The flat and fertile terrain of the Ganges has facilitated the repeated rise and expansion of various empires, including the Gupta empire, Kanauj, Magadha, the Maurya Empire, Pala Empire the Mughal Empire and the Sultanate of Delhi - all of which had their demographic and political centers in the Indo-Gangetic plain. During the Islamic period, the Turkish, Afghan and Iranian rulers referred to this region as "Hindustan" (the region beyond the Indus River), deriving from the Persian term for the Indus River. This term was later used to refer to the whole of India but even in the modern era, the dialect of Hindi-Urdu spoken in this region is called Hindustani, a term which is also used for the local music and culture.
Cultural and political dominance
Most of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar consists of the vast Ganges plain, an area of flatness, which often floods dramatically during the monsoon. Often referred to as the Cow Belt, these states have been most dominant states in Indian politics and culture since independence, producing over half of India's ministers. This is partly because these are also the most populous states of the country and partly because the region plays a central role in the religious landscape of the Hindus.
The Ganges River which forms the backbone of the state, is the sacred river of Hinduism and two of Hinduism's most holy towns are in the state, namely Varanasi and Allahabad (Prayag) which is also one of the venues of the Kumbha Mela. In these states’ infrastructure, education and living standards are very poor.
- Hindi Belt
- Cattle slaughter in India
- Standard of living in India
- States of India by size of economy
- Indo-Gangetic Plain
- North India
- India By Sarina Singh, Pg 350
- Why the `Cow Belt’ is crying over Women’s Bill
- Caste and politics mix in India’s Hindu "cow belt"
- "India". CIA - The World Factbook. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
- "Hindustani Classical Music". Indian Melody. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
- India by Sarina Singh
- "Caste and politics mix in India's Hindu "cow belt"". Reuters. 24 January 2008.