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In Pakistan and India, a Jagir was a small territory or parcel of land granted by the ruler or other authority to an army chieftain or institution like a Gurdwara for a period of time. The term would either be in fairly short terms usually of three years or extending to the lifetime of the person say, in recognition of his military service or in cases of institution forever.

When land was granted to the Gurdwara, its income was used to maintain the Gurdwara and provide for the sewadars and to run the langar and provide other facilities for the Sangat or congregation. A Gurdwara with a jagir became self-sufficient and did not have to depend on regular income from the Golak for its normal running. Maharaja Ranjit Singh has probably the biggest donator of Jagirs to historic Gurdwaras.

The grantee of the jagir, called a Jagirdar, became in effect the ruler of that region (or jagir) and substantial income that was earned (taxes, etc.) from this region went to the "owner" or jagirdar to maintain his family and his troops. The jagirdar would live at court in Delhi, keeping up his rank and appearing twice a day before the emperor; consequently the jagirdar preferred to receive his share of the dues from the estates in coin rather than in kind.

Jagir as per law was a grant made by the Ruler was only for the lifetime of the grantee. On the death of the grantee, the grant reverted to the Ruler and it was in the sole discretion of the Ruler either to re-grant it, or not. It was open to the Ruler to re-grant it to the heirs and successors of the previous grantee, or to one or more of them, or to total stranger. The Jagirs were in practice hereditary.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Jagir. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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