Roper Lethbridge.

The golden book of India; a genealogical and biograhical dictionary of the ruling princes, chiefs, nobles, and other personages, titled or decorated, of the Indian empire, with an appendix for Ceylon online

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and Parsis ; and this rank seems exactly analogous to that of Knight Bachelor
in England.

Above this rank is the title of Mdjd (with the feminine Mdni) for Hindus,
Nawdb (with the feminine Begam) for Muhammadans ; and this may be
hereditary or personal — a remark which applies to all the higher ranks.
Next higher is a Mdjd Baliddur, or a Nawdb Bahddur. Higher again,
for Hindus, is the title of Maharaja, and above that is Mahdrdjd Bahddur.
It is one of the many anomalies of the Indian system as at present
existing, that there do not seem to be any Muhammadan analogies to these
last two highest Hindu titles, so that a Nawdb Bahddur may be the equal
either of a Mdjd Bahadur, or of a Mahdrdjd Bahddur, according to
circumstance. These seem to be very analogous to the various steps in the .
British Peerage.

Parsis share with Muhammadans their lower titles. But where they have
attained to higher rank than Khdn Bahddur, it has been indicated by
appointment to one of the Military Orders, or by the conferment of British
Knighthood, or (in two cases) by a British Baronetcy.

The ordinary sequence of rank, then, in the aristocracy of British India, is
indicated by the subjoined tables : —

, Hindus. Muhammadans.

Maharaja Bahadur. Nawab Bahadur.

Maharaja. Nawab.

Raja Bahadur. Khan Bahadur.

Raja. Khan Saheb.

Rai (or Rao) Bahadur. Khan.
Rai (or Rao) Saheb.
Rai (or Rao).

The eldest son of a Maharaja or Raja is called a Maharajkumar (or
Maharajkunwar), or Rajkumar (or Rajkunwar), or simply Kumar (or Kunwar) ;
and these titles have in some cases been formally conferred by the Government.
Nawdbzdda, or Midn, is the title given to the sons of Nawabs.

Among the Barons of the Punjab there is a remarkable uniformity of
title ; they are nearly all styled Sarddr or Sarddr Bahadur — and their sons
are often styled Mian, though this is also an independent title, as is Diwdn
also, in the Punjab. In Oudh and in the Central Provinces, on the other
hand, there is the greatest diversity in the form of the territorial titles —
Thdhur being the commonest title, but Mai is also frequent (and of far higher
dignity than it seems to bear in some other provinces), and so are Mdjd, Diwdn,
and Mao,

6. — Burmese Titles.

The chiefs of the Shan and other tribes on the frontiers of Burma have the
titles (equivalent to Mdjd or Thdhur, or other Indian titles) either of Saivbwa,
or Myoza, ov Ngwegunhmu.

But the regular Burmese titles ordinarily conferred by the British Govern-
ment are these : —

(1) Ahmudan gaung Tazeik ya Min (meaning "Recipient of a Medal for
Good Service"), indicated by the letters A.T.M. after the name — much as the
Companionship of the Bath in England is indicated by the letters C.B.

(2) Kyet thaye zaung shwe Salwe ya Min (meaning "Recipient of the Gold
Chain of Honour "), indicated by the letters K.S.M. after the name.


(3) Thuya gaung ngwe Da ya Min (meaning "Recipient of the Silver Sword
for Bravery "), indicated by the letters T.D.M. after the name.

7.— Titles as Rewards for Learning.

It remains to notice two Imperial titles of ancient origin, as indicating
exceptional distinction in learning, that were revived on the auspicious
occasion of Her Majesty's Jubilee. These are Mahdmahopddhydya for Hindus,
and Shams-ul- Ulama for Muhammadans. It is noteworthy, as showing a wise
regard for that reverence which great erudition has always commanded in the
East, that holders of these titles, ranking equally among themselves according
to date of creation, take rank directly after titular Rajas and Nawabs ; and thus
the dignity is rendered somewhat analogous to the high dignity of a Privy
Councillor in the United Kingdom.

8. — Courtesy Titles.

