Doab (Hindi: दो आब, Urdu: دو آب, from Persian: دو آب dōāb, from dō, "two" + āb, "water" or "river") is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land (strip of land)lying between two confluent rivers. (See also ap-.)
The Doab, unqualified by the names of any rivers, designates the flat alluvial tract between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in western and southwestern Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand state in India, 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 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:
Central or Middle Doab
The Punjab Doabs
Each of the tracts of land lying between the confluent rivers of the Punjab region of Pakistan and India (the Indus basin) 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):
- Sind Sagar Doab - lies between the Indus and Jhelum River rivers.
- Jech Doab (also Chaj) Doab - between the Jhelum and the Chenab River.
- Rechna Doab - between the Chenab and the Ravi River.
- Bari Doab or Majha - between the Ravi and the Beas River.
- Bist Doab (also Jullundur Doab or Doaba) - between the Beas and the Sutlej river.
In addition, the tract of land lying between the Sutlej and the Yamuna river is sometimes called the Delhi doab, although, strictly speaking, it is not a doab, since its two bounding rivers, the Yamuna and Sutlej, are not confluent. Recently it is the proposed name of the former Eastern Punjab for Land of two Rivers not five, because they are now situated in Pakistan.
- Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd Edition. 1989.