Mantri (Sanskrit: मन्त्री) is a word of Sanskrit origin (meaning sage, i.e. the "person who thinks and says" in that language, cf. Mantra), used in Asian cultures with a Hindu tradition (even those that later adopted Buddhism or Islam). It is used for a variety of public offices, from fairly humble to ministerial in rank. The term also forms part of a number of compounds. It is the root of the English word mandarin, for a bureaucrat of the Chinese empire (though the word was never used by the Chinese themselves).

These are just a few examples of the use of this root in various political systems


Indian/Nepali tradition


  • Mantri is also a surname used in maheshwari caste.
  • in Satara, where the Peshwa (formally First Minister) took over political power from the nominal Monarch : Mantri was used as synonymous Sanskrit version of Waqnis (Fourth Minister)
  • It is used synonymously with Minister in many Indian languages
  • Mantri is a surname used in Niyogi Brahmins in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Mantri is also the name of a real estate company based in Bangalore, India famous for constructing the Mantri Square Mall at Malleshwaram, Bangalore


  • Mantri: Minister of State
  • Pradhan Mantri: Prime Minister (compare Pradhan)

South East Asia


  • in various constitutive sultanates, also in compounds


Mentri (or Mantri): ministerial rank below vizier.


  • in Bululeng Mantri occurred (rank unclear)
  • in Deli the title of Tengku Perdana Mantri was created 1 February 1923 for Y.A.M. Tengku Harun al-Rashid ibni al-Marhum Sultan Ma'amun al-Rashid Perkasa 'Alam Shah, eldest brother of the Crown Prince (Sultan the next year) and Wakil of Bedagai 1932
  • in Kutai, Perdana-mantri was the first great Officer of state, or Chief Minister
  • in Sambas, Radin Mantri was a highl stles for princes of the blood, e.g. borne by H.H. Sri Paduka al-Sultan Tuanku 'Abu Bakar Taj ud-din I [al-Marhum Janggut] ibni al-Marhum Sultan 'Umar Akam ud-din, future Sultan of Sambas, before his accession on the death of his father, 1790
  • in Yogyakarta and Surakarta palaces - the term is part of administrative titles for positions within the palaces and places that they control.


In Cambodia, the Sanskrit title was often corrupted; e.g. Udarma Mantri to Udom Montrey

Sources and references