Other titles for the word Mahant, serving in the context of a well known religious place, include priest or pundit, being generally always a Brahmin, gyani or pastor.
In Sikh history, the mahants were the hereditary managers who controlled and held the door keys of Sikh gurdwaras. After the creation of the SGPC and the Nankana massacre involving Mahant Narayan Das, a law was passed handing over gurdwaras to orthodox Sikhs.
In Chhuikhadan State, the Mahants were the rulers of the princely state. "Mahant" is also a common surname in Assam. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is an Assamese politician. Vaishnavi Mahant is a film and TV actress.