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Thakur (Indian title)

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Thakur (Indian title)

Thakur is a feudal title used by various Indian communitites.


The title was used by rulers of the princely states(videshi origin)of Ambliara, Bakrol Limbdi Malia, Sayala, Bhavnagar, Lakhtar, Miyagam, Manadar, Siba, Dhrol, Rajkot, Virpur, Sathamba, Morbi, Varsoda, Vala, Gad Boriad, Gadhka, Gabat, Kankarwa, Rajpur, Gondal, Kotda Sangani, Shahpur, Deesa, Kotharia, Lodhika Senior, Lodhika Junior, Gavridad, Rajpara, Jaola, Dundlod, Ghanerao, Bissau, Tana, Gana, in addition to others.[1] Thakur was originally used by Rajputs and "Thakur Sahib" was the feudal title used by the rulers of many princely states in India. "Thakur" can be written in front of a male or female's name (male = Thakur/female = Thakurani)—that is, "Thakur Vijay Singh"—but in some states, the "Thakur" must be written after the name and only the eldest member of the family can use "Thakur" in front of his/her name; for example, "Thakur Sher Singh Rana" (the first word contain the title "Thakur"; "Sher" is the name of the person; "Singh" is the middle name of the person; and the last name reflects the clan (or "kulas") of the person.

  • In the census report of Punjab 1883 by denzil ibbetson sulehria a major tribe of Thakur settled in border area of Jammu, Kashmir
  • In Bihar land owning brahmins like Maithil Brahmins and Bhumihar Brahmin use this surname.This surname is also present among Landlord kayastha . Thakur is also used by barbers in an apparent case of appropriating a dominant-caste surname (last name) just like Singh, traditionally associated with Rajputs, was taken over by many other lower castes.
  • Thakur families that belong to the Maratha Kshatriya caste exist in Maharashtra and Goa.[10]
  • In the Bihari language, "Thakur Ji" is also the name of a Hindi god Vishnu.

The greatest number of Thakurs is present in the states of, Rajastahn, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.


Thakur (ঠাকুর) is a Bengali surname derived from 'Thakurmashai' (holy sir) for any Bengali brahmins and also for someone of high spiritual esteem. Thakur can also be known as a title of respect for any member of the Kayastha caste. The surname was given out of respect for any Brahmin family earlier who used to hold a different title (surname) like Kushari, Banerjee,[11][12][13][14][15] Bhattacharya etc. In English, it was Anglicized to "Tāgore". Thakur is also an Indian feudal and colonial title in Hindi.


A prominent Ahmadi Muslim Thakur family resides in Kotli, Kashmir.[10]

Princely ruler titles

Since feudal times, Thakur, meaning "Lord," was the Hindi title (below Raja) for the hereditary ruler of a princely state who was usually born of the bloodlines of the Rajput clan; this is particularly the case in western India.

Thakur is the usual rendition of "Thakore" 'Thakar' in northern and central parts of India. The Bengali form, Tāgore, is a derived surname.

Nominal thakur

The following non-salute states (and probably several others) were ruled by a Thakur; in some cases, a later promotion (to a higher rank) occurred—this is done on either a personal basis or an official basis, whereby a permanent upgrade of status is deemed by the state:

Compound titles

Thakar Sahibs ("Sir Lord") was a loftier title, and was used until the establishment of an independent Indian nation—sovereignty was achieved through a process of accession by the rulers of the following four salute states (the official elite among the British Crown's Indian vassals):

In the following salute state, a higher title was assumed prior to India's independence:

The following non-salute states have been ruled by a Thakar sahib or Thakur sahib until India's independence (list probably incomplete):

Other Thakore sahibs (holder or master) were those in Amod, Gogha, Gondar, Kharia (in Jaisalmer), Kerwada and Khadal, Khirasra, Kotda-Sangani, Lakhtar, Mahlog, Malia, Mansa, Mengni (in Rajkot), Muliby, Ranapur, Ranpur, Sejakpur, Vala, Vanod (now in Gujarat) and Virpur.

Thakur Shri (with the politically meaningless suffix Shri) was used in the following non-salute states:

In southern-India (Deccan region and other dynasties) had Thakoor. They were considered to be brave Kshatriyas, some even ruled dynasties. They worshipped the Lord of skunda. They as rulers of south India established a strong kingdom. As their titles they were fearless and non-dependent.

