Cow belt

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The Cow Belt is the combined area of the Indian states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.[1][2][3]


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.[4][5]

Both British and independent India also had their demographic and political centers here (first in Calcutta and then Delhi).

Cultural and political dominance[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[6]

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.[7]

See also[edit]