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Malay history

Indragiri Sultanate

1. History

Indaragiri is regency in the Riau province which directly bordered with Jambi, West Sumatra, and Berhala Straits, Indonesia. Geographically, Indragiri‘s land configuration is made up of mountainous lands with hills and small valleys, where a river flows all over the place. The river streams from Batang Ombilin (upstream), Batang Kuantan, and empties to an estuary called Indragiri River. The seed of Indragiri Kingdom is assumed to be Keritang which constitutes a present subdsitrict of Indragiri Hilir  regency.  

There are two major prevalent opinions on the origin of word Keritang. The first assumed that “Keritang” derived from akar itang, which combined to akaritang and changed later into keritang. Itang is a plant whose aerating roots grow and cling to downward along the river. This plant commonly can be found throughout the Gangsal River.. While the second proposed that word Keritang referred to a name for certain snail spreading in the upstream of river.                

Although historical records and archaeological evidences which affect the revealing of information on Indragiri establishment are scarce, it appears that Mpu Prapanca had inscribed Indragiri in his book Negara Kertagama. This reference indicates that Indragiri had existed and been well recognized during the period. The first king was Raja Kecik Mambang who ruled the Kingdom in 1298 – 1337 C.E. Beforewards, Indrigiri was tributary of Crivijaya Kingdom. When the power of Crivijaya was on the wane, Indragiri and other small Kingdoms were able to wrest the power and established autonomous Kingdoms. Historically, besides Crivijaya, Malacca fleet had ever conquered the Indragiri Kingdom.

2. Genealogy

Unlike following the Crivijaya domination, the genealogy of Indragiri Kings under the rule of Crivijaya can not be revealed. Below are the rulers: 

  1. Kecik Mambang (Raja Merlang) (1298-1337 C.E.), Title: First King Keritang
  2. Nara Singa I (1337-1400 C.E.), Title: Second King Keritang
  3. King Merlang II (1400-1473 C.E.)
  4. Nara Singa II (1473-1508 C.E.) (Sultan Iskandar Alauddin Syah, Fourth King Keritang, and the First King Indragiri [1508-1532 C.E.])
  5. Sultan Usuluddin Hasansyah   (1532-1557 C.E.), Second Sultan Indragiri
  6. King Ahmad (1557-1599 C.E), Title: Sultan Mohammadsyah, Third Sultan Indragiri
  7. Raja Jamaluddin (1599-1658 C.E), Title: Sultan Jamaluddin Kramatsyah, Fourth Sultan Indragiri
  8. Sultan Jamaluddin Sulemansyah (1658-1669 C.E), The 5th  Sultan Indragiri
  9. Sultan Jamaluddin Mudoyatsyah (1669-1676 C.E), The 6th Sultan Indragiri
  10. Sultan Usuludin Ahmadsyah (1676-1687 C.E), The 7th Sultan Indragiri
  11. Sultan Abdul Jalil Syah (1687-1700 C.E), The 8th Sultan Indragiri
  12. Sultan Mansursyah (1700-1704 C.E), The 9th Sultan Indragiri
  13. Sultan Mohammadsyah (1704-1707 C.E), The 10th Sultan Indragiri
  14. Sultan Musyaffarsyah (1707-1715 C.E), The 11th Sultan Indragiri
  15. Raja Ali Mangkubumi Indragiri (1715-1735 C.E), Title: Sultan Zainal Abidin Indragiri, the 12th Sultan Indragiri
  16. Raja Hasan (1735-1765 C.E), Title: Sultan Hasan Salahuddinsyah, the 13th Sultan Indragiri
  17. King Kecil Besar (1765-1784 C.E), Title: Sultan Sunan
  18. Sultan Ibrahim (1784-1815 C.E), The 15th Sultan Indragiri
  19. King Mun (1815-1827 C.E), The 16th Sultan Indragiri
  20. King Umar (1827-1838 C.E), Title: Sultan Berjanggut Kramat, the 17th Sultan Indragiri
  21. King Said (1838-1876 C.E), Title: Sultan Said Mudoyatsyah, the 18th Sultan Indragiri
  22. King Ismail (1876-1877 C.E), Title: Sultan Ismailsyah, the 19th Sultan Indragiri
  23. Tengku Husin (1877-1883 C.E), Title: Sultan Husinsyah, the 20th Sultan Indragiri
  24. Tengku Isa (1887-1903 C.E), Title: Sultan Isa Mudoyatsyah, the 21st Sultan Indragiri
  25. Tengku Mahmud (1912-1963 C.E), Title: Sultan Mahmudsyah, the 22nd Sultan Indragiri

3. Kingdom Period

As stated above, the scarcity of data led to the minimum information about the Indraigiri establishment. However, based on the assumption that first Kingdomship commenced by Merlang King, it is estimated that the length of Indragiri period was about 6 centuries (between the 13th century and the 20th). In total, 25 Kings/Sultans had ever held the reins of Kingdom. The stance of last King of Indragiri Mahmudyah to support the Indonesia independence marked the end of Indragiri. In September 13, 1945, Indonesia flag were fled and raised in the courtyard of Guncho Office.

4. Kingdom Territory

Indragiri Kingdom established suzerainty of large areas which encompassed recent Indragiri Hilir, and other areas in Indragiri Hulu district such as Rengat, Kelayang, Peranap, Baturaja Hulu and Baturaja Hilir.

5. Kingdom Structure

Regulations concerning the kingdom structure were introduced in particular law which was arranged first during Sultanate of Abdul Jalil Syah (often called as Nara Singa) in the 16th century and eventually revised during the sultanate of Salahuddin Kramtasyah. The law was designed to provide framework for kingdom structure, define rights and obligations related to executives, outline the kingdom territories, regulate the ways and forms of judiciary, and recognize the sultanate authority.

In essence, kingdom structure was divided into two categories; Central and local. The local authorities were determined by sultan/king. Respectively, the hierarchy of official ranks was: Sultan (King), Datuk Bendahara, Orang-Orang Kaya, Datuk-Datuk Lorong, Kepala Pucuk Rantau, Batin-Batin, and Qadhi (Judge). There is exceptional position called Amir which usually given to the ruler of conquered region. This structure remained the same until the coming of the Dutch colonialism.             

6. Socio-Cultural Life

In the process of data collecting


  1. Tim Universitas Riau
  2. 2004 Sejarah Riau. Yogyakarta: AdiCita Karya Nusa
  3. Ahmad Yusuf, et all
  4. 1994 Sejarah Kesultanan Indragiri. Pekanbaru: Pemda Tk I Propinsi Riau.
Photo credit: Colection of Mahyudin Al Mudra
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Comment of "indragiri sultanate"

26 Sep 2010. gunaning
Saya sangat suka degan sejarah melayu Riau Untuk kesultanan indragiri tolong kasih referensi kenapa danau di Rengat dinamakan danau Raja,apa ada hubungan sejarah antara danau dengan kerajaan ?,makasih sebelumnya
13 Dec 2012. Datuk Perpatih
Sejarah Raja Indragiri kok dibuat terbalik-balik?..Raja Nara Singa yang kawin dengan putri malaka itu Nara Singa II, tetapi kenapa ditulis tahun (1337-1400)?........tahun 1337 kan malaka belum berdiri lagi?
16 Okt 2014. Muhammad Isnaini
Apa ada hubungan sejarah indragiri dg pagaruyung yg mempunyai pertalian dg negeri sembilan di semenanjung malaysia ? Karena menurut saya hubungan tersebut melalui jalur sungai Indragiri

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