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House of Mahawangsa

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House of Mahawangsa
وڠسا مهاوڠسا
Wangsa Mahawangsa
Kedah Sultanate
Founded2nd century
FounderMerong Mahawangsa
Current head

House of Mahawangsa is a Malay dynasty founded sometime in 2nd century. It is the current ruling royal house of Kedah. It was founded by a Malay legendary warrior-king Merong Mahawangsa in 120 A.D. in Langkasuka. It is the Malays longest and oldest continuous hereditary monarchies and is also disputed to be the longest and oldest in the world.

Originally, the Mahawangsa's monarchs was a Hindu rather than that of Muslim until 1136, when its last Hindu king Phra Ong Mahawangsa converted to Islam by Sheikh Abdullah Yamani. He styled himself as Sultan Mudzaffar Shah and changed his Kingdom name into Kedah Sultanate.


In Kedah Annals, Merong Mahawangsa is said to be a descendant of dhul-qarnayn (zulkarnain) or Alexander the Great.

According to Kedah Annals, he was said to be a warrior and a ruler of an unknown kingdom. As he didn't stay in a place for long, he travelled across the oceans from kingdom to kingdom but mostly resides in Rome. One day, he set sails with his royal fleet for trading from Rome to China, only to be attacked by a legendary giant phoenix called Garuda. He crashed and land in Golden Chersonese (modern-day Malay Peninsula) on a shore of what is now called Kedah. He decides to establish a state called Langkasuka ('Langkha' meaning 'resplendent land' in Sanskrit, while 'sukkha' meaning 'joy' or 'happiness') with himself as its king of the Kingdom of Langkasuka.

Staying true to what he is, he didn't remain on the throne for very long, and abdicates to his son, Merong Mahapudisat. After Raja Merong Mahapudisat was enthroned, he left the kingdom and set sails again back to Rome. Langkasuka eventually changed its name to Kedah Zamin Turan (Kedah Tua).

Merong Mahapudisat, guided by the advice of his father, decides to divide the kingdom into three, the Kingdom of Siam to his eldest son, the Kingdom of Perak to his second son, and the Kingdom of Pattani to his third son. His youngest son would succeed him as King of Kedah.

After his death, his promised successor, Seri Mahawangsa, succeeded him as King of Kedah. Seri Mahawangsa was said to be the beginning of a tradition of sending "flowers of gold and silver" to the King of Siam, his relative, everytime he had a child. It was the start of a tradition carried out throughout centuries by many Malay sultanates before eventually stopped in late 17th or 18th century.

Raja Seri Mahawangsa dies of a broken heart, upset by his son who disobeyed the orders. His son succeeded him as King of Kedah, styled himself as Raja Seri Maha Inderawangsa. Seri Maha Inderawangsa also styled himself as Raja Ong Maha Perita Deria and was called by the people as Raja Bersiong (Fanged King) due to his canniballistic behavior of drinking human blood, particularly his enemies'. Although he is the successor of Raja Seri Mahawangsa, due to his frightening behavior, the mininters of the kingdom and his people revolted against him. He then fled and exiled to Mount Jerai where he remain hidden and had a son.

Seri Maha Inderawangsa died and Kedah entered a period of turmoil as there are no king to rule them, and the king's son, Phra Ong Mahapudisat, unbeknownst to his royal lineage, stayed with his mother at his mother's village. He was then called to the palace and had his identity revealed (presumably by his mother) and succeed his father as King of Kedah, and styled himself as Raja Phra Ong Mahapudisat.

After Phra Ong Mahapudisat dies, his son, Phra Ong Mahawangsa, succeed him as king. He became Kedah Kingdom last Hindu king. One day, a scholar by the name of Sheikh Abdullah Yamani saw the king about to drink alcohol. He stopped the king and told him of the prohibitions of Islam about drinking. The king was puzzled but intrigued to meet the man of his beliefs. The king then eventually converted to Islam by the scholar and changed his name to Mudzaffar Shah and his kingdom to Kedah Sultanate.

Modern-day sultans of Kedah can trace their lineage to Mudzaffar Shah and thus to Merong Mahawangsa.

In popular culture[edit]

Raja Bersiong was a 1968 Malay-language film based on the legend of the sixth monarch and his alleged cannibalism.

A 2011 epic action adventure film loosely based on Merong Mahawangsa's myth was produced by KRU Studios titled Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (also known by its international title The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines), directed by Yusry Abdul Halim.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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