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Mantri (Sanskrit: मन्त्री) is a word of Sanskrit origin (meaning sage, i.e. the "person who thinks and says" in that language, cf. Mantra), and it is used for a variety of public offices, from fairly humble to ministerial in rank. The term was used in various Asian cultures and eventually was used by early European traders. 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[edit]


  • Mantri is also a surname used in maheshwari caste. For example Amit Mantri and Vipul Mantri
  • 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
  • The word Mantri is often used to mean 'minister' in Hindi, several variations such as Mukhyamantri (chief minister) and Pradhanmantri (prime minister) are also used.


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

South East Asia[edit]


  • in various constitutive sultanates, also in compounds


Mentri (or Mantri): ministerial rank below vizier.


  • in Buleleng 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[edit]