There are many titles habitually used in India — and a few have been

admitted into this work — that are not substantive titles in the strictest sense of

the term, but may best be described as courtesy titles. Of this nature is the

title of ' ' Prince " in most cases — though not in the case of the Prince of Arcot,

who enjoys a title specially conferred by the Sovereign. The title of "His

1 Highness," conferred or recognized by the Queen Empress, belongs as of right

• only to a limited number of the Feudatory Chiefs, and to a few of the Nobles of

British India; but it is very generally conceded, as a matter of courtesy, to

most of the Feudatory Chiefs and the greater Territorial Nobles. The title of

i " His Excellency " has been specially granted to one or two Chiefs ; it is also

< commonly used, as a matter of courtesy, in addressing the responsible Ministers

* of the chief Feudatory States.

r The owners of some great Zaminddris or estates, especially in Madras, are
| sometimes styled Raja in common parlance, even when they have not received
the title from the Sovereign. But there seems to be no authority for this ; nor
— so far as is known to the Editor, and with the few exceptions above noted —
is any name inserted in this work as that of a Raja, or as holding a similar title,
unless recognized by the Government of India.

Immemorial usage throughout India has conferred well-recognized courtesy
titles on the heirs-apparent of the greater titles ; and in some cases on the
second, third, fourth, and younger sons. There is at least one Raja whose
eldest son bears the courtesy title of Kunwdr, the second son that of Diwdn, the
third that of Thdkur, the fourth that of Ldl, and the fifth and younger sons
that of Bdbu. It may here be noted that, in common use in Bengal, the title of
Bdbu has degenerated — like the French Monsieur and the English Esquire — into
a mere form of address ; but it belongs of right only to a very limited class—
and particularly to the sons, not otherwise titled, of the greater titled personages.
In Orissa, Chota Nagpur, and Central India, the eldest son of a Raja or Thakur
frequently bears the title of Tikait or Tikaildo ; and sometimes (but rarely) the
second son bears the title of Pothait or Pothaildo, and the third that of Ldl.
But in most, probably in all, cases, the younger sons are styled Bdbu. In some
of the Orissa Tributary Mahals, and in Manipur and in Hill Tipperah and else-
where, the heir-apparent is styled Jubardj or Yuvardj. In some other parts he
is called Diwdn ; while in the Punjab the heir-apparent of a territorial Sarddr
is sometimes also called Sarddr, but more commonly he bears the title of

The curious Marumakkatayam law of inheritance which prevails in
Malabar and the extreme south of India — under which the succession is to the
offspring of the female members of the family, among whom the next eldest to

b *


the Raja is the heir-apparent — makes it very fitting that the rank of an heir-
apparent, in those parts of India, should be marked by special titles. The heir-
apparent to His Highness the Maharaja of Travancore is often called by
Europeans the First Prince of Travancore ; but his proper courtesy title is " the
El ay a Raja." The same title is borne by the heir-apparent to His Highness
the Maharaja of Cochin. The heir-apparent to the Zamorin of Calicut bears, by
courtesy, the interesting title of "The Eralpad." It will be seen that, under
the Marumakkatayam law, no son of a Raja can ever be seen in the line of
succession ; these receive the courtesy title of Achchhan.

The colloquial use of the dynastic titles of Sindhia and Holkar may be
illustrated by a somewhat similar Scottish usage, by which the actual Chief or
Laird is colloquially known by the name of his estate. Mr. Cameron becomes
" Lochiel " the moment he succeeds to the estate of that name ; so one of these
young Princes becomes " Sindhia " the moment he succeeds to the Gwalior Raj,
and the other becomes "Holkar" the moment he succeeds to the Indore
Raj — the junior members of these ruling Houses using the title as their family

9. — Armorial Bearings.

The Editor has already pointed out, in an earlier section of this Introduction,
the need that exists for the services of an Indian King of Arms and an Indian
Heralds' College. Such an institution, provided due regard were paid to Indian
sentiments and prejudices, would be immensely popular among the Chiefs and
notables of India ; and a very considerable revenue might yearly be raised, with
the greatest goodwill on the part of those who would pay it, from a moderate
duty, similar to the one levied in the United Kingdom, on the authorized use
of hereditary cognizances or armorial bearings. At present an Indian noble is
justly proud of a cognizance that has been honourably borne for centuries by
his ancestors, and would prefer to use it with full legal authority ; but it is
doubtful whether he can do so at all, except by a most difficult and most
unusual application to the Earl Marshal of England and the Garter King of
Arms in London, for an authorized grant. So, too, with more modern adoptions
of coat-armour ; these have been authorized by the College of Arms in London
for the two Indian Baronets, and perhaps for a few more — but as a rule the
modus operandi is unknown.

