Mughal (tribe)
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Mughal Tribe
Members of the Mughal royal family of Delhi, 1860s.jpg
A photo from The People of India, published from 1868 to the early 1870s by W. H. Allen Ltd, for the India Office.
Regions with significant populations
South Asia[]
o Urdu o Persian (formerly) o
oIslam o Animism
Related ethnic groups
o Turkic peoples o Mongol peoples

The Mughals (Persian: ???; Urdu: ??; Arabic: ??, also spelled Moghul or Mogul) are a number of culturally related clans of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.[1] They are descended from the various Central Asian Mongolic[2] tribes that settled in the region.[1] The term Mughal (or Mughul in Persian) literally means Mongolian.[3]

History and origin

The third Mughal Emperor Akbar leads his armies during the Siege of Ranthambore in the year 1569.
Mughal warriors practicing horseback archery. (Akbarnama)

During the time of the Mongol Empire in the 13-14th century, the army of Genghis Khan swept across Central Asia and into Persia. Over subsequent centuries, descendants of these soldiers inter-married with Persian and Turkish Muslims, converted to Islam, and adopted the Persian language and culture. Conflict between India and the Mongols has been recorded from the time of Genghis Khan to Timur to Babur. The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526) faced nearly annual Mongol onslaughts from 1297 to 1303 when the Doab was sacked, and what is now Pakistan was under continual Mongol occupation. Indian and Indo-Persian sources referred to the invaders as Mughal, derived from Mongol. During the 16th century, the Turko-Mongol conqueror Babur brought most of northern India under Mughal rule, establishing an empire that would endure until the mid-19th century. As the ruling class, the Mughals lived mainly in cities along with other Muslims. They were traditionally known for their skill at horsemanship, archery, wrestling, and a meat-heavy diet.[4]

In North India

In North India, the term Mughal refers to one of the four social groups that are referred to as the Ashraaf.[5]


In Haryana, the Mughal tribes that exist are the communities of the Garda people. The Garda communities are predominantly Sunni Muslim. They marry within their own communities and to other Sunni Garda Muslims .They Historically worked in the Mughal army and immigrated into India. Presently Garda people own plots of land, and are farmers or landowners.[6]

Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh (UP), their main clans are the Chagatai, Mughal, Barlas, Douli, Qazilbash, Tajik, Kai and Chak. The Mughals of Uttar Pradesh belong to both the Sunni and Shia sects, with the majority belonging to the Sunni Hanafi sect. Sunni Mughals are usually orthodox in their religious outlook. The Shia Mughals of Awadh trace their entry into the region to the year 1750. The Mughals of UP are an endogamous community, marrying within their own community, or in communities of a similar status such as the Pathan and Muslim Rajput. The rural Mughals are farmers, and many own orchards, especially mango orchards, while in towns they are engaged in trade, handicrafts, and carpet weaving. Carpet weaving is an activity particularly associated with the UP Mughals.[7]


The city of Delhi has always been associated with the Mughals, being the seat of the Mughal dynasty that ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent for three centuries. Their settlements in Old Delhi date back to the 16th century when the first Mughal courtiers arrived with Babar. The Taimuri clan claims direct descent from the Mughal dynasty. Other sub-groups include the Chagatai, Changezi, Barlas, and Douli, Bakhst and Qazilbash. A large number of Mughals from old Delhi emigrated to Pakistan at partition. A small rump community is left in Delhi. They are still an endogamous community, marrying among themselves, or on occasions with communities of a similar status, such the Sayyid and Pathan. The Taimuri are Sunni, while the Qazilbash and Turkmen are Shia.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dictionary Of Geography. Wisconsin: Houghton Mifflin. 1997. ISBN 0-395-86448-8. 
  2. ^ Liz Wyse and Caroline Lucas (1997). Atlas Of World History. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset. 
  3. ^ Collins Compact Dictionary. Glasgow: HarperCollins. 2002. ISBN 0-00-710984-9. 
  4. ^ John Keay (2000). India: A History. New Delhi: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255717-7. 
  5. ^ Muslim Caste in Uttar Pradesh (A Study of Culture Contact), Ghaus Ansari, Lucknow, 1960
  6. ^ People of India: Haryana (Volume XXIII), page 439. Manohar Publishers and Distributors
  7. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 986 to 990 Manohar Publications
  8. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T. Ghosh & S. Nath pp. 485-489, Manohar Publications

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