Bhil languages

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Ethnicity Bhil people
Linguistic classification Indo-European
  • Northern
  • Central
  • Bareli
Glottolog bhil1254[2]

The Bhil languages, also known as Bhili or Bhilodi, are a group of Western Indo-Aryan languages spoken in 2011 by some 210 million (87 million in 2001)[3] Bhils in western, central, and by small numbers, even in far eastern, India. They constitute the primary languages of the southern Aravalli Range in Rajasthan and the western Satpura Range in Madhya Pradesh, north western Maharashtra and south Gujarat. According to the 52nd report of the commissioner for linguistic minorities in India, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Bhili is the most commonly spoken language of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli constituting 40.42% of its total population. Bhili speakers are also significant in the states of Gujarat (4.75%), Madhya Pradesh (4.93%) and Rajasthan (4.60%).[4]


The Bhil languages form a link midway between the Gujarati language and the Rajasthani–Marwari languages.

The group comprises the following languages:

Kalto, AKA Nahali, is another Bhil language.

The Vasavi language is spoken by ethnic Bhils, but is closer to Gujarati.


  1. ^ Ernst Kausen, 2006. Die Klassifikation der indogermanischen Sprachen (Microsoft Word, 133 KB)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bhil". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Report of the Commissioner for linguistic minorities: 52nd report (July 2014 to June 2015)" (PDF). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. 

Further reading

  • Khare, Randhir. "Dangs: Journeys Into The Heartland". New Delhi: Harper Collins Publishers India.
  • Khare, Randhir. "Flight Of Arrows". Selected Song Poems Of The Bhils.Pune:Grasswork Books
  • Khare, Randhir. The Singing Bow: Song-Poems of the Bhil. New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers India, 2001.[permanent dead link] ISBN 81-7223-425-2
  • Varma, Siddheshwar. Bhil Dialects and Khandesi: A Linguistic Analysis. Panjab University Indological series, 23. Hoshiarpur: Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Panjab University, 1978.
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