10. — Ceremonies observed on the Installation of an Indian Noble.

The Warrant conferring (or authorizing the hereditary succession to) a title
is called a sanad — sometimes spelt "sunnud." It is signed, on behalf of Her
Majesty the Empress, by His Excellency the Viceroy ; and bears the Official
Seal of the Empire.

It is usual — though there appears to be no invariable rule — for the local
representative of Her Majesty, on the occasion of the installation or succession
of a Chief or Noble, to present him with a khilat, and receive from him a nazar
in return. "Khilat" literally means "a Dress of Honour." It usually
consists of pieces of cloth not made up; but sometimes it consists of arms,
jewels, or other valuables, without any article of attire, although in most cases
a turban and shawl form part of the gift. Indeed, a complete khilat may
include arms, or an elephant, or all of these together. The nazar (sometimes
spelt nuzzur) must be of corresponding value to the khilat.

In the case of a Maharaja Bahadur, or other noble of that rank, the khilat
and sanad are presented, in full Darbdr, by the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor,


or other Chief Civil Officer of the Province ; or if they are unable to be present,
by the Commissioner of the Division at the sudder-station (or capital).

To the Darbar are invited all the civil and military officers available, also all
the Indian notables and gentry of the neighbourhood.

The chair of the Presiding Officer is placed in the middle, and that of the
nobleman to be installed on his right. The brother, son, and any of the
relatives of the nobleman who may be present, occupy places, according to their
station, in the right-hand line.

The chairs for all the public functionaries are placed, according to their rank,
on the left hand of the Presiding Officer's chair.

The local notables and gentry occupy chairs, also according to their rank, on
the right hand of the Presiding Officer.

A company of soldiers is drawn up in front of the stairs, as a Guard of

On the arrival of the noble near the stairs, the Sarishtadar or Munshi of the
Presiding Officer leads him to the audience. All functionaries, out of respect to
him, rise from their chairs on the Chiefs reaching the Presiding Officer ; who
then asks him to take his seat. All functionaries and Darbaris must have
assembled and taken their seats before the Chiefs arrival.

After a short conversation, the Presiding Officer orders his Munshi to take
the Chief to an adjoining room, prepared previously for the purpose, where he is
robed with the different parchas of the khilat except the pearl necklace. After
this, he is again brought into the Darbar room, and stands in front of the
Presiding Officer. The latter, rising from his seat with all the functionaries
present, then ties the pearl necklace round the neck of the Chief.

The Presiding Officer then orders the Munshi to read out the sanad.
During the reading of the sanad the Presiding Officer and the functionaries
resume their seats, while the Chief and the local notables and gentry rise.

The Chief presents the usual nazardna of gold mohurs, and then all resume
their seats.

After a short pause, the Presiding Officer orders atr and pdn to be brought ;
and standing up, serves out the same, first to the newly-installed Chief, and
then to all the Indian notables and gentry present — the Munshi bringing up
each one in turn to receive the atr and pdn.

They all then take their leave, and the ceremony is at an end.

The ceremony of the Installation of a Raja Bahadur, or titled personage of
lower rank than a Maharaja Bahadur, is very similar to the one described above.
But the Guard of Honour is not so large, and it is not necessary that the Chief
Civil Officer of the Province should be present. Also the sarpech, pearl
necklace, or whatever may compose the khilat, is handed by the Commissioner
to the Collector or Assistant Collector of the district in which the Chiefs
estates are situated, and he requests him to invest the Chief with it.

A ceremonial similar to those described above is observed when a Knight
Grand Commander, or a Knight Commander, or a Companion of the Most
Exalted Order of the Star of India, or of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian
Empire, is invested with the insignia of the Order by the representative of the


11.— List of Indian Titles, with a Glossary of their
Meanings 1 where recorded in the Foreign Office.

Titles. Meaning.

Achchhan Achchhan {Malay >alam), a father, used

also as a title of respect, and in
Malabar applied especially to the
males of the Royal family who have
no office or official rank in the State
(Glos. of Indian Terms).

