Are you looking to understand the Indian land records system and its intricacies.In Pakistan & India, especially in rural areas, there are complex and intricate systems when it comes to tracking and registering details relating to property ownership.

Understanding the terms Khasra, Shajra, Khewat, Khata,Khatauni Fard, Shamilat and Patwari is essential to understanding these processes. In this blog post we will cover what all of these terms mean in detail! We’ll also take a look at how they work together as part of the overall land registration process thereby helping clear any confusion around them.

Land related Terms/ Nomenclature

In the context of Pakistan and India, the management of land records employs a unique set of terms and nomenclature introduced by the Patwar system. A Khasra pertains to a specific piece of land, distinguished by its unique measurements and number. The Khasra Gardawari is a legal document listing land and crop details, akin to a survey book. Tenants’ holdings are recorded in a Khata Khatauni, while an owners’ holdings list is referred to as a Khewat.

A Shajra is a map or plan of village lands, detailing the boundaries of a plot with a specific Khasra number. Shamilat refers to village common land. A Fard Malkiat or Record of Rights provides a detailed account of various types of rights in immovable property. Changes to the record of rights, whether alterations, changes, or mutations, are recorded in an Intiqal.

At the village level, a Patwari holds the responsibility of maintaining records of all lands. The Patwari reports to the Tehsildar, the head of the revenue department at the tehsil level. At the district level, the head of the revenue department is the Assistant Commissioner (Land Revenue), who reports to the Commissioner.

What is Khasra Number?

A Khasra number is a unique identifier assigned to a particular piece of land for record keeping. It includes detailed information about the land such as its size, location, and ownership. This number is extensively used in Pakistan & India, particularly in rural areas, as part of the land revenue records system. The Khasra number is a critical element in land transactions, offering a clear and transparent process, and assisting in averting potential disputes over land ownership.

Khasra Gardawari

A Khasra Girdawari is a pivotal document in the realm of land and agricultural management in Pakistan and India. As a legal document issued by the Revenue Departments, it functions as a comprehensive field register or harvest inspection register.

Detailed in this document are specifics about the land and crop, such as the area and measurements of the fields, ownership details, the variety of crops grown, and the type of soil prevalent in the area. Further, it also records details about the types of trees found on the land. Essentially, a Khasra Girdawari resembles a detailed survey book, offering a complete picture of the land’s use, status, and ownership.

Khata Khatauni

Khata Khatauni, a crucial document in the realm of property transactions, serves as an official record listing all the property holdings of tenants.

This document lists the details of each tenant’s property, including the size, location, and type of property, offering an organized and comprehensive view of property ownership. It’s an indispensable resource in real estate and property management, ensuring transparency and providing legal proof of possession.


Khewat is a term often used in the real estate industry to refer to a list of owner’s holdings. This document will provide an overview of other key terms related to land records that are used across countries and their various legal systems.

The Kadd-Sharai is another common expression which translates as an ‘agreement or contract for the transfer of a piece of property from one party to another’. In terms of legal documents, this is often seen as a sale and purchase deed or leasing agreement.

A Jamabandi is often referred to as a revenue record or land register which contains information about owner’s holdings including their names, survey numbers, area, classification and crop-wise details. This document is used as a reference point for taxation and other decisions related to the property.

Finally, Hissedaari is an Arabic term meaning ‘right of ownership’. It is frequently used in Pakistani law to describe the right of a person or entity to buy, sell, transfer or lease land according to their legal entitlement.


The term “Shajra” (also spelled as “Shujra” or “Shujrah”) refers to a detailed map or plan of village lands. It serves as the blueprint of a specific plot of land, identified by a unique Khasra number, within the broader context of a village or estate. The Shajra provides comprehensive details about land boundaries, helping in the identification and demarcation of individual property lines within the larger landscape. This vital tool assists in land management and dispute resolution, ensuring clear and accurate understanding of property rights.


Shamilat, or village common land, is a significant aspect of rural life, particularly in regions of South Asia. These communal spaces serve as shared resources, used for various purposes ranging from grazing livestock to holding village meetings. They add intrinsic value to the rural economy, fostering a sense of community and promoting sustainable land use practices. Despite modern developments, the tradition of Shamilat remains a fundamental part of the cultural and economic fabric of many rural communities.

Fard Malkiat

The Fard Malkiat, also known as the Record of Rights, Jama Bandi, Misal Haquiat, or Register Haqdaran-e-Zameen, is a critical document in the realm of property rights. This document is maintained for the explicit purpose of determining and recording various types of rights attached to immovable property.

It is essentially a detailed report of the property in question, outlining important characteristics like the location, size, ownership, and the type of property. This record is issued by the Patwari, a government official responsible for maintaining land and property records in their respective regions. Thus, the Fard Malkiat stands as a testament to a land owner’s rights over their property.

Intiqal, or Mutation

Intiqal, or Mutation, refers to the formal alteration in the land records managed by revenue departments. It becomes essential when there is a change in ownership, brought about by events such as sale, inheritance, division, or similar occurrences. The revenue officer holds the authority to order this mutation, thereby ensuring the record of rights accurately reflects the current ownership status. This process plays a crucial role in safeguarding the legal rights of landowners and preventing potential disputes.


