Bhulekh: India's Digital Land Records System

The Bhulekh Program: Digitizing Land Record Administration in India

India has taken significant measures to modernize numerous industries in the age of digitization, including land record administration. This digital transition is greatly aided by the Bhulekh program, which is being led by various Indian state governments. Bhu, which means land, and Lekh, which means record, are the roots of the Hindi word "Bhulekh." They stand for the core of this endeavor as a whole: A digitized land registry.

Essentially, Bhulekh is an online portal that provides landowners and the general public access to land and property records, including details like ownership, area, and type of land.

The primary objectives of Bhulekh are:

  1. To offer a transparent and easily accessible platform for checking land records.
  2. To reduce the chances of record tampering or manipulation.
  3. To save time for citizens by eliminating the need to visit government offices for land record details.

The introduction of Bhulekh has made property verification and transactions more straightforward and transparent in many parts of India.

Historical Context

The historical context of Bhulekh takes us through the journey of land record management in India, highlighting the importance of land as an asset and its documentation across ages.

Ancient and Medieval India: In India, land has long been a valuable resource that serves as a means of subsistence and a barometer of social and economic standing. The precise recording of land transactions, ownerships, and taxes is attested to in ancient scriptures and inscriptions. The village administration there at the time was very important in keeping these documents.

British Colonial Era: The management of land under the British colonial authority underwent substantial modifications. Systematic documentation and thorough land surveys were required for the implementation of the Zamindari system and other land revenue schemes. The British created a number of district-level land record offices and coined words like "Khasra" (a plot number), "Khatauni" (an account register), and "Jamabandi" (a record of rights). These records were manually updated and maintained on a regular basis.

Post-Independence Era: Land reforms were started in 1947, the year India attained independence, in order to eliminate middlemen and guarantee the tiller's ownership of the land. The mechanism for maintaining land records, however, remained essentially manual, with documents being kept in physical form at Tehsil or district offices. Accessing them became difficult, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes or manipulations as a result.

Advent of Bhulekh: In the latter half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, the advent of the digital age made it clear that land record administration needed to be modernized. Several state governments have undertaken programs to digitize land records in recognition of the value of digitalization for openness, accessibility, and governance. In various states, the name "Bhulekh," which is formed from the words "Bhu" (land) and "Lekh" (record), came to be used to describe this shift to digital records.

In conclusion, the transition from ancient writings to digital hubs like Bhulekh demonstrates India's changing perspective on land management. While the fundamentals of land ownership registration remain the same, the approaches have evolved in line with the country's larger shift from traditional traditions to digital government.

The Digital Revolution

With the advent of Bhulekh, a substantial part of these land records has been digitized, making it easier for people to access and verify their property details online. Some of the core benefits of this system include:

In essence, Bhulekh's introduction has modernized the way land records are managed and accessed in India, providing numerous advantages to both the government and the public.

Features of Bhulekh

Many state portals offer:

How to Check Bhulekh of Several States?

Checking Bhulekh or online land records varies from state to state in India, as land is primarily a state subject. Here's a generalized step-by-step guide to check Bhulekh for several states:

  1. Identify the State's Official Portal: Each state has its official Bhulekh or land records portal. For instance, for Uttar Pradesh, it's "Bhulekh Uttar Pradesh", for Odisha, it's "Bhulekh Odisha", and so on.
  2. Access the Portal:
    • Open a web browser.
    • Type the official portal name or simply search "[State name] Bhulekh" or "[State name] online land records".
    • Click on the official website link from the search results.
  3. Navigate to Land Records Section:
    • On the homepage, there will be options like "View Land Record", "View ROR", "View Land Map", etc.
    • Click on the relevant option.
  4. Enter Required Details:
    • You'll typically need to select a district, tehsil, and village.
    • You may also need to provide additional details like Khasra number, Khata number, or the owner's name.
  5. View the Record:
    • After entering the details, the relevant land record will be displayed.
    • You can check details like ownership, area of land, type of land, etc.
  6. Additional Features: Some state portals also allow you to:
    • View land maps or Bhunaksha.
    • Check transaction history.
    • Print or download records.
Popular Bhulekh Portals for Different States:
Challenges and the Way Forward

While Bhulekh is a commendable initiative, there are challenges.

Challenges of Bhulekh:
  1. Incomplete or Incorrect Data: Some records might still have inaccuracies due to errors during the digitization process, which can lead to disputes.
  2. Lack of Standardization: With each state having its own system and standards, there's a lack of uniformity across the country.
  3. Digital Divide: Rural populations might lack the digital literacy or access to check their land records online, negating the purpose of easy accessibility.
  4. Pending Digitization: Not all land records have been digitized, leaving gaps in the online database.
  5. Data Security Concerns: Protecting the digital land records from hacking or unauthorized access is crucial.
  6. Dependency on Manual Update: The system still relies on manual updates for changes in records, leading to potential delays or errors.
  7. Awareness: Many landowners, especially in remote areas, are unaware of this digital initiative.
  8. Bureaucratic Hurdles: While the process is now online, bureaucratic procedures and delays can still be a hindrance.
Way Forward for Bhulekh:
  1. Enhanced Training Programs: To ensure accurate data entry and updates, it's crucial to have trained personnel at all levels.
  2. Promote Digital Literacy: Organize campaigns, especially in rural areas, to educate people about accessing and using Bhulekh.
  3. Standardization: Implementing a standardized system or guidelines across states can bring uniformity.
  4. Data Audit and Verification: Regular audits can help in detecting and rectifying errors.
  5. Integrate with Other Systems: Integration with other governmental digital systems can provide a comprehensive one-stop solution for citizens.
  6. Strengthen Data Security: Adopt advanced cybersecurity measures to protect data.
  7. Feedback Mechanism: Implement a system where citizens can report discrepancies in their records, making it a two-way process.
  8. User-Friendly Interfaces: The online portals should be intuitive and available in multiple regional languages to cater to a broader audience.
  9. Public Awareness Campaigns: Organize campaigns to spread awareness about Bhulekh, its advantages, and its usage.
  10. Regular Updates: Ensure that the system is regularly updated with technological advancements and feedback from users to keep it relevant and user-friendly.

However, one might hope that Bhulekh will soon be a comprehensive, pan-India system, bridging the gap between the old and the new, ensuring that every citizen has easy and transparent access to their property records. This is because of the government's goal for a more digital India and the advancement of technology.


India's digital effort, Bhulekh, which converts paper-based land records into a searchable online version, is evidence of the nation's dedication to using technology for the benefit of the general population. It offers openness, less fraud, and time efficiency by streamlining access to land records. Bhulekh confronts difficulties with standardization, full digitization, and generating awareness, particularly in rural areas, like all transformative projects. Realizing the full potential of this platform will depend heavily on its ongoing evolution, which incorporates user feedback and technology developments. Bhulekh essentially represents an important step in India's digital transformation by fusing traditional methods with contemporary conveniences and ensuring that land, a major asset for many, is maintained in a transparent and open manner.

Varsha's Profile Picture
By Varsha