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Khariboli (also Khadiboli, Khadi-Boli, or Khari dialect, also known as Kauravi [2] (Devanagari: कौरवी); identified as Hindi by SIL Ethnologue), ([kʰəɽiː boːliː]; Hindi: खड़ी बोली, Urdu: کھڑی بولی, khaṛī bolī; lit. 'standing dialect'), native to western Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi region in India, is the prestige dialect of the Hindi-speaking states of India, and the basis of the officially approved versions ofHindi (Standard Hindi) and Urdu, which are grammatically identical to Khariboli.

Khariboli has four standardized registers: Standard Hindi, Urdu, Dakhini and Rekhta. Standard Hindi (also High Hindi, Nagari Hindi) is used as the lingua franca of Northern India (the Hindi belt), Urduis the lingua franca of Pakistan, Dakhini is the historical literary dialect of the Deccan region, and Rekhta is a highly Persianized register of Urdu used in poetry.

These standard registers together with Sansiboli form the Hindustani dialect group. This group together with Haryanvi, Braj Bhasha, Kanauji and Bundeli forms the Western Hindi dialect group.

Geographical Distribution

Khariboli in its vernacular or rural form, also called as Kauravi by the linguist Rahul Sankrityayan is spoken in the north-western region of Uttar Pradesh. In the upper stretch of the Ganga-YamunaDoab it is spoken in the following districts:

  • Saharanpur
  • Muzaffarnagar
  • Baghpat
  • Meerut
  • Ghaziabad

In the Doab it is also spoken in Haridwar, which currently lies under Uttarakhand.

Across the Ganga it is spoken in the following districts of Rohilkhand:

  • Rampur
  • Moradabad
  • Jyotiba Phule Nagar
  • Bijnor

Early influences

The area around Delhi has long been the center of power in northern India, and naturally, the Khari-boli dialect came to be regarded as urbane and of a higher standard than the other dialects of Hindi. This view gradually gained ground over the 19th century; before that period, other dialects such as Avadhi, Brij Bhasha and Sadhukaddi were the dialects preferred by littérateurs.

Rise as a literary language

The earliest examples of Khariboli can be seen in some of Kabir and Amir Khusro's lines.

In 1800, the British East India Company established a college of higher education at Calcutta named the Fort William College. John Borthwick Gilchrist, a president of that college, encouraged his professors to write in their native tongue; some of the works thus produced were in the Khariboli dialect. These books included Premsagar (Prem Sagur) by Lallu Lal[3], Naasiketopaakhyan by Sadal Mishra; Sukhsagar by Sadasukhlal of Delhi and Rani Ketaki ki kahani by Munshi Inshallah Khan. More developed forms of Khariboli can also be seen in some mediocre literature produced in early 18th century. Examples are Chand Chhand Varnan Ki Mahima by Gangabhatt, Yogavashishtha by Ramprasad Niranjani, Gora-Badal ki katha by Jatmal, Mandovar ka varnanby Anonymous, a translation of Ravishenacharya's Jain Padmapuran by Daulatram (dated 1824).

Earlier, the Khari-boli was regarded as a mixed brogue unworthy of being used in literature. However, under government patronage, it flourished, even as older and previously more literary tongues such as Brij Bhasha, Maithili and Avadhi declined to virtual non-existence as literary vehicles. Notable writers such as Munshi Premchand had started using Khariboli as the preferred language by the early 20th century.


After India became independent in 1947, the Khari-boli dialect was officially recognized as the approved version of the Hindi language, which was declared as one of the official languages of the central government functioning.


Under the Indian government's encouragement, the officially sponsored version of the Khari-boli dialect has undergone a sea-change after it was declared the language of central government functioning in 1950. A major change has been the Sanskritisationof Hindi (introduction of Sanskrit vocabulary in Khariboli). Three factors motivated this conscious bid to sanskritize Hindi, being:

  • The independence movement inculcated a nationalistic pride in India's ancient culture, including its ancient classical language Sanskrit;
  • Independence was accompanied by partition along religious lines, with Muslim-majority areas seceding to form Pakistan, and a partial rejection of Persian and Arabic influence in the Hindu-majority areas; Saadat Hasan Manto, the Pakistani Urdu writer opposed to Hindi-Urdu divide, stated that the increased Sanskritisation of Hindi was probably a move towards establishing a distinct identity of the Hindi language.[4]
  • The people of south and east India were averse to the dominance of the language and culture of north India in the affairs of the country. The Hindu populations of these regions did not identify with Hindi itself or with the Mughal (Persian, Turkic) cultural influences that had shaped Hindi, but they were more receptive to Sanskrit. Sanskritization was thus viewed as a means to make Hindi more palatable as a national language. However, in the state of Tamil Nadu, there was strong anti-Brahmin sentiment and the Sanskrit language was associated with the Brahmins; therefore, the opposition to Hindi only became stronger, resulting in anti-Hindi agitations.

In its non-Sanskritized form, Khariboli is the normal and principal dialect used in the Hindi cinema. It is almost exclusively used in contemporary Hindi television serials, songs, education, and of course, in normal daily speech in almost all the urban regions of north India, wherever Hindi is also the state language. The rural dialect varies from region to region.


  1. Hindi - A General Introduction
  2. Hindi-Urdu Grammar
  3. Standard Hindi
  4. Hindi Languages
  5. Devanagari (Hindi Script)
  6. Hindi Belt
  7. Hindi–Urdu phonology
  8. National Library at Kolkata romanization
  9. Khariboli
  10. Acharya Ramlochan Saran
  11. Hindustani orthography
  12. Awadhi language
  13. Bambaiya Hindi
  14. Braj Bhasha
  15. Fiji Hindi
  16. Urdu
  17. Hindi–Urdu controversy
  18. Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) word etymology
  19. Hindustani orthography
  20. Hindi-Urdu Grammar
  21. India
  22. Hobson-Jobson
  23. Languages with official status in India
  24. Linguistic history of India
  25. List of English words of Hindi or Urdu origin
  26. List of English words of Sanskrit origin
  27. Prakrit
  28. Sanskritisation
  29. Devanagari transliteration
  30. Indian Script Code for Information Interchange
  31. Hindi phrasebook - Wikitravel
  32. Learning Devanagari


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