Bara Katra in Dhaka, Bangladesh, built by Mughal Emperors and Talukdars

The Talukdars or Talukders (Assamese: তালুকদাৰ, Bengali: তালুকদার, Hindi: तालुक़दार, Urdu: تعلقدار‎) (from Arabic ta'alluq, "attachment " + dar "land owner"), were aristocrats who formed the ruling class during the Mughal and British times. They were owner of vast amount of lands, consistently hereditary,[1][2] and were responsible for collecting taxes. The Taluqdars played helpful roles in the progression of Indian architecture and Indian economy during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, particularly in Bengal Subah, the most economically developed province in South Asia.[3][4][5]

Being powerful peers, similar to those of Europe in the Middle Ages, the common procedure for Taluqdaris were to withstand the revenue collectors of the Colonial Powers while also bringing given number of villages under their dominion, and thus, according to many historians, the rapid development and enhancing power and wealth of the Taluqdaris during the early 19th century caused tremendous difficulties and concerns to British East India Company.[note 1] The majority of the Taluqdaris constructed themselves enormous mud fortified towers throughout tropical forests and maintained immense bodies of armed affinities.[6]

The historical equivalent in Britain is similar to a member of the landed aristocracy, or perhaps a Lord of the Manor.[7] In contemporary usage, the term is often regarded as a noble tribe and clan[8][failed verification] although it may convey somewhat diverse meanings in different parts of the Indian subcontinent.[9]

Kinds of TaluqdarsEdit

(1) A tax collector with administrative power over a district of several villages in Punjab, Rajasthan, East Bengal (presently Bangladesh), and rest of North India/United Provinces.

(2) An official and civil servant in Hyderabad State during the British colonial era, equivalent to a magistrate and tax collector.

(3) A landholder with peculiar tenures in various other parts of British India.

(4) Landholders dividing taxes for the Zamindars in East Bengal (now Bangladesh).


The district or estate ruled by a Taluqdar was known as talukdari or taluqdari. According to the Punjab settlement report of 1862, great land holders were appointed Taluqdars over a number of villages during the Mughal era. That Taluq or district usually comprised over 84 villages and a central town. The Talukdar was required to collect taxes, maintain law & order, and provide military supplies/manpower to the provincial government (similar to the role of feudal lords in Europe). In most cases the Talukdars were entitled to keep one tenth of the collected revenue. However, some privileged Talukdars were entitled to one quarter and hence were called Chaudhry, which literally means owner of the fourth part.

In Rajasthan, Kathiawar and Bengal, a talukdar was next only to a Raja in extent of land control and social status; but in Punjab and the United Provinces talukdars were much more powerful and were directly under the provincial governor. The late Mughal era saw the rise of powerful talukdars in Oudh, northern India, such as Balrampur,[10] Bhadri,[11] Arkha, Nanpara and Itaunja who seldom paid any collected revenue to the central government and became virtual rulers of their districts. Similarly, in northern Punjab, the talukdars of Dhanni, Gheb and Kot were extremely powerful.[verification needed]

Interestingly, the Taluqdars of Sylhet District (Bangladesh) played second fiddle to no one. Namely the Taluqdars of Shiekhpur, Balagoinj and Fenchugoinj who enjoyed total power, influence and authority they became Nawabs and Maharajas (Imperial, Royal and Noble rank) in absolute terms.[citation needed]

Eighteenth century Bengal witnessed the rise of great territorial land holders at the expense of smaller landholders who were reduced to the status of dependent taluqdars, required to pay their revenue to the government through the intermediary of the great landlords called rais, ranas, rajas and maharajas. However many old taluqdars paid revenues to government directly and were as powerful as the Rajas.[verification needed]

Hyderabad StateEdit

During the Rule of the Nizams in Hyderabad State the top of the administrator / tax revenue collector hierarchy was the Subedar who had responsibility for the largest divisions of the country i.e. (the Princely State of Hyderabad) of which there were five. Below this rank, the official title of the lower division (i.e. subdivisions of five above) post holder was Tehsildar and below that rank of Taluqdar, so in effect it could be equated to the three tier ranking from province administrator to county administrator to district administrator in size from the largest to smallest. These are further divided into villages, under a Village officer.

Today, the names Talukdar and Choudhry (with variations in spelling) are common in India and in Indians settled overseas among the descendants of those who held this rank or role in times past.

Notable TalukdarsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Zastoupil, Lynn (2006). John Stuart Mill And India. California, USA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804766173.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Taluqdars". Administration of Justice Under the Nizams, 1724-1948. State Archives, Andhra Pradesh. 1988.
  4. ^ M. Shahid Alam (2016). Poverty From The Wealth of Nations: Integration and Polarization in the Global Economy since 1760. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-333-98564-9.
  5. ^ Om Prakash, "Empire, Mughal", History of World Trade Since 1450, edited by John J. McCusker, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference US, 2006, pp. 237–240, World History in Context. Retrieved 3 August 2017
  6. ^ Gupta, Gautam. 1857 THE UPRISING. 8123022994.
  7. ^ "A chronic inability of taluqdars to meet the revenue demands". Economic and Political Weekly. II. 1997.
  8. ^ Sisson, Richard; Wolpert, Stanley, eds. (2006) [First published 1988]. Congress and Indian Nationalism: The Pre-independence Phase. University of California Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-520-06041-8. taluqdar: large landlord in UP
  9. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Talukdar" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 386.
  10. ^ Balrampur (Taluqdari)
  11. ^ Bhadri (Taluq)