Majha Malwa Doaba

Punjab state is geographically divided into three major regions called Majha, Malwa and Doaba. This division of Punjab is basically due to the rivers Satluj, Beas and Ravi flowing through the land of Punjab.
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In the historical times, it was not easy to cross the rivers and hence the areas divided by rivers were considered as separate regions. The regions were often ruled by different rulers or kings. The interaction between the people living in these geographically separated areas was limited. Due to this, there is a difference between the language and culture of the people living in these regions. Note that the regions Malwa, Majha and Doaba span over the parts of historic Punjab region which includes today's Punjab (India), Haryana, Himachal Prades and Punjab (Pakistan), but this article will mainly focus on the details that are relevant to today's state of Punjab in India.
ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਹਿਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਦੋ ਮੁੱਖ ਦਰਿਆ ਸਤਲੁਜ ਅਤੇ ਬਿਆਸ ਇਸ ਧਰਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਤਿੰਨ ਮੁੱਖ ਭਾਗਾਂ ਮਾਝਾ, ਮਾਲਵਾ ਅਤੇ ਦੋਆਬਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੰਡਦੇ ਹਨ। ਪੁਰਾਣੇ ਸਮਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਰਿਆਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਾਰ ਕਰਨਾ ਮੁਸ਼ਕਿਲ ਹੋਣ ਕਾਰਨ, ਦਰਿਆ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਵੰਡੇ ਗਏ ਖੇਤਰ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਇਲਾਕੇ ਗਿਣੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਸਨ। ਇਹਨਾਂ ਇਲਾਕਿਆਂ 'ਤੇ ਅਕਸਰ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਰਾਜਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਰਾਜ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਸੀ। ਦਰਿਆ ਪਾਰਲੇ ਇਲਾਕਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਸੀ ਤਾਲਮੇਲ ਘੱਟ ਹੋਣ ਕਾਰਨ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਇਲਾਕਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਬੋਲੀ, ਸਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਅਤੇ ਰੀਤੀ-ਰਿਵਾਜਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਫ਼ਰਕ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।
The page is divided into following section:
Majha Area in Punjab
Malwa Area in Punjab
Doaba Area in Punjab
Powadh Area in Punjab

The following table gives a summary of Majha, Malwa and Doaba area in Punjab:
Majha Malwa Doaba
Area of Punjab Location Language Demonym
Majha Between Ravi and Beas Majhi Majhi or Majhel
Malwa South of Sutlej Malwai Malwai
Doaba Between Sutlej and Beas Doabi Doabia
Suggested Reading:
Five Rivers of Punjab
Geography of Punjab

Malwa Area in Punjab

The region of Punjab towards the left bank of Sutlej river is called Malwa. Malwa extends upto Ambala district in Haryana, beyond the borders of Punjab state. Almost 60-70% area of Punjab state is part of this region. The people of this region are given the demonym 'Malwai'. The primary language of this region is the Malwai dialect of Punjabi. Malwai Punjabi is considered very close to the written Punjabi.
The districts of Punjab which are part of this region:
  • Barnala
  • Bathinda
  • Fatehgarh Sahib
  • Faridkot
  • Fazilka
  • Firozpur
  • Ludhiana
  • Malerkotla
  • Mansa
  • Moga
  • Mohali
  • Muktsar
  • Patiala
  • Ropar
  • Sangrur

NOTE: There is a Malwa Plateau region in the central part of India, which occupies some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. When we are talking about India, the word Malwa mainly refers to that region and it has no relation with the Malwa region of Punjab.

Majha Area in Punjab

Majha region mainly covers the area between Beas and Ravi rivers. The area on the north of Sutlej, after the confluence of Beas and Sutlej at Harike in Tarn Taran district, extending upto the Ravi river is also part of the Majha region. The literal meaning of the word Majha means 'in the middle' or 'at the center'. This area was in the middle (or central part) of the historic Punjab region, hence giving it the name Majha. The Majhi dialect of Punjabi language is the main language of this region. The people of this region are given the demonym 'Majhi' or 'Majhel'. This area includes a major region of Pakistan's Punjab, extending upto Jehlum river and here we will mainly talk about the region within Punjab state in India. The area between Beas and Ravi rivers is also called as Bari Doab.
A list of districts of Punjab, which are part of Majha region, is given below:
  • Amritsar
  • Gurdaspur
  • Pathankot
  • Tarn Taran

Doaba Area in Punjab

The area between the rivers Satluj and Beas is called as Doaba. The area is also called Bist Doab or Jalandhar Doab (also spelled as Jullundhar Doab). The word Doaba is made up of two words 'Do' meaning two and 'Aab' means water or river, so the literal meaning of word Doaba is the area between two rivers. Doabi dialect of Punjabi language is the primary language spoken in this part of Punjab. The people of this part are known with the demonym 'Doabia'. This area is sometimes referred as NRI hub of Punjab as a large number of people from this region are settled in foreign lands like UK, Canada, USA, Dubai and Europe etc.
The districts of Punjab which are part of Doaba region:
  • Jalandhar
  • Kapurthala
  • Hoshiarpur
  • Nawanshahr (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar)

Powadh Area in Punjab

Powadh (or Poadh or Puadh) is another major region of Punjab. Powadhi dialect of Punjabi language, which is a mix of Malwai Punjabi and Haryanvi, is spoken in this region. Powadh is sometimes not considered as a separate region and this area is mostly included in the Malwa region of Punjab. The Punjabi speaking area near the Ghaggar river, mostly adjacent to Chandigarh is considered part of Powadh region. It includes parts of Patiala, Mohali and Ropar districts of Punjab and Panchkula and Ambala districts in Haryana.