The name of the town is derived from the Malvi word Talav that means pond. The town is popularly believed to be built by reclaiming land from a large pond.The princely state was ruled by the strong Dodia clan which holds the title "Rawat". Before independence the rule was under Rawat Shri Shambhu Singh ji(Tal).
As of 2001[update] India census, Tal had a population of 13,073. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Tal has an average literacy rate of 58%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 67%, and female literacy is 48%. In Tal, 17% of the population is under 6 years of age.