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  • Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language of western and central India.

  • It is used by 68 million people in India (Maharashtra and adjacent states).

  • It is spoken in the areas in the north of Bombay down to the western coast past Goa and eastward across the Deccan.

  • As from 1966 it is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. The standard form of speech is that of the city of Pune (Poona).

  • Marathi is at least one thousand years old, and derives its grammar and syntax from the older Sanskrit. Marathi can also be spelt as Maharashtri, Maharathi, Malhatee or Marthi.

  • Eastern Hindi is the Indo-Aryan language most closely related to Marathi.

  • Marathi has a long literary tradition.

  • The saint-poet Dnyaneshwar ranks as the most important and earliest literateur known in the Marathi language. Dnyaneshwar wrote Bhaavarth-Dipika which is also known as Dnyaneshwari. Other prominent saint-poets include Eknāth, Tukarām, and Nāmdev, who enriched Marathi from the grass-roots level. Marathi probably has the richest saint-literature of all Indian languages.

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