Chaush (India)

The Chaush (Urdu: چاوش) are Muslim[1] community of Hadhrami Arab descent found in the Deccan region of India.[2] The name is believed to originate from the Turkish word Chiaus used during the Ottoman era of the Balkans for military officers who were often tasked with guarding palaces.[1] They have a common origin with the Chavuse community of Gujarat.

The Chaush were brought from Yemen to work in the former Hyderabad State as military men and body guards for the Nizams. It is said that especially when it came to safe guarding his family, the 7th Nizam had absolute trust on these Arab bodyguards. [3] They are most concentrated in the neighbourhood of Barkas in Hyderabad city.[3] Many Chaush later settled in other parts of India, and around the world as part of the Hyderabadi diaspora, especially in Pakistan, and Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

The founders of both the Qu'aiti and Kathiri states in Hadhramawt had previously served as jemadars in Hyderabad.[4]

Among the best known cultural contributions of the Chaush to India are Marfa music and dance, and Hyderabadi haleem, both which are culturally important to the Hyderabadi Muslim people, and seen at almost all wedding ceremonies.[5]

Chaush people

See also


  1. Mediaeval Deccan History, eds Kulkarni, M A Naeem and de Souza, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1996, pg 63,
  2. Omar Khalidi, The Arabs of Hadramawt in Hyderabad in Mediaeval Deccan History, eds Kulkarni, Naeem and de Souza, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1996, pg 63
  3. A home for the Chaush community, The Hindu, 25 Sep 2011
  4. Boxberger, Linda. On the Edge of Empire: Hadhramawt, Emigration, and the Indian Ocean, 1880s-1930s. 2002. State University of New York Press
  5. "From the era of the Nizams 'Arabi marfa' continues to be a hit even now". The Hindu. 26 October 2012. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 March 2016.

Further reading

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