Once upon a time, Pahang was known by various names. The Chinese authors called it Pang-Hang, Peng-Heng, Pang-Heng, Pong-Fong, Phe-Hang, and Pang-Kang, to name a few. In 1225, Chao Ju Kua wrote a book titled Chu-Fan-Chin, in which it was stated that among the many states governed by San-Fo-Chi was Peng-keng – the modern Pahang Darul Makmur as we know it today.
The ancient Arabs and the Europeans also called it in various names such as Pam, Pan, Phang, Paan, Pao, Paon, Phaan, Paham, Fanhan, Phang and Pahagh. A renowned historian, G. R. Tibbetts, suggested that the book written by Mas’udi in Arabic made direct reference to Pahang. He preferred to pronounce the word Fanjab as Fanhan, Panghang or Panhang, all of which refer to the term Pahang. There are also others who strongly suggested that the word Pahang originated from a Siamese word, meaning tin. The traditional Siamese used to live here and opened up a lot of tin mines especially around the Lembing River area.
According to the ancient Malays, once upon a time in a place by the Pahang River which was directly located opposite Kamebahang village, a huge Mahang tree fell across the river. The legends have it that the fallen mahang tree had been the source of the name Pahang Darul Makmur state is today. The old nickname for Pahang was Inderapura, which made up Pahang Inderapura. Its capital was Pekan and its royal town, which has remained until today, is Pekan. It was known as Pura before the times of the glorious Melayu Melaka.