Lodha people
Regions with significant populations
West Bengal1,08,707
First language: Lodhi
Second language: Sadri, Bengali, Odia
Hinduism, Islam
Related ethnic groups
Munda, Lodha Muslims, Sabar

Lodha people are one of Schedule Tribes and PVTGs of India, primarily living in West Bengal and Odisha. Lodhas of West Bengal mostly live the Paschim Medinipur and Jhargham districts. A section of the Lodha has converted to Islam, and formed a distinct community called the Lodha Muslims.


As per 2001 census, Lodhas numbered 84,966 and formed 1.9 per cent of the scheduled tribe population of West Bengal. They had a literacy rate of 34.8 per cent.[1] As per the 2011 census, the Lodhas population is 108,707 and 9,785 in West Bengal and Odisha respectively.

Historical number of Lodha tribe
Census year West Bengal Odisha
1971 45,906 1,508
1981 53,718 5,100
1991 68,095 7,458
2001 84,966 8,905
2011 1,08,707 9,785

The Lodhas of Odisha are primarily found in Suliapada and Morada blocks of Baripada sub-division of Mayurbhanj district of Orissa.[2]


Lodha means piece of flesh named after their ancestor. Lodhas have been in the focus of anthropologists and social activists.[3] During the early period of their rule, the British government in India oppressed the tribal people of Jungle Mahals, who were traditionally dependent upon the forests for a living. They had revolted but were ruthlessly suppressed. Having been deprived of their livelihood and without any alternatives, they took to criminal ways of life and were subsequently branded a criminal tribe. They should properly be labelled as uprooted rebels. Lodha titles are Nayek, Mallick, Digar, Sardar, Bhokta, Kotal, Dandapat, Bhunya etc. These titles were also used by the Sabars.[4] One of the most important research on the Lodhas was done by a Calcutta University faculty, Prabodh Kumar Bhowmick.[5][6] Much later, researchers from the Department of Anthropology at Vidyasagar University have done empirical studies on the development scenario of the Lodha tribe in Mendinpur district[7][8] who were by that time declared as a 'Primitive Tribal Group' (PTG) by the Government of India.

See also


  1. ^ "West Bengal: Data Highlights the Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census of India 2001. Census Commission of India. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Mayurbhanj, Tribal languages, festivals and culture". Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  3. ^ Vidyarthi, Lalita Prasad (1978). Rise of anthropology in India: a social science orientation, Volume 1 By Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  4. ^ Ghosh, Binoy, Paschim Banger Sanskriti, (in Bengali), part I, 1976 edition, pp. 201-203, Prakash Bhaban
  5. ^ Bhowmick, P. K. (1981). "Rehabilitation of a 'Denotified Community': The Ex-Criminal Lodhas of West Bengal". RAIN (44): 6–8. doi:10.2307/3032233. JSTOR 3032233.
  6. ^ Bhowmick, P. K. (1963). The Lodhas of West Bengal. A Socio-Economic Study. Punthi Pustar Publishing. OCLC 582340536.
  7. ^ Guha, Abhijit (2014). "Lodhas of West Bengal : A Case Study". Tribal Tribune. 6 (2).
  8. ^ Panda, Santanu; Guha, Abhijit (31 March 2013). "Ground realities of Development among the Lodhas in West Bengal". South Asian Anthropologist. 13: 75–84.

Further reading