Linguistic Survey of India - Uttar Pradesh


The Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) is an ongoing project of the Government of India that aims to document and study how languages have changed in the country over the years. It considers shifts in society, administrative regions and the reorganisation of states based on linguistic identity. This project has been undertaken by the Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, Government of India.

Part of this project is the Linguistic Survey of India – Uttar Pradesh which studies 12 languages spoken in Uttar Pradesh. The survey includes linguistic descriptions of Hindi along with eleven mother tongues: Awadhi, Dehati, Giharo, Khariboli, Pratapgarhi, Rathori, Mainpuri, Malham, Malyani, Gurmukhi, and Urtia. This report was published in July 2023. 

The document is divided into three chapters. The first is the Introduction, which highlights the history and linguistic composition of Uttar Pradesh and the surveyed languages. The second chapter includes a linguistic description of the mother tongues of the Indo-Aryan language family. The third chapter contains a comparative lexicon of 500 lexical items of the languages/mother tongues being studied.


  1. The Census 2011 found that Uttar Pradesh had 101 out of the 122 languages spoken in India. It includes all the 22 Scheduled Languages and 79 Non-Scheduled Languages.

  2. Awadhi, also referred to as Baiswara, is spoken in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh, as well as in areas encompassing the lower part of the Ganga-Yamuna confluence. The total number of Awadhi speakers is 38,50,906 as per Census 2011.

  3. Dehati, a variety of the Hindi language, in its present form is closer to Bhojpuri than to Maithili, and is thus enumerated as a mother tongue of Maithili in the Census.

  4. Giharo is a dialect spoken colloquially by the Gihars of the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh. Sitapur is the main district of Uttar Pradesh from where Giharo mother tongue has its maximum return in Census 2001.

  5. The Census 2001 found that there are 10,460 Gurmukhi speakers in Uttar Pradesh, and 35,545 in India. Gurmukhi has linguistic affinity with Punjabi and it is grouped under Punjabi, the survey states.

  6. Khari Boli is a mother tongue under the Hindi language. According to Census 2011, 50,195 people speak Khari Boli, most of whom live in Uttar Pradesh. 

  7. Firozabad and Mainpuri are the two main districts of Uttar Pradesh where speakers of Mainpuri reside, the report states. 

  8. The size of the Malham-speaking population has declined fast due to pressure from the surrounding dominant languages, the report states. It is linguistically closest to modern Hindi and Khari Boli. 

  9. The older generations of the Pratapgarhi speakers use oral fables and moral stories to introduce younger generations to the language, because Pratapgarhi has no standard form or written literature. 

  10. Rathori is not used as a medium of instruction in education, nor is it used in mass media. It is predominantly used within households, the report states. The information on Rathori was collected from Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

  11. Urtia is spoken in Lucknow, Chinhat area and parts of Sultanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh.

    Focus and Factoids by Muhammad Yusuf Ghazali.


Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, Government of India


Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, Government of India


Jul, 2023