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Deshmukh or desmukh ,a Maratha Kshatriya' was a historical title given to a person who was granted a territory of land, in certain regions of India, specifically Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In Marathi, desh means a country (district) and mukh means head; thus, "deshmukh" (Marathi: देशमुख}) means "the head" of a district.[1] The granted territory was usually referred to as the deshmukhi. The deshmukh was the ruler of the territory, as he was entitled to the collected taxes. It was also his duty to maintain the basic services in the territory, such as police and judicial duties. It was typically a hereditary system. The title of Deshmukh provided the titled family with revenues from the area and the responsibility to keep the order. For this reason, Deshmukh is loosely translated as 'patriot' and the name still commands respect today. Depending on the extent of the estate, the title is most equivalent of a count or duke, within the European aristocratic system.

Deshmukh as a surname[edit]

Notable people with this surname include:


  1. ^ J. G. Duff, A history of Mahratta Vol 1, p. 39
  2. ^ "Deshmukh & Co.(Publishers) Pvt. Ltd.". PuneCityMag. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 

See also[edit]


  • Dora and Gadi: Manifestation of Landlord Domination in Telangana, I. Thirumali, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 27, No. 9 (Feb. 29, 1992), pp. 477–482

See also[edit]