Thanjavur Marathi people
|(70,000 appx. (2001))|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Chola Nadu region of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Dharmapuri district, Kerala|
|Thanjavur Marathi (mother tongue), Tamil|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Marathi people, Deshasta Brahmin, Tamil people|
Thanjavur Marathi (colloquially called Rayar), are a Marathi-speaking ethno-linguistic group, who reside in the central and northern parts of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are the descendants of Marathi administrators, soldiers and noblemen who migrated during the rule of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom. Thanjavur was a Maratha kingdom in Tamil Country, until the British dethroned the last Thanjavur Maratha king. It was founded by Maratha Warrior Chatrapati Shivaji's brother, Venkoji Rajē Bhonsalē. Kshatriyas use the designation Maratha while Brahmins use the self-designation Deshastha.
Demographics and distribution
According to the 2001 census, Marathi is spoken as a mother tongue by about 0.1% of the total population of Tamil Nadu. Exact districtwise statistics are not available, but according to estimates, Marathis are mostly concentrated in the city of Chennai and the Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Dharmapuri, Vellore, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruvarur, Kanchipuram and Tiruchirappalli districts of Tamil Nadu. The Marathi population in Tamil Nadu has dwindled recently due to migrations to Maharashtra, Bangalore, North India and foreign countries.
There are many organisations that support the cause of Thanjavur Marathi people across various parts of India. One of the prominent ones is The Mahratta Education Fund (MEF), a non-profit organisation working for the spread of education to poor and deserving students of the South Indian Marathi-speaking community.
- "Census of India - DISTRIBUTION OF 10,000 PERSONS BY LANGUAGE". Government of India. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Gopal, Ashok (August 1986). "Shivaji's Forgotten Cousins" (PDF). Poona Digest.
- B. N. Krishnamurti Sarma (2000). A history of the Dvaita school of Vedānta and its literature: from the earliest beginnings to our own times. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 544. ISBN 978-81-208-1575-9.
- M. Vinayak (January 15, 2000). "Struggle for survival". The Hindu.
- S. Muthiah (July 7, 2003). "The Maharashtrians of T. N." The Hindu.
- Robert Eric Frykenberg (1968), Elite Formation in Nineteenth Century South India, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Tamil Culture and History, Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaysia Press
- South Indian Maharashtrians (Cultural and Economic Studies), Silver Jubilee Souvenir, Mahratta Education Fund, 1937