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Doab (from , "two" + āb, "water" or "river") is a term used in India and Pakistan for the "tongue,"[1] or tract of land lying between two converging, or confluent, rivers. It is similar to an interfluve.[2] In the Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, R. S. McGregor defines it as "a region lying between and reaching to the confluence of two rivers (esp. that between the Ganges and Yamuna)."[3]

Natural region
View of a canal in the lower Bari Doab of the Punjab Doabs
View of a canal in the lower Bari Doab of the Punjab Doabs
Country Pakistan and India


Khadir and bangarEdit

areas where dry farming is practiced are referred to as barani

In any doab, khadar land (green) lies next to a river, while bangar land (olive) has greater elevation and lies further from the river

Since North India and Pakistan are coursed by a multiplicity of Himalayan rivers that divide the plains into doabs (i.e. regions between two rivers), the Indo-Gangetic plains consist of alternating regions of river, khadir and bangar. The regions of the doabs near the rivers consist of low-lying, flood-prone, but usually very fertile khadir and the higher-lying land away from the rivers consist of bangar, less prone to flooding but also less fertile on average.[4] Other related terms are barani (low rain area where rain-fed dry farming is practiced which nowadays are dependent on tubewells for the irrigation),[5] bagar (dry sandy tract of land on the border of Rajasthan state adjoining the states of Haryana and Pujab)[5] nahri (canal-irrigated land), nali or naili (fertile prairie tract between the Ghaggar river and the southern limits of the Saraswati channel depression in northen Hissar district of Haryana that gets flooded during the rains),[6] and Rangoi tract (an area irrigated by the Rangoi channel canal made for the purpose of carrying flood waters of Ghagghar river to dry areas).[7][8]

Historically, villages in the doabs have been officially classified as khadir, khadir-bangar (i.e. mixed) or bangar for many centuries and different agricultural tax rates applied based on a tiered land-productivity scale.[9][10]

Uttar Pradesh DoabEdit

The Uttar Pradesh Doab designates the flat alluvial tract between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers extending from the Sivalik Hills to the two rivers' confluence at Allahabad. The region has an area of about 23,360 square miles (60,500 square km); it is approximately 500 miles (805 km) in length and 60 miles (97 km) in width.

The region of the Doab figures prominently in the history and myths of Vedic period. The British divided the Doab into three administrative districts or zones, viz., Upper Doab (Meerut), Middle Doab (Agra) and Lower Doab (Allahabad). These districts are now divided into several other districts as enumerated below.

The following districts/states form part of the Doab:

Upper DoabEdit

Uttarakhand: Dehradun and Haridwar

Uttar Pradesh: Saharanpur, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Bulandshahr

Delhi[citation needed]

Central or Middle DoabEdit

Etah, Kasganj, Aligarh, Agra, Hathras, Firozabad, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya and Mathura.[citation needed] Mathura is in the trans-Yamuna region of Braj.

Lower DoabEdit

Kanpur, Fatehpur, Kaushambi and Allahabad.[citation needed]

The Punjab DoabsEdit

A map of the Punjab region ca. 1947 showing the different doabs.

Each of the tracts of land lying between the confluent rivers of the Punjab region of Pakistan and India has a distinct name, said to have been coined by Raja Todar Mal, a minister of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The names (except for 'Sindh Sagar') are a combination of the first letters, in the Persian alphabet, of the names of the rivers that bound the Doab. For example, Jech = 'Je'(Jhelum) + 'Ch'(Chenab). The names are (from west to east):

Sindh Sagar DoabEdit

The Sindh Sagar Doab lies between the Indus and Jhelum rivers.

Jech DoabsEdit

The Jech Doab (also Chaj Doab) (small portion of the Jech Doab is Majha[11]) lies between the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers.

Rechna DoabsEdit

The Rechna Doab (considerable portion of the Rechna Doab is Majha[11]) lies between the Chenab and the Ravi rivers.

Bari DoabsEdit

The Bari Doab (considerable portion of the Bari Doab is Majha[11]) lies between the Ravi and the Beas rivers.

Bist DoabEdit

The Bist Doab (or Doaba) - between the Beas and the Sutlej rivers.

Other DoabsEdit

In addition, the tract of land lying between the Sutlej and the Yamuna river is sometimes called the Delhi doab, although, strictly speaking, parts of it are not doab, since its two bounding rivers, the Yamuna and Sutlej, are not confluent. Delhi doab itself is subdivided into three doabs:

  • Sutlej-Ghaggar doab between Sutlej in north in Punjab and Ghaggar river flowing through northern Haryana, both Sutlej and Ghahhar use to eventually flow into Indus river, the region south of Sutlej is called Malwa and not to be confused with other Malwa region and doab in the state of Madhya Paradesh
  • Ghaggar-Hakra doab between Ghaggar river and Hakra (also called Drishadvati river, the paleo channel of the holy Sarasvati River), Hakra confluences with Ghaggar river
  • Hakra-Yamuna doab between Hakra river and Yamuna, Hakra river does not confluence with Yamuna, hence not a doab in the strict sense of the definition.

Malwa DoabEdit

The rivers flowing through the Malwa region, covering current states of Madhya Pradesh and parts of north-eastern Rajasthan, also has doab region such as Upper Malwa doab and Lower Malwa doab.

Raichur DoabEdit

The Raichur Doab is the triangular region of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states which lies between the Krishna River and its tributary the Tungabhadra River, named for the town of Raichur.

See alsoEdit

  • Interamnia, an ancient Latin placename, meaning "between rivers"


  1. ^ doab or duab, n., OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2013, retrieved 11 September 2013 
  2. ^ Doab., Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged., 2013, retrieved 11 September 2013 
  3. ^ McGregor 1993, p. 513.
  4. ^ Pakistan: Soils, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010, ... khaddar soils. Away from the river, toward the middle of the doabs, older alluvial soils (called bangar) are widely distributed ... 
  5. ^ a b E. Walter Coward, 1980, "Irrigation and Agricultural Development in Asia: Perspectives from the social sciences", Cornell University press, isbn = 0801498716.
  6. ^ "The imperial gazeteers of India, 1908"], British Raj, page 288.]
  7. ^ 1987, "gazetteer of India: Hisar District", page 7.
  8. ^ 1987, "Gazeteers of Hisar district, 1987", Government of Haryana, page 162.]
  9. ^ F.C. Channing, Land Revenue Settlement of the Gurgaon District, Government of India, ... The rates here applied were the same as those applied in the Bangar and Khadar circles and the same comparisons hold good ... 
  10. ^ Oswald Wood, R. Maconachie, Final report on the settlement of land revenue in the Delhi District, Government of India, 1882, ... The Khadar-Bangar chak lies along the river; 37 villages are purely Khadar and 39 partly Khadar partly Bangar. The villages nearest the river are subject to inundations, but where the water runs off in time, the natural fertility of the ... 
  11. ^ a b c Kakshi, S.R.; Pathak, Rashmi; Pathak, S.R.Bakshi R. (2007-01-01). Punjab Through the Ages. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 978-81-7625-738-1. Retrieved 12 June 2010.