Regions with significant populations
Predominantly Urdu
Islam 100%
Related ethnic groups

The Pathans of Bihar (Urdu: بہار کے پٹھان) in India are descendants of various Pashtun settlers in Bihar. The Pathan population of Bihar belong to eleven sub-groups, the main ones being the Suri, Sherwani, Yousafzai, Durrani, Bangash, Afridi, Khattak, Bettani, Lodhi, Tanoli, Orakzai and Ghori. These Pashtun people are known as Pathan in the Hindustani language. Another common name for the community is Khan, which also a common surname. Rajputs who have become Muslims also use Khan as a surname, This may create confusion, and further convulate their numbers.

They are said to have settled in the region from the 13th century CE onward. The pathans have a powerful social status among the Muslims of the state.[1][2]

Lohani Pashtuns ruled a princely state within Bihar.[3] Sher Shah Suri who founded Suri dynasty was born in Rohtas district.[4]

Present Circumstances

There's an exclusivist and superior sense of tribalism in some erstwhile landowner families even though those are now involved in small farming and they are endogamous and tend to marry close kin. They practice both parallel cousin and cross-cousin marriages. Most of them still marry in their own ethnicity and called themselves pure Pathan and distinguish themselves from the Pathans who have intermarried into local Muslim communities. They speak Urdu language and its dialects. Most of the Pathans have settled in villages, some in cities or recently moved from villages to cities. Some of them were big landowners who still have good lands and they cultivate them. Part of them are also in Police department or in other government jobs.

Most of them are settled in Gaya district, Darbhanga district, East Champaran district, Sitamarhi district, Samastipur district, Begusarai district, and few in other districts of Bihar.


  1. ^ Alam, Jawaid (1 January 2004). Government and Politics in Colonial Bihar, 1921-1937. Mittal Publications. ISBN 9788170999799.
  2. ^ Kumar, Ashwani (1 January 2008). Community Warriors: State, Peasants and Caste Armies in Bihar. Anthem Press. ISBN 9781843317098.
  3. ^ Bhardwaj. Study Package Cds Exam. McGraw-Hill Education (India) Pvt Limited. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-0-07-107215-1.
  4. ^ Khan, Consulting Editors-Behula; Mitchell, S. J.; Mukundan, Subhadra Sen Gupta & Monisha. History & Civics 7 (Col. Ed.). Ratna Sagar. ISBN 9788183320610. ((cite book)): |first1= has generic name (help)