Ahmudan gating Tazeik ya Min Recipient of a medal for good servke
(A. T.M. after name) (Burmese).

Ahsan Jang Excellent in war.

Ajahat (Sar Deshmukh) . . . (Ajdhat, Persian Wajdhat), a title of

honour to a Vicegerent or represent-
ative, as one exhibiting the presence
of a fully authorized deputy (Mar

Alijah (Sindhia) . . . .Of exalted dignity.

Amin-ud-daula (Tonk) . . . Trustee of the State.

Amir Prince, chief.

Amir-ud-daula Sayyid-ul-MulkMumtaz A prince of the State, distinguished in
Jang war.

Amir-ul-Umara Chief of the nobles.

Arbab ...... Lord.

Asaf Jah (Nizam) . . . .An Asaf (Solomon's Wazir, according

to the Muhammadans) in dignity.

Azam. ...... Very great.

Azam-ul-Umara (Baoni) . . . The greatest of the nobles.

Azim-ul-Iktidar (Sindhia) . . . Most powerful.

Bahadur Brave ; a hero ; at the end of a

name a title = the English
" Honourable."

Bahadur Desai Desdi (Mar. ), ruler of a province.

Bahadur Jang (Bhartpur) . . . Brave in war.

Barar Bans (Faridkot) . . . Offspring of a Barar (a Jat tribe. The

Raja of Faridkot is head of the
tribe — Griffin).

Barar Bans Sirmur (Nabha) . . Sirmur, sl crowned head.

Begam (Bhopal. . See Nawab Begam) Lady ; queen ; title of Mughal ladies.

Beglar Begi (Kalat) .... Lord of lords. The Governor of Shiraz

holds this title in Persia.

Bhup (Kuch Behar) .... Sovereign, king.

Bohmong (Chief of the Regritsa (Arakanese) Head leader.


Brajendra (Bhartpur) . . . . Lord of Braj, an epithet of Krishna.

Chaube . . . . . .A caste distinction.

Chaudhri Head man of a village ; an honorific

form of address.

Chhatrapati Maharaj (Kolhapur) . . Lord of the umbrella. A king entitled

to have an umbrella carried over
him as a mark of dignity.

Davar . . . . . .A just prince, a sovereign.

1 Many of the " meanings " given in this Glossary are simply rough transla-
tions of the Oriental honorifics.




Diler Jang (Dholpur)
Dinkar Rao


Diwan Bahadur .

Farzand-i-Arjumand Akidat Paiwand

Daulat-i-Inglishia (Nabha)
Farzand-i-Dilband Rashikhul-Iti-kad

Daulat-i-Inglishia (Jind and Kapur-


Farzand- i- Khas- i -Daulat- i- Inglishia

(Baroda, Patiala)
Farzand- i -Saadat-i- Nishan-i-Hazrat-i-

Kaisar-i-Hind (Faridkot)

Fath Jang (Nizam) ....


-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistdn (Sindhia)

Gambhir Rao


Girad. . .

Hafiz-ul-Mulk (Bahawalpur)

Heladi Naik Bahadur Desai Nadu-

Himmat Bahadur
Hisam-us-Saltanat (Sindhia)

Ihtisham-ud-daula (Jaora) .
Imad-ud-daula (Baoni)
Indar (Kashmir)
Jai Deo (Dholpur)
Jalal-ud-daula (Dujana)


Jamadar ....
Khan ....

Khan Bahadur
Khan Saheb.
Khanzada .

Kiritapati (Travancore)

Kulashekhara (Travancore)

Kumar or Kunwar

Kyet thaye zaung shwe Salwe ya Min

(K.S.M. after name)
Lokendra (Dholpur, Datia)


Maharaj Kumar

Maharaj Rana (Dholpur, Jhalawar) .

An hereditary native officer under the

former Governments (Marathi).
Intrepid in war.
Dinkar (Sanskrit), Day-maker, the sun.

See Rao.
A minister, a chief officer of State.
See Diwan and Bahadur.
Beloved and faithful son of the English

Beloved and trusty son of the English


Esteemed son of the English Govern-

Favourite son of the English Govern-

A son emblematical of the good
auspices of Her Majesty the Empress
of India.

Victorious in battle.

