Bundeli language

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

Native toIndia
Native speakers
5.6 million (2011)[1]
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3bns

Bundeli (Devanagari: बुन्देली or बुंदेली; or Bundelkhandi) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Bundelkhand region of central India. It belongs to the Central Indo-Ayran languages and is part of the Western Hindi subgroup.


A descendant of the Sauraseni Apabhramsha language, Bundeli was classified under Western Hindi by George Abraham Grierson in his Linguistic Survey of India.[2] Bundeli is also closely related to Braj Bhasha, which was the foremost literary language in north-central India until the nineteenth century.

Like many other Indo-Aryan languages, Bundeli has often been subject to a designation as a dialect, instead of a language. Furthermore, as is the case with other Hindi languages, Bundeli speakers have been conflated with those of Standard Hindi in censuses.

Grierson divided Bundeli into four dialect groups:[3]

  • Standard Bundeli
  • Northeast Bundeli (closely related to Bagheli)
  • Northwest Bundeli (similar to Braj Bhasha)
  • South Bundeli

Geographical distribution[edit]

The Bundelkhand region comprises regions of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Bundeli is spoken in the Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Chitrakoot, Mahoba, Datia, Chhatarpur, Panna, Tikamgarh, Gwalior, Vidisha, Jabalpur, Sagar, Damoh districts.


Early examples of Bundelkhandi literature are the verses of the Alha-Khand epic. It is still preserved by bards in the Banaphari region. The epic is about heroes who lived in the 12th century CE. Formal literary works in Bundeli dates from the reign of Emperor Akbar. Notable figures are the poet Kesab Das of the 16th century, while Padmakar Bhatt and Prajnes wrote several works during the 19th century. Prannath and Lal Kabi, produced many works in Bundeli language at the court of Chhatrasal of Panna.[4]


  1. "Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2011" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 29 June 2018.
  2. https://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=9-1&pages=843#page/103/mode/1up
  3. Grierson, George A. Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. Volume IX: . Indo-Aryan family. Central group. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India. {{cite book}}: |volume= has extra text (help); External link in |volume= (help)
  4. "LSI Vol-9 part-1". dsal. p. 89.


External links[edit]

Template:Central Indo-Aryan languages

Information red.svg
Scan the QR code to donate via UPI
Dear reader, We kindly request your support in maintaining the independence of Bharatpedia. As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on small donations to sustain our operations and provide free access to reliable information to the world. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to consider donating to our cause, as it would greatly aid us in our mission. Your contribution would demonstrate the importance of reliable and trustworthy knowledge to you and the world. Thank you.

Please select an option below or scan the QR code to donate
₹150 ₹500 ₹1,000 ₹2,000 ₹5,000 ₹10,000 Other