|Regions with significant populations|
|• India • Nepal|
|• Urdu • Hindi • Bhojpuri|
|• Islam 100% •|
|Related ethnic groups|
|• Khanzada • Muslim Rajput • Malik|
The Thakurai are said to have originated in Rajasthan, and were converted to Islam during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. They were soldiers in the Mughal army that was sent to pacify Bihar. Their ancestor was a Mahabat Khan, who was a Sisodia Rajput of Mewar, who converted to Islam. They are now found in fifty three villages in East and West Champaran District, and also have a presence in neighbouring Terai region of Nepal. The word Thakurai literally means lord, and originates from the Hindi term Thakur. They speak Bhojpuri, Urdu and Hindi and are Sunni Muslims. The community perceives itself as being Rajput, and their customs are similar to other Muslim Rajputs of the Bihar region, such as the Khanzada of Bhojpur, but there is no intermarriage between the two groups.
The Thakurai are divided into a number of lineages, the main ones being Bakcha, Bharadwaj, Chauhan, Kuchbaria, Mahdwar, and Nafran. They are strictly endogamous, but do not practice clan exogamy. Marriages take place within the close kin group. The community are still largely farmers, and at one time were substantial landowners. They are now undergoing urbanization which is likely to have an impact on group identity. There are fairly influential in north Bihar, and historically dominated Muslim communal politics in this region. They are found mainly in and near the towns of Raxaul, Rangarwa, Sagauli, Adapur, Nakerdehi, and Amudehi.
- People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part One edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 924 to 927 Seagull Books