The Patwari, a key figure at the village level, is responsible for maintaining comprehensive land records, including the Khasra and Shajra. Despite being the lowest-ranking official, the Patwari’s role is crucial within the land revenue department.

These meticulous records ensure proper land allocation, aid in resolving disputes, and facilitate transparent property transactions. Thus, the Patwari’s role, although not highly recognized, is fundamental to the functioning of rural administration and land management.


In the administrative hierarchy, the Tehsildar holds a crucial role. Patwaris, who are the local land record officers at village or district level, report directly to the Tehsildar, the head of the revenue department at the tehsil level.

This structure ensures a streamlined flow of information and efficient task execution. At the district level, the revenue department is headed by the Assistant Commissioner (Land Revenue). The Assistant Commissioner, in turn, reports to the Commissioner, thereby maintaining a hierarchical order in the administrative system. This structure ensures that responsibilities are clearly defined within the department, optimizing operational efficiency.

Properties Types

There are several types of properties that differ based on their legal status and ownership rights.

In general, it is important to understand the different types of properties and their associated terminology when dealing with real estate transactions. Knowing these terms can help ensure that you make informed decisions regarding your real estate investments.

Additionally, it is also advisable to keep up-to-date records of all land-related transactions in order to avoid any legal disputes or complications in the future. It is also important to conduct thorough research on any prospective property before investing, as certain properties may come with risks or restrictions that may not be immediately apparent.

By understanding the different types of land and properties, you can ensure that your investments are safe and secure. This will help you maximize your returns while minimizing potential losses.

Types of Rights

Property rights represent the legal principles that govern the ownership and usage of property. There are two primary types of property rights:

  1. Leasehold Right – A leasehold right is a type of property right where an individual or entity is granted exclusive possession of a property for a specified period of time. However, the ownership of the property remains with another party. This agreement is often formalized through a lease, outlining the terms and conditions of the leasehold.
  2. Ownership Right – Ownership right, also known as freehold, is the most comprehensive type of property right. The owner has exclusive right to use, sell, lease, or transfer the property as they see fit. The owner also has the responsibility for any debts or obligations related to the property.

Who Maintain Records of Rights?

Records of Rights, a crucial aspect of land administration, are maintained by several entities to ensure transparency and proper record-keeping. Among these are Development Authorities, responsible for overseeing land use and urban planning. Land Revenue Departments, such as the Tehsildar or Mukhtarkar, keep a robust record of land ownership and transactions. Various Societies also maintain records of rights for their specific land holdings.

The Military Estate Office or Cantonment Board oversees the records for military lands, while the Evacuee Properties Trust Board manages records for properties left by individuals who migrated during the Partition. Lastly, the Estate Office of the Federal Government keeps records for abandoned properties. Together, these entities work towards a well-documented and efficient land administration system.

Forms of Legal Transfer of Property

There are several forms of legal transfer of property, each with its own procedures and implications.

A Sale Deed is the most common method, involving a transaction where the seller relinquishes rights to the buyer in exchange for a specified amount.

A Gift Deed / Relinquishment Deed allows the owner to gift the property to another individual, surrendering all their rights.

An Allotment Order usually involves distribution of property by a government authority or society.

An Exchange Deed facilitates the swap of properties between two parties.

A Will allows property to be transferred upon the owner’s death, according to their wishes. A Grant is typically given by the government for public utilities.

Lease/Sub-Lease involves the owner giving another party the right to use the property for a specified period while retaining ownership.

Lastly, a License/Sub-License allows temporary usage of a property, without transferring any ownership interest.

Types of Agricultural Land

  1. Barani: Barani Araazi refers to agricultural lands that rely primarily on rainwater for their irrigation. Developed in regions where rainfall is adequate, these lands are dependent on nature’s cycle for their productivity. However, in recent years, some Barani areas are irrigated using tubewells, particularly where the groundwater level is high enough to be tapped effectively.
  2. Nahri: Nahri Araazi is a term used to describe lands irrigated through canal systems. These canals, either naturally occurring or man-made, provide a reliable source of water, ensuring constant and controlled irrigation for the crops.
  3. Chahi: Chahi Araazi is land that relies on wells or tube wells for irrigation. This system of irrigation is particularly beneficial in areas where canal or rainwater is insufficient or unreliable. Through the use of wells, water is sourced directly from underground reserves, providing a consistent supply for agricultural use.

These three types of agricultural land are an integral part of rural economies, providing sustenance to millions across the country. Understanding the terminology associated with these lands is important for ensuring that records remain accurate and up-to-date, facilitating efficient management and regulation of these lands. With this knowledge also comes the ability to ensure that farmers, landowners and other stakeholders get their rightful share from the land. By understanding the various terms associated with agricultural lands, it’s possible to effectively monitor and manage these resources, ensuring that everyone involved benefits.

Advancement in Land Record System Pakistan & India

These digital land record management systems, the Land Record Management Information System (LRMIS) in Punjab, Pakistan, and the Patwary Information System (PATIS) in India, are significant advancements in the realm of land administration and management.

They both aim to bring transparency, accuracy, and efficiency to the once archaic and convoluted land record system. Through these systems, the respective governments look to eliminate the potential for corruption and manipulation within the land registration process, offering a more streamlined and reliable service to their citizens.

These platforms represent a major step forward in the digitization of public administration services, making data readily accessible for users and ensuring procedural integrity.