Majha, Malwa and Doaba

Punjab state is divided into three major regions Majha, Malwa and Doaba. This division of Punjab is basically due to the rivers Sutlej (or Satluj) and Beas flowing through the land of Punjab. 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.
The page is divided into following section:
Majha Region of Punjab
Malwa Region of Punjab
Doaba Region of Punjab
Powadh Region of Punjab

Majha Malwa Doaba - Regions of Punjab The following table gives a summary of Majha, Malwa and Doaba:
Regions of Punjab
Region Area 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

Majha Region of 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 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

Malwa Region of 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 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
  • 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.

Doaba Region of 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 Region of 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.