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Bagheli language

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Title: Bagheli language  
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Subject: Chhattisgarhi language, Languages of India, Hindi languages, Bundeli language, Haryanvi language
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Bagheli language

Native to India
Native speakers
8.0 million  (2004)[1]
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.[2]
Ojhi (Ojaboli, Ojha, Ojhe, Oza, Ozha), Powari, Banapari, Gahore, Tirhari, Godwani (Mandlaha), Sonpari. Godwani, Kumhari
Devanagari script
Official status
Official language in
India (Madhya Pradesh)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
bfy – Bagheli
pwr – Powari
Linguasphere 59-AAF-rc

Bagheli (Devanagari: बघेली or बाघेली) is an Eastern Hindi language spoken in the Baghelkhand region of central India. It is one of the languages classified as a dialect of Hindi by the Indian Census Report until 2001.

The Bagheli speakers are found mainly in six districts of Madhya Pradesh (Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Shahdol, Umaria and Anuppur).


The language spoken in Baghelkhand has been known as Bagheli since the 13th century. Bagheli is a regional language used for intra-group and inter-group communication. It is also known as Baghelkhandi, Rimahi and Riwai (Rewa district).

Dr. George Abraham Grierson in his Linguistic survey of India classified Bagheli under Indo-Aryan, Eastern Hindi. The extensive research by Dr. Bhagawati Prasad Shukla also agrees with Dr. Grierson’s classification. Ethnologue classifies Bagheli as Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, and East Central zone (Grimes 1992:552). According to Dr. Bhagawati Prasad Shukla, Bagheli language has three major divisions:

  1. Pure Bagheli
  2. West Mixed Bagheli
  3. Southern Broken Bagheli

Indian Census report 1991 classifies Bagheli/Baghelkhandi as a dialect of Hindi under Scheduled language list.


The dialects of Bagheli language are Remahai(spoken by people belonging to Rewa), Riwai, Godwani (spoken by Gonds) and Kumhari (spoken by Kumhars).

Powari is considered either a dialect group within Bagheli, or a separate branch of Central zone Hindi.Powari is itself divided into a number of dialects, including Bhoyar Powari (Bhoyari, Bhomiyari, Bhoyaroo, Bhuiyar, Bhuria, Bohoyeri), Vyneganga Powari, Govari of Seoni, Khalari, Koshti, Kumbhari, Lodhi, Marari. Lexical similarity between Powari dialects is reported as 60%–87% by SIL Ethnologue, and lexical similarity between Powari and Bagheli i as 49%–65%.

Language boundaries

Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Shahdol, Umaria and Anuppur are primary districts of Bagheli speaking area. The Bagheli speaking area extends up to the Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh and Bilaspur and Koriya districts of Chhattisgarh.

  • There are several radio and TV programmes in Bagheli. All India Radio is broadcasting Bagheli songs and agricultural programmes from Shahdol,Rewa and Bhopal stations.
  • Awadhesh Pratap Singh University (APSU) in Rewa provides multiple opportunities to learn and research in this language.

Further reading

  • Pathak, R. S. The Phonetics of Bagheli: A Phonetic and Phonological Study of a Dialect of Hindi. New Delhi: National Pub. House, 1980.
  • Shukla, Hira Lal. Contrastive Distribution of Bagheli Phonemes. Raipur: M.P., Alok Prakashan, 1969.
  • Shukla, Bhagvati Prasad. 1972. Bagheli Bhasha aur sahithya (Hindi). Allahabad: Sahitya bhavan Pvt. Ltd
  • Koshy, Binoy; Tutum Padung and GB Amar. 2004. A Sociolinguistic study of Bagheli speakers in Madhya Pradesh. Unpublished research by NLCI


  1. ^ Bagheli at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Powari at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ [1]

External links

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