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Sardar-I-Azam, Prince Abdol Majid Mirza of Qajar Persia c. 1920s. Ein-oddole.jpg
Sardar-I-Azam , Prince Abdol Majid Mirza of Qajar Persia c. 1920s.
Pakistani President Sardar Ayub Khan and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with the prized gelding "Sardar". Jackiesardar.JPG
Pakistani President Sardar Ayub Khan and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with the prized gelding "Sardar".
Grand Vizier Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, the last Ottoman Serdar-i Azam. Ahmed Tevfik Pasha chair.jpg
Grand Vizier Ahmet Tevfik Pasha, the last Ottoman Serdar-ı Azam.
Serdar Janko Vukotic of the Principality and Kingdom of Montenegro. Brigadir Janko Vukotic.jpg
Serdar Janko Vukotić of the Principality and Kingdom of Montenegro.

Sardar (Persian : سردار, Persian pronunciation:  [særˈdɑr] , 'commander', literally 'headmaster'), also spelled as Sirdar, Sardaar, Shordar or Serdar, is a title of nobility that was originally used to denote princes, noblemen, and other aristocrats. It has also been used to denote a chief or leader of a tribe or group. It is used as a Persian synonym of the Arabic title Emir .


The term and its cognates originate from Persian sardār ( سردار ) and have been historically used across Persia (Iran), the Ottoman Empire and Turkey (as "Serdar"), Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Syria, South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal), the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Balkans and Egypt (as "Sirdar"). [2]

The term sardar was used by Sikh leaders and generals who held important positions in various Sikh Misls of the Sikh Empire. The sardar is still used by Sikhs widely. In India and its neighbouring countries, respected Sikh males are called sardars. Sardar was also used to refer to generals of the Maratha Empire. After the decline of feudalism, sardar later indicated a Head of State, a Commander-in-chief, and an army military rank. As a military rank, a sardar typically marked the Commander-in-Chief or the highest-ranking military officer in an army, akin to the modern Field Marshal, General of the Army or Chief of Army. The more administrative title Sirdar-Bahadur denoted a Governor-General or Chief Minister of a remote province, akin to a British Viceroy.

In Himalayan mountaineering, a sirdar is a local leader of the Sherpas. [3] Among other duties, he records the heights reached by each Sherpa, which factors into their compensation.




Head of state

Military title

A Sikh sardar A Sikh sardar.jpg
A Sikh sardar
Bhakti Thapa, a Gorkhali Sardar Bhakti Thapa Sardar.jpg
Bhakti Thapa, a Gorkhali Sardar

Modern usage

See also

Related Research Articles

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Peshwa Title of the leader of the Maratha Empire

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  1. "Jackie Kennedy receives horse from governor of Pakistan - Mar 23, 1962 -". Archived from the original on 2016-03-17.
  2. 1 2 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sirdar"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 25 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 154.
  3. Sayre, Woodrow Wilson (1964). Four Against Everest . Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Prentice-Hall. Library of Congress Catalog Card No: 64-15208 223.
  4. "Royal Kapurthala Dynasty History".
  5. Cummings, Sally N. (2010). Symbolism and Power in Central Asia: Politics of the Spectacular. Milton, United Kingdom: Routledge. pp. 91–92. ISBN   978-0415575676.
  6. "What is a Sardar?". The Sardar Co. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  7. Sayre, Woodrow Wilson (1964). Four Against Everest . Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Prentice-Hall. p.  223. Library of Congress Catalog Card No: 64-15208.