the eminence of the state, for example support in World War I or World War II. Two rajas who became maharajas in the twentieth century were the Maharaja of Cochin and the legendary Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala.

Some Hindu nobles in Hyderabad & Berar, like the Diwan (Prime Minister) Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad, had this title also.

Variations of this title include Maharana (Udaipur), Maharawal (Dungarpur/Jaisalmer), Maharawat (Pratapgarh), Maharao (Kotah, Bundi), and Maharaol(Baria).


2. In Malaysia, the title of the monarch of the state of Johor from 1873 to 1885. The title sultan was adopted later and is in current usage.

3. Part of titles of Malay nobility, the most famous of whom was Bendahara Seri Maharaja Tun Mutahir of Malacca (executed 1509) and Datuk Maharaja Lela Pandak Endut of Perak (executed 1876). The palace marshal of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (king) of modern Malaysia is called Datuk Maharaja Lela Penghulu Istana Negara.

4. Part of titles of Aceh nobility. In the past the title of Maharja is given to leader of the unreigning noble family. And also given to the Prime Minister Maharaja Mangkubumi. The last Prime Minister of Aceh whom installed to be the Maharaja Mangkubumi is Habib Abdurrahman el Zahir, who also acting as forreign affair minister of Aceh. He was desposed to Jeddah by Netherlands in October 13 1878.de:Maharadscha fr:RÔja pl:Maharadża fi:Maharad×a sv:maharadja

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