A servant of Her August Majesty the
Queen of England, who is exalted
in position.

Sagacious chief.

A Somali title, apparently = a chief.
Guardian, preserver of the country.

Brave champion.

Sword of the State.

Lion of battle.

Pomp of the State.

Pomp of the country.

Pillar of the State.


God of victory.

Glory of the State.

(Sindhi) Chief.

Chief or leader.

Lord, prince, title .of Muhammadan

Brave lord.

Son of a Khan. Title of some Musal-
man chiefs settled in Pandu Mehvas.

Possessor of a diadem.

Head (Shekhara) of the race (Kulam).

Prince, son of a Raja.

Recipient of the Gold Chain of Honour

Protector of the world.

Head of a religious order.

Son of a Maharaja.

Supreme Rana or king.


Titles. Meaning.

Maharaja . . . . • . . Great Raja or king.
Maharaja Bahadur.

Maharaja Dhiraj or Maharaj-Adhiraj . Lord Paramount, king of kings.
Maharaja-i-Rajagan .... King of kings.

Maharana Great Rana or king.

Maharana Dhiraj (Udaipur) . . Lord Paramount, king of kings.

Maharani Great Rani or queen.

Maharao Great Rao or chief.

Maharao Bahadur (Kota).

Maharao Raja (Alwar and Bnndi) . Supreme Raja or king.

Maharawal Great Rawal or prince.

Maharawal Bahadur.

Maharawat (Partabgarh . . . Great Rawat'or prince.

Mahendra Great Indra. "

Majid-ud-daula Glorious in the State.

Malanmat Madar.

Malaz-ul-Ulama-ul-Fazila . . . Asylum of the learned and erudite. J

Malik Master, proprietor.

Malwandar (Nabha) .... Lord of wealth.

Mani Sultan (Travancore) . . . The Sultan par excellence. Mani—a,

jewel, a pearl.
Mansur-i-Zaman (Sindhia, Patiala) . Victorious of the age.
Mian Lord, Master, title of sons of Rajput

Mihin Sardar (Baoni) . . . Mihin, greater, greatest, elder-born.

Mir ....... Chief, leader.

Mirza . . . . . .A contraction of Amir Zada, ' ' nobly

born." When affixed to a name, it

signifies " Prince " ; when prefixed,

simply "Mr."
Mirza Bahadur.
Mong Raja
Muhtashim-i-Dauran (Sindhia)
Mukhlis-ud-daula (Bahawalpur) ,
Muktar-ul-Mulk (Sindhia) .
Mulk ....



Mushir-i-Khas .


Mustakil Jang (Dujana)

Mustakim Jang .

Mutalik ....

Muzaffar-ul-Mamalik (Nizam)


Nasrat Jang (Bahawalpur)
Nawab ....
Nawab Babi (Balasinor)

Mong (Arakanese), a leader.

Honoured of the State.

Administrator orMinister of the country

(The most) powerful of his age.

Warrior (for the faith) of the country.

Devoted servant of the State.

Ruler of the country.

Probably a misprint or corruption of
Malik, a king.

Distinguished in the State.

Distinguished in the country.

Privy counsellor, choicest counsellor.

Counsellor of the State.

Firm in battle.

Loyal in battle.

Mutlak, principal, supreme.

Victorious over kingdoms.

Nayak, leader, chief.

Victorious in battle.


Bdbi, door-keeper. The founder of
the family once held this post in the
Mughal Court, and hence the title is


Nawab Bahadur.
Nawab Begam (Bhopal).
Nizam-ud-daula (Nizam) .
Nizam-ul-Mulk (Nizam) .
Nono (Spiti)

Padmanabha Dasa (Travancore
Padwi ....

Pancha- Hazar Mansabdar .

Pant Pratinidhi

Pant Sachiv

Patang Rao

Prince (Arcot).

Rafi-ush-Shan (Sindhia) .

Rai . .

Rai Bahadur.

Rai Ray an (Banswara)

Rai Saheb.

Rais-ud-daula (Dholpur) .

Raj Rajendra (Jaipur)

Raj Rajeshwar (Holkar), etc.

Raj Saheb

Raja ....

Raja Bahadur.

Raja Dhiraj



Rana ....

Rani ....
Rao ....

Rao Bahadur.
Rao Saheb.

