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A Deccani courtier, c.1600.
A sowar of the 6th Madras Light Cavalry, serving the British East India Company, c. 1845.

Sowar (Hindi: ?, Punjabi: ?, Urdu: ?‎, also siwar meaning "the one who rides" or "rider", from Persian saw?r)[1] was originally a rank during the Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire. Later during the British Raj it was the name in Anglo-Indian usage for a horse-soldier belonging to the cavalry troops of the native armies of British India and the feudal states. It is also used more specifically of a mounted orderly, escort or guard. It was also the rank held by ordinary cavalry troopers, equivalent to sepoy in the infantry -- this rank has been inherited by the modern armies of India and Pakistan.


An image from the Carnatic Wars features a Sowar armed with a Musket.

Sowar has been used as the name of a line of wrist-watches by the Swiss West End Watch Co.

See also


  1. ^ Ostler, Nicholas (2010). The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel. Penguin UK. pp. 1-352. ISBN 978-0141922218.

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