Bundeli language

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Native to India
Native speakers
Estimates up to 20 million (no date)[1]
Census results conflate many speakers with Hindi.[2]
3.1 million (2001 census)[3]
Devanagari script
Official status
Official language in
India (Madhya Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bns
Glottolog bund1253[4]
Bundeli Language Speaking Areas in India

Bundeli (Devanagari: बुन्देली or बुंदेली; Nastaliq: زبان بندیلی) or Bundelkhandi is an Indo-Aryan language (claimed as a dialect of Hindi by the government of India) spoken in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and in southern parts of Uttar Pradesh. Bundelkhandi is related to Braj Bhasha, which was the literary language in Central India until the 19th century. It is hard to say how old the language is, as typical Bundeli has words which are unique and have been in use for centuries. Several words are difficult to understand for people who know only Sanskrit or Hindi. It is derived from the Apabhramsa language corresponding to Sauraseni. Bundheli, also called as Bundhelkhandi is the language of Bundelkhand. Bundelkhand region currently divided between two states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Bundeli spoken in the districts of Banda, Hamirpur, Jalun, Jhansi, Gwalior, Bhopal, Sagour, Damoh, Narsinghpur, Hoshangbad. Pawari, Lodhanti, Khatola people speaks it as their mother tongue. Bundheli language has few dialects such as Pawari, Lodhanti, Khatola, Banaphari, Kundi, Nibhatta, Bhadauri, Lodhi, Koshti, Kumbhar, Nagpuri.

There are abundant records that in ancient times Bundeli was used in government correspondences, messages, invoices, Gazette and friendship treaties. Bundelkhandi literature includes the writings of Alha-Khand and the verses of Bhaddari. Bundheli language has a large literature. The most important work is Alha and Udal epic. It still preserved by bards in the Banaphari region. The epic is about heroes lived in the 12th century AD. The poed Chand Bardai, wrote this epic based on King Prithiviraj's wars with state of Mahoba. During the reign of Emperor Akbar, there arised a many literary works in Bundheli. During 16th century, Poet Kesab Das, who served as an ambassador from Indrajit Singh. He wrote several works in Bundheli language. Padmakar Bhatt, and Prajnes both of whom written several works during the 19th century. Prannath and Lal Kabi, produced many works in Bundheli language at the court of Chhattarsal of Panna.[5]


  1. ^ Bundeli language at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Bundeli at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  4. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bundeli". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  5. ^ http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=9-1&pages=843#page/110/mode/1up

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