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Kulhaiya • کلاحیا
Regions with significant populations
Bihar, India • Terai Region, Nepal
Bihar1,253,781 (2023)[1]
Kulhaiya boli (کلاحیا بولی) a dialect of Maithili
Sunni Islam

The Kulhaiya (Urdu: کلاحیا) is a Muslim community found in the northeastern part of the Indian state of Bihar, India, as well as the Terai region of south-east Nepal.



Founding members of the Kulahiya community were preferred for soldiers in the Bengal Sultanate due to their mercenary background. The Faujdars of Purnea at the time of the Mughal Nawab of Bengal, Saif Khan, appointed Kulahiyas to protect Indian border on the side of Nepal against the invading Gurung and Gurkha tribes.[2][full citation needed] The original members of this community were Arab mercenaries and sellswords from Hadhrami tribe of Yemen.[3][full citation needed]


According to the 2011 Census, male literacy rate of the community is 66% and 55.6% for female. The community is categorised as OBC under education quota system.[4][full citation needed]


The Kulhaiyas are predominantly found in erstwhile sultanate-era Purnia division of Bihar which includes present-day districts of Purnia, Araria, Katihar and some parts of Kishanganj of Indian state of Bihar.[3][full citation needed][5]


  1. ^ "Bihar Caste Wise Population Share Full List: बिहार में किस जाति की कितनी संख्या, आबादी में कितना प्रतिशत हिस्सेदारी". Hindustan (in Hindi). Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  2. ^ Aina-e-Purnea by Akmal Yazdani
  3. ^ a b Kulhaiya Bridari by Kabiruddin Fauzan
  4. ^ pdf Purnia statistics
  5. ^ "In Bihar caste rejig, the backward list grows longer". The Indian Express. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2024-02-01.