Seri Menanti is the royal capital of the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Situated in the Kuala Pilah district, it houses the seat of the head of state or Yamtuan Besar, the local equivalent of the Sultan. The royal palace is known as "Istana Besar".
A tiny town, other landmarks include the old wooden palace known as Istana Lama, built by Yang di-Pertuan Besar Tuanku Muhammad Shah ibni Almarhum Tuanku Antah (reigned 1888–1933) without the use of a single nail. Seri Menanti Royal Mausoleum, Tuanku Munawir Royal Mosque (Masjid Diraja Tuanku Munawir) and the Seri Menanti Resort are also in Seri Menanti. Among the villages in the area are Kampung Tanah Datar,Kampung Tengah,Kampung Gamin,Kampung Istana Lama,Kampung Sikai,Kampung Buyau,Kampung Batu Hampar,Kampung Mertang Seberang,Kampung Merual,Kampung Galau,Kampung Masjid Terbakar,Kampung Padang Biawas,Kampung Jumbang and Gunung Pasir and many more. It is located about 18 km from Seremban via trunk road Jalan Kuala Pilah-Seremban and make a right turn at a junction at kampung Terachi.From here,4 km drive uphills till you reached the small town call Sri menanti. It consists of a row of wooden shop houses, a Post Office and a Police station nearby.There is also a Klinik Kesihatan and a SRK Sri Menanti and SMK Tunku Besar Burhanuddin. Many traditional Minangkabau houses still standing grand if travel to the inner parts of Sri Menanti into the villages mentioned above.Those who likes driving site seeing can take a drive along the kampong to Senaling about 12 km away and can also be able to Kuala Pilah or towards Tampin with sign board to guide along the roads.
The current Tunku Besar Seri Menanti is Tunku Ali Redhauddin, the eldest son of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir. The title of Tunku Besar Seri Menanti is the most senior of the Putera Yang Empat (Four Princes). This is only the third time in 120 years that the Tunku Besar Seri Menanti has been appointed.
The Minangkabaus were moved to the state of Negeri Sembilan in the 14th century and began to control local politics. Around the 15th century the people of Minangkabau from Rembau explored the current Seri Menanti area. Among them was Datuk Puteh of Pagar Ruyung. According to local literature, the explorers found three stalks of fresh green paddy and thus Datuk Puteh christened the area Padi Menanti (literally awaiting paddy). Over time the name changed to Seri Menanti. It is believed that the word "seri" means the Goddess of rice in the ancient Javanese tradition (in Javanese: Sri).
Raja Melewar arrived in Negeri Sembilan in 1773, installed as king and was proclaimed as the first Yamtuan Besar in Kampung Penajis in Rembau. He later moved his palace to Seri Menanti which remains the royal town of Negeri Sembilan till today.
In February 2009, the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal announced that the Istana Lama Seri Menanti is among ten historical structures in Malaysia gazetted as a national heritage, along with Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur and The Stadthuys in Malacca.
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- "Tunku Ali appointed Tunku Besar Seri Menanti". Bernama. The Star (Malaysia). February 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "The Royal Town of Seri Menanti". Malaysia Story Blog. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "Heritage status for 10 sites". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 2009-02-15.