The raj was the period in history when the British Empire ruled over a region of South Asia that includes the modern countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
In Hindi, raj means "rule" or "kingdom." Britain's control over the Indian subcontinent during the 19th and 20th centuries was officially known as British India, but it was commonly referred to as "the British Raj" or simply "the Raj." The raj officially began in 1858, and it lasted through 1947 when the region was split into two sovereign states, India and Pakistan. Today the former raj consists of five independent nations.