Rao (surname)

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Rao (राव) is an Indian princely title cognate with Raja (King). It's also used as a surname across India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Italy and Brazil. Rao is also used as an addition to one's name or as a suffix to a male name in some places.


Rao is commonly added as a suffix to a person's name in southern, northern and western parts of India, in particular in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Konkan/Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra (also Rao Saheb), Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. Rao is the surname of Brahmins in Karnataka. Rao is the surname of Rajputs from UP and Rajasthan, Rao is the surnames of Ahirs Yadav of Haryana.[1][2] Variants of the name include "Rai", "Raja", "Rayudu", "Rayar", "Rayulu", "Raut", "Raya", "Rana" and others. In the Gujarati diaspora, Rao is a common name among the Brahmbhatt or Barot community.

India's ex-prime minister Narasimha Rao (whose last name is often featured in the any Times crossword puzzle) was a native of Andhra Pradesh. In south India, Rao is not a family name, but is the last of the middle names, if ever used.

Famous Indians with the surname[edit]

This is a list of some famous Indians and people of Indian origin with the surname Rao, in order by date of birth.


The majority of Raos in Pakistan are Muslim Punwar (Pawar) Rajputs and Chauhan Rajputs. Raos can be found all across Pakistan and are found in large numbers in the Punjab province as well as in Sindh. The Rao are famous for their customs, norms and traditions. Rao are very brave people, the majority of Raos are serving in Pakistani Armed Forces, Police & Civil Services at responsible positions In the Past, Rao Family participated in politics with big names. Major are ., still Rao are the part of politics in Pakistani Politics with respect. Rao families prefer to marry in their own Caste Ranghars/Muslim Rajputs . After Indo Pak partition majority of Rao got settled in the cities of Punjab: Pakpattan District, Okara District, Phullarwan of Sargodha District, Shujabad, Bahawalnagar, Maharwali, Khanewal, Lahore, Mandi Bahaud DinKot Radha Kishan Chichawatni, Burewala, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Haroonabad, Sahiwal, Multan Mailsi & many other cities.They Speak Ranghari/Haryanvi & (Mewati)Khari Boli in their Homes & Villages, but they can also Speak Urdu as national language, lingua franca of Pakistan & Known Punjabi, Saraiki (in Punjab & South Punjab respectively).

In Sindh they settled in District Karachi,Hyderabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazir Abad District, (Nawabshah), Umerkot, Tharparkar, Tando Allayar etc. In Sindh they known as Sindhi Rajput which is the addition in Sindhi Rajput after independence of Pakistan. In Sindh, Sindhi & Khari Boli is common language of Rao Family. They maintain an overarching tribal council (panchayat in the their dialect), which deals with a number of issues, such as punishments for petty crime or co-operation over village projects.[1] Raos are further categorized according to their geographical locations and education level. They maintain a distinct identity in Pakistan. In 2002 elections of Pakistan, Rajputs were in the largest number in assemblies.

Famous Pakistani with the surname[edit]

  • Rao Sikandar Iqbal late politician and 25th defence minister of Pakistan hailed from okara Punjab
  • Rao Hashim Khan late politician and former member of national assembly and chairman land commission hailed from pakpattan Punjab
  • Rao Muhammad Afzal Khan late politician.In 1952, he was elected as MPA from Sahiwal District tehsil Depalpur. He went on to win election an additional four times as Member Provincial Assembly and twice as a Member National Assembly in 1985 and 1988.
  • Major generalRao Farman Ali a senior and high profile officer who commanded combatant assets and elements of the Corps of Military Police during the East-Pakistan and later as military adviser in East Pakistan known as butcher of Bengalis
  • Air Chief MarshalRao Qamar Suleman 19 chief of air staff
  • Rao Iftikhar Anjum Pakistani cricketer
  • Sarwar Munir Rao Pakistani journalist
  • Shafiq-ur-Rahman (humorist) Pakistani humorist and military physician who retired from the rank of major general in Pakistan army


Main article: Rao (Chinese surname)

Rao (Chinese: ; pinyin: Ráo) is a Chinese surname. It is approximately 2200 years old, and originated in the area near present-day Linfen, Shanxi province.


The Sicilian-Calabrian Italian surname Rao is pronounced in the Italian language similarly to the Indian pronunciation, although in the United States many Raos of Italian descent pronounce the name "RAY-O." Examples are Raos in New York City, Boston, and Rao families in Rhode Island and North Carolina. It is also common among the descendants of Italian settlers in Brazil.


  1. ^ "Rajkumar Yadav is now Rajkummar Rao". Hindustan Times. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  2. ^ "Rajkummar Rao Denies Falling Out with Anushka Sharma". Indiawest.com. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2014-02-03.