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Surname, Title of Honour

Patil (Marathi: पाटील, Kannada: ಪಾಟೀಲ, Telugu: పాటిల) (meaning "head" or "chief") is an Indian title or surname. Territory granted to the Patil is usually referred to as the patilki or watandar. The Patil is in effect the ruler of this territory as he was entitled to the revenues collected therefrom. Many Patils were warriors in the Maratha army. Patil is also a surname in Maratha. In addition to that 'Patil' is also surname in Deshashta Rugvedi Brahmins (Maharashtrians).

"Patil" is predominantly used by the Deccan, Vidarbha and Maratha people of Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Telangana parts of Andhra Pradesh). The native language of most Patils is predominantly either Marathi or Kannada. Traditionally, Patils had assistants such as the talati or kulkarni to assist them with the clerical work involved in the collection of revenue in their areas of control.


Different scholars have suggested different theories about the origin of the word Patil.

'Patil' meant 'group' or "branch" during the regime of Mahmud Begada. 'Patt'barhate meant "part of the land" and 'Patidar' meant "Tax Collector". 'Patil' meant "chief of the village".[1]

The word Patil could also have derived from 'Patilki'. 'Patu' means "clever", and "patta" means "chief". The person who established the village used to become Patil. Patil used to become known, because of village recognition. Patil was not a government post or self occupied post. Virtues and works of the person used to make him a Patil. Later on this post became hereditary. Patil became the Village King and later received Government honor, even after receiving many posts. The Sardars means "soldiers" who did not give up Patilship. In some places Patils are known as 'Mokaddam' or 'Mukadam' meaning is Chief Man (King of Village).

A man who bought his relatives and opened land became the Patil or the village chief. He in essence, owned the village land and granted it to others. A Patil generally owned about 30-40 percent of land in the village. His job was to collect revenue from the entire village and submit it to the royal treasury. He not only acted as a revenue officer but as a judicial head in the village, as the chieftain of the village.Besides this the Patil was responsible for the defence of the village, tracing every crime in the village and provide protection to the village. The Patil was also awarded with rent free lands or "Inam"(Reward). A Patil also received Patilkis (village chief rights).

Among prominent Patils were the Royal Bhonsle (or Bhosle) family. Shivaji Maharaj's grandfather Maloji Bhosle was a Patil of villages near Daund in Pune and verul (ellora) near Aurangabad.

The term "Police Patil" was used by the East India Company, but it is not related to the Watandar Patils that were granted territory by Shivaji Maharaj or Mughals and Aadils.


In Maharashtra, a majority of Patils belong to the Hindu religion, specifically 96 kuli Maratha caste or Suryavanshi Kshatriya caste. Patil is a common surname in Maharashtra and generally assumed as a person is well educated and belonged to prosperous family background. Few Patils belong to Muslim religion may named as Patil or Mukadam, mostly in Konkan and Western Maharashtra.

In Karnataka, some of the Patils are Lingayat which is also a dominant political caste considered important in the state of Karnataka. Some Patils belong to the Jain religion as well across both states.

Influence in society[edit]

Generally, Patils are considered as respectful people in society because of inborn leadership qualities, healthy social relationships and economic prosperity. Many Patils have achieved top positions in social, political and cultural fields in society.

Patils have predominant political powers in the state of Maharashtra and many hold important political offices in the state.

Patils can be seen behind growth of educational institutes across nation. Some notable examples are institutes established by Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil:Rayat Education Society, Padmashree.Dr.D.Y.Patil : DY Patil university, Vasantdada Patil : Padmbhooshan Vasantdada Patil Institute of Technology etc.

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Notable Patils[edit]

For the Harry Potter characters see: