Marathi people

Marathi People

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Marathi people

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The Marathi people or Maharashtrians () are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages. Although their history goes back more than a millennium, the community came to prominence when Maratha warriors under Shivaji Maharaj established the Maratha Empire in 1674. ‘Mee Marathi’ (, ‘I am Marathi’) are two words that have always inculcated Marathi pride.


The Marathi people are also known as "Maharashtrians". The whole community was called Maratha or Marathe (plural of Maratha) between the 17th and 19th centuries. However, at the beginning of 20th century, due to the efforts of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, the peasant Indo-Aryan Kshatriya Marathi class called Kunbi started using the word Maratha to describe themselves. So in current usage the term Maratha applies mainly to the former Indo-Aryan Kshatriya Kunbi caste as well as the 96 clan upper caste "Maratha" group and not to the wider Marathi community.In the Indo-Aryan Marathi language, they refer to themselves as Marathi.


The earliest records refer to the region today known as Maharashtra as Dandakaranyas which means "Forest of punishment". In times of Ramayana, it was home of deadly creatures and demons. Only exiled persons and sages (Rishis) typically resided here. Khara, Dushan and Shurpanakha are said to have met Rama in this region in...
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