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.Tal was part of the princely state of Jaora, ruled by the sisodiya chief.The princely state was ruled by the Dodia clan which holds the title "Rawat". Before independence the rule was under Rawat Shri Shambhu Singh ji(Tal).Rawat Shri Shambhu Singh ji had five son namely Late Kr Yogendra Singh ,Late Kr Kamal Singh,Late Kr Shiv Raj Singh , Present Kr Vikram Singh and Late Kr Kishor Singh
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.