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A tehsil (Hindustani pronunciation: [tɛɦsiːl] , also known as tahsil, taluk, or taluka) is a local unit of administrative division in India and Pakistan. It is a subdistrict of the area within a district including the designated populated place that serves as its administrative centre, with possible additional towns, and usually a number of villages. [1] The terms in India have replaced earlier terms, such as pargana ( pergunnah ) and thana . [2]


In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a newer unit called mandal (circle) has come to replace the tehsil system. It is generally smaller than a tehsil, and is meant for facilitating local self-government in the panchayat system. [3] In West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, community development blocks are the empowered grassroots administrative unit, replacing tehsils.

Tehsil office is primarily tasked with land revenue administration, besides election and executive functions. It is the ultimate executive agency for land records and related administrative matters. The chief official is called the tehsildar or, less officially, the talukdar or taluka muktiarkar. Tehsil or taluk can be considered sub-districts in the Indian context. In some instances, tehsils overlap with "blocks" (panchayat union blocks or panchayat development blocks or cd blocks) and come under the land and revenue department, headed by the tehsildar; and blocks come under the rural development department, headed by the block development officer and serve different government administrative functions over the same or similar geographical area. [4]

Although they may on occasion share the same area with a subdivision of a revenue division, known as revenue blocks, the two are distinct. For example, Raipur district in Chhattisgarh state is administratively divided into 13 tehsils and 15 revenue blocks. [5] Nevertheless, the two are often conflated.


India, as a vast country, is subdivided into many states and union territories for administrative purposes. Further divisions of these states are known as districts. These districts (zila/zilla) are again divided into many subdivisions, viz tehsils or taluks. These subdivisions are again divided into gram panchayats or village panchayats. [6] Initially, this was done for collecting land revenue and administration purposes. But now these subdivisions are governed in tandem with other departments of government like education, agriculture, irrigation, health, police, etc. The different departments of state government generally have offices at tehsil or taluk level to facilitate good governance and to provide facilities to common people easily.[ citation needed ]


In India, the term tehsil is commonly used in all northern states. In Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, taluka or taluk is more common. [7] In Eastern India, instead of tehsils, the term Subdivision is used in Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as large parts of Northeast India (Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura). In Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, they are called circle.

Tehsil/tahsil and taluk/taluka and the variants are used as English words without further translation. Since these terms are unfamiliar to English speakers outside the subcontinent, the word county has sometimes been provided as a gloss, on the basis that a tehsil, like a county, is an administrative unit hierarchically above the local city, town, or village, but subordinate to a larger state or province. India and Pakistan have an intermediate level of hierarchy (or more than one, at least in parts of India): the district, also sometimes translated as county. In neither case is the analogy very exact.

Organization setup

Tehsildar is the chief or key government officer of each tehsil or taluka. [8] In some states different nomenclature like talukdar, mamledar, amaldar, mandal officer is used. In many states of India, the tehsildar functions as the executive magistrate of that tehsil. Each tehsil will have an office called tehsil office or tehsildar office at a designated place within tehsil area known as tehsil headquarters. Tehsildar is the incharge of tehsil office. This is similar to district office or district collector at district level.

Throughout India, there is a three-tier local body/Panchayat system within the state. At the top is the zila/zilla panchayat (parishad). Taluka/mandal panchayat/panchayat samiti/community development block is the second layer of this system and below them are the gram panchayats or village panchayats. These panchayats at all three levels have elected members from eligible voters of particular subdivisions. These elected members form the bodies which help the administration in policy-making, development works, and bringing grievances of the common public to the notice of the administration.

Nayabat is the lower part of tehsil which have some powers like tehsil. It can be understood as tehsil is the sub-district of a district, similarly, Nayabat is the sub-tehsil of a tehsil. [9]

See also

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  1. "tehsil". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020.
  2. Dutt, Ashok K.; Noble, Allen G.; Costa, Frank J.; Thakur, Sudhir K.; Thakur, Rajiv; Sharma, Hari S. (15 October 2015). Spatial Diversity and Dynamics in Resources and Urban Development: Volume 1: Regional Resources. Springer. ISBN   9789401797719 via Google Books.
  3. Rajiv Balakrishnan (2007), Participatory Pathways: People's Participation in Development Initiatives, Pearson Education India, pp. 65–, ISBN   978-81-317-0034-1
  4. Sharma, A. K. (2012). Population and Society. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN   978-81-8069-818-7. The main purpose of the census is to provide data on size and composition of population of India and its geographic divisions, i.e., population of different states and union territories, districts, blocks and villages.
  5. Rahman, Syed Amanur, ed. (2006). The Beautiful India: Chhatisgarh. New Delhi: Reference Press. p. 34]. ISBN   978-81-8405-017-2.
  6. "class six civics pacnhayati raj". www.excellup.com.
  7. "taluk". dictionary.com. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
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  9. "Complete List of New Administrative Units". Greater Kashmir. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2020.