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MeaningHolder of four; four-way duties; four responsibilities
Region of originIndian subcontinent
Other names
Variant form(s)Chaudhary, Chaudri, Choudhary, Chaudhry, Chowdary, Chowdhary, Chaudry, Choudary, Choudhry, Chaudhuri, Chaudhari, Chudhry, Choudhari, Choudhury, Chowdhuri, Chowduri, Chaudhurani, Choudhurani, Chowdhurani, Chowdhrani, Choudhrani, Chaudhrani.

Chowdhury is a title of honour, usually hereditary, originating from the Indian subcontinent.[1][better source needed] It is an adaption from Sanskrit. During the Mughal rule, it was a title awarded to eminent people, while during British rule, the term was associated with zamindars and social leaders. The common female equivalent was Chowdhurani.[2] Many landlords under the Permanent Settlement carried this surname.[citation needed] Land reforms after the partition of India abolished the permanent settlement.[citation needed] In modern times, the term is a common South Asian surname for both males and females.[citation needed]

Meaning and significance

"Chowdhury" is a term adapted from the Sanskrit word caturdhara, literally "holder of four" (four denoting a measure of land, from chatur ("four") and dhara ("holder" or "possessor")).[3][unreliable source?] The name is a Sanskrit term denoting the head of a community or caste.[4][5][failed verification][unreliable source?] It was a title awarded to persons of eminence, including both Muslims and Hindus, during the Mughal Empire. It was also used as a title by military commanders responsible for four separate forces, including the cavalry, navy, infantry and elephant corps.[4] These people belonged to the zamindar families in British India.[6][verification needed]


In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the titular Rajas of the Bohmong Circle and Mong Circle have the surname Chowdhury.[7][8][9][10]

The Bengali Muslim Mirashdars[note 1] living in the former Kachari Kingdom were given titles by the Kachari Raja, which in modern-day acts as a surname for them.[12]

In Bihar, the Pasi are also known as the Chaudhary, a community traditionally connected with toddy tapping.[13]

Many Marwaris coming from Agarwal and Maheshwari sub community also use surname as Choudhary or Chaudhary.

Alternate spellings

Its alternate spellings include: Chaudhary, Chaudri, Choudhary, Chaudhry, Chowdary, Chowdhary, Chaudry, Choudary, Choudhry, Chaudhuri, Chaudhari, Chudhry, Choudhari, Choudhury, Chowdhuri and Chowdury.[4] The female equivalent is Chaudhurani and alternate spellings include: Choudhurani, Chowdhurani, Chowdhrani, Choudhrani, Chaudhrani.

Notable people






United Kingdom

United States


Fictional characters


  1. ^ Mirashdar is a term referring to a landowner who pays taxes directly to the government.[11]


  1. ^ "How well do you know about the origins of some Indian Occupational Surnames?". TheBizdom. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  2. ^ Karim, Elita (1 August 2008). "A Dedicated Educationist". History. Star Weekend Magazine.
  3. ^ "Chaudhury Name Meaning & Chaudhury Family History at".
  4. ^ a b c Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates, Peter McClure (2016). The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press. p. 501. ISBN 9780192527479.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Campbell, Mike. "User-submitted surname Choudhry". Behind the Name. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  6. ^ The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, Volume 51. Anthropology Survey of India. 2002. p. 204.
  7. ^ "InsideStoryEventsMaster - Raj Punyah Ceremony Held Both in Bandarban..."
  8. ^ "Saching Prue new Mong King". The Daily Star. 18 January 2009.
  9. ^ "Feature: 'Kingdom' system in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts still in force". 15 December 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  10. ^ "UNPO: Chittagong Hill Tracts: Stalemate For Land Commission".
  11. ^ Laskar, Nitish Ranjan (1985). Mahishya Das of Cachar and their Social Background. Proceedings of North East India History Association. North East India History Association. p. 456.
  12. ^ E M Lewis (1868). "Cachar District: Statement No. XVIII: Glossary of Local Terms". Principal Heads of the History and Statistics of the Dacca Division. Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press Company. pp. 406–408.
  13. ^ People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 759 to 765 Seagull Books
  14. ^ Ahuja, M. L. (2000). Handbook of General Elections and Electoral Reforms in India, 1952-1999. Mittal Publications. pp. 302, 340. ISBN 9788170997665.
  15. ^ Abbasi, Talha. "Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan". Pakistani Leaders Online. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  16. ^ Hossain, Anowar (2003). Muslim women's struggle for freedom in colonial Bengal: (1873-1940). Progressive Publishers. p. 266. ISBN 9788180640308.