Rashid-ul-Mulk (Baoni) .
Rawal ....
Rawat ....
Rukn-ud-daula (Bahawalpur)
Rustam-i-Dauran (Nizam)

Rustam Jang .

Saheb-i-Jah (Baoni)

Saif-ud-daula .

Sar Desai

Saramad - i- Rajaha - i -Bundelkhand

Saramad - i - Rajaha - i - Hindustan



Sardar Bahadur.
Saulat Jang (Tonk)


Regulator of the State.
Administrator of the country.
(Tibetan) Young nobleman.
Servant of Vishnu (the lotus-navelled).
Or Farm, clan title borne after their

names by certain Mehvas Chiefs

(Bombay Gazetteer).
Noble holding a mansab or military

rank of 5000 horse.
Pratinidhi, a vicegerent ; title borne

by a distinguished Maratha family.
Sachiv, Minister, counsellor.
From Patang, the sun, and Rao, prince.

Of exalted dignity.

(Prakrit Rai = Raja), Prince, chief.

Rai of Rais, prince of princes.

Ruler of the State.

Lord of kings, king of kings.

Rejeshwar, king of kings.

Raj = Raja.

King, prince.

Paramount Raja, king of kings.
Raja of Rajas.

From Rajan ( = Raja)
diminuti veness ).

Title of a prince or
among Rajputs.

Queen, princess.

King, prince, chief.

+ Ka (expressing
Raja, especially

Director of the country.
Prince, chief.

Pillar of the State.
The Rustam (the most renowned

Persian heroes) of his time.
A Rustam in battle.
Possessed of dignity.
Sword of the State.
Chief Desai or ruler of a province.
Head of the Rajas of Bundelkhand.

Head of the Rajas of Hindustan.

Chief officer of rank.

Fury of war.





Sawai Bahadur (Kutch).

Sawai Rao.

Sena Khas Khel (Gaekwar)

Sena Pati ....
Shahzada ....
Shaikh ....
Shaikh-ul-Mushaikh .
Shamsher Bahadur (Baroda)
Shamsher Jang (Travancore)
Shams-ud-daula .
Shiromani (Bikanir) .
Shriman Maha Naik Nadgaud

Nagnuriebirada Himori.
Shuja-at Jang .
Sipahdar-ul-Mulk (Dholpur)
Sipar-i-Saltanat (Kashmir)
Srinath (Sindhia)
Sultan ....
Thakur .
Thakur Rawat.
Thakur Saheb.
Thakur Sena Rai.


Thuye gaung ngwe Da ya Min (T.D.M.

after name)


Umdat-ul-Umara (Sindhia)
Vanji (Travancore) .



Wala Shikoh (Sindhia) .




Wazir-ud-daula .
Wazir-ul-Mulk (Tonk)
Zamorin .

Literally, having the excess of a fourth;
i.e. better than others by 25 per cent.
A Hindu title.

Chief of the army, commander of the

army of the State.
Army- Chief, General.
Prince-Royal, prince.

Doctor of doctors (of law).
A mighty man of the sword.
The sword of war.
The sun of the State.
The gem, the best (of).

Brave in war.

Commander of the army of the country.

Shield of the Empire.

Lord of Fortune.

Prince, ruler.

Chief, feudal noble.

Female Thakur.

Recipient of the Silver Sword for

Braveiy (Burmese).
Chosen of the State.
Chosen from among the nobles.
Dynastic name.

From Vishwds, trust, and Rao, prince.
Vachan-ndth, Lord of Speech.
Of high dignity.
Prince, governor.
Or Valvi. Clan title borne after their

names by certain Mehvas Chiefs

{Bombay Gazetteer).
Or Vasava. Do.
Minister of the State.

Vernacular modification of Samundri,

the sea king (Malayalam).


This Edition of The Golden Book of India contains the Birthday-
Honours conferred in 1899.

Communications relating to the Third Edition should be addressed to


c/o Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
St. Dunstan's House,
Fetter Lane,




Note. — The titles are in italics.

Online LibraryRoper LethbridgeThe golden book of India; a genealogical and biograhical dictionary of the ruling princes, chiefs, nobles, and other personages, titled or decorated, of the Indian empire, with an appendix for Ceylon → online text (page 3 of 63)