Other uses

  • Thakur is not a caste or religion, but rather an identity; the word is self-assigned by wealthy members in villages, such as landlords, and is placed before an individual's name—such individuals hold a high standing in their villages (this position is in terms of ensuring that justice is served on behalf of their people). These individuals claim to be descendants from a good Kshtriya family, such as the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty or the sometimes referred to the Kushan Empire in the north-west. The word is derived from the blessings that farmers would pass onto the owners of the land that they used, who were grateful to be able to feed their families—land owners were like "God" to the farmers, so they applied the term "Thakur".
  • In Gujarat Koli kshathriya caste also used this surnames|Koli]] / Thakarda etc. Use of Kshatria Thakor word (Deshastha kshathriyas)
  • As a formal title, Thakur was also often used for non-ruling noblemen (either with an estate or merely honorary).
  • In Jodhpur (in Rajasthan), until the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singhji, the title of Maharaj was inheritable by all legitimate males for three generations; this later became seven generations to conform with Rajput marriage customs—the sons' titles are stylised as "Rajkumar" during their father's lifetime, and "Maharaj" afterwards. Those members of the eighth generation, and beyond, inherit.
  • In Tripura, members of the royal family were known as "Thakurs".[16]
  • Thakurdas - stands for thakur das (means Disciple of God Thakur/Lord Krishna) - is a title carried by the followers of deity Krishna, hence its "Thakurdas". The Peshwa gave this title as a family name (see, the leading cotton industrialist Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas).


In Kerala, the term "Thakore" was not used and Madampi, Eshmanan and Thirumukom were used instead. These titles were often affixed to people of the Nair subcastes, such as Pillai, Nayanar, Nambiar and Unnithan, who were feudal landlords or jenmis.

Related terms

  • A "Thikana" is the state or estate of a Thakur.
  • A "Thakurani" is the title for a Thakur's wife.

See also


  1. ^ Christopher Buyers (2001–2008). "India – Salute States". salute. Christopher Buyers. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ The Rajputs of Saurashtra By Virbhadra Singhji pg 61
  3. ^ a b Ramchandra Keshav Mutatkar (1978). "Ramchandra Keshav Mutatkar". Anthropology. Shubhada-Saraswat. p. 165. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  4. ^ The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. Forgotten Books. pp. 33–. ISBN . Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Edward Balfour (1871). Cyclopædia of India and of eastern and southern Asia, commercial, industrial and scientific: products of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures. Scottish and Adelphi Presses. pp. 2–. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Sir Roper Lethbridge (1 Jan 2005). "The Golden Book of India: A Genealogical and Biographical Dictionary of the Ruling Princes, Chiefs, Nobles, and Other Personages, Titled Or Decorated of the Indian Empire". India. Aakar Books. p. 371. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Mishra, Jai Prakash (1982). The Bundela Rebellion. Sundeep. 
  8. ^ a b Ranabir Samaddar (11 Apr 2009). "State of Justice In India: Issues of Social Justice (Google eBook)". Social Science. SAGE Publications India. p. 44. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Anima Sharma (2005). Tribe in Transition: A Study of Thakur Gonds (Google eBook). Mittal Publications. p. 369. ISBN . 
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ Tagore, Rathindranath (December 1978). On the edges of time (New ed.). Greenwood Press. p. 2. ISBN . 
  12. ^ Mukherjee, Mani Shankar (May 2010). "Timeless Genius". Pravasi Bharatiya: 89, 90. 
  13. ^ Banerjee, Hiranmay (1995). Tagores of Jorasanko. Gyan Publishing House. 
  14. ^ RoyChowdhury, Sumitra (1982). The Gurudev and the Mahatma. Subhada-Saraswata Publications. p. 29. 
  15. ^ Aruna Chakravarti, Sunil Gangopadhyaya. Those Days. pp. 97–98. ISBN . 
  16. ^ Sociological perspectives on globalisation By Ajaya Kumar Sahoo p.128

External links

  • J.T.Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Hindi
  • The Royal Ark- site on the genealogies of the Royal and ruling houses of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas
  • Princely States of India: A-J
  • Princely States of India: K-W
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