deshastha · MADHWA · marathi

Madhwa Marathi deshasthas

I wish to write a post on Marathi deshasthas for a long time.  When  someone sees us in Mutt/Temple speaking Marathi, The immediate question they ask with  raised eye brows “Oh! neevu deshasthara?” And in Common weddings/Functions, Majority of Kannada people will start trolling Desasthas(As we are in minimum numbers). Though its funny most of the times, It is not sometimes. Few people pass comment on  us as “Kayre kottre janagalu” (Sometimes I feel like, am i looking like an Alien or what? 😉 😉 )

And Those who did studies in Tamilnadu, Would have faced even more such situations from friend’s circle.  “Oh you look Tamilian and You speak very good Tamil, How come you speak Marathi @ home and how you can be a Maharashtrian?” .

And those who have lived near Mumbai area, will start interviewing you in Marathi( who claim it as purest)as if you are submitting your PhD thesis.

I have answered many people around me @ Every stage of life,” I am Marathi desashtha, My roots are from Thanjore. Somehow migrated across south India for work long back (Three to four generations atleast) ” . In recent years I came to know the exact history of who we are?

Disclaimer: And the above statements are out and out my personal experience and I am not talking about everyone 🙂 

When i was studying Middle school, we went on a family Yatra to Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Mandir(Our family deity) and pandrapur vittobha by Road Travelling through Karnataka(We Visited so many moola brindavanas). I was in the mindset as We know Marathi, We are going to easily manage our stay in Maharashtra. But it is not. Though we can understand the language, It was so hard to reply in a perfect sentence. Whatever we speak is a mix of Marathi + Tamil(And in these recent years,influence of English + Kannada also)

Yes We exists! We are Marathi speaking Madhwa Deshasthas. We are Dvaitha followers. Just because we speak a different language doesn’t mean we are different. We follow all the rituals and procedures and Philosophy of our Great Madhwa Doctrine

Who are We?

Ekoji-I or Venkoji was the younger half-brother of Shivaji and founder of Maratha rule in Thanjavur. The Marathi inscriptions of the Thanjavur temple dates the capture of Thanjavur to January 1676

WHEN the Mahrattas ruled Tamil Nadu from Thanjavur (their dynasty was founded by Chatrapati Shivaji’s half-brother Venkoji) for nearly two centuries from 1675, they encouraged a large number of settlers from the Deccan and Karnataka to consolidate their power in the South. Many Brahmins and Kshatriyas, known as Deshasthas, found their homes in the fertile Cauvery delta, Thanjavur and its neighbourhood.

The Hindu, Jan 15, 2000

A larger part of the migration of these people from their homeland to Tamil Nadu took place between 1712 and 1726, when Serfoji I invited the brahmins from his homeland and offered them vast lands. Records showed that the migrations ceased after 1855, says Yeshwanth Rao, a member of the Mahratta Education Fund (MEF), an organisation of this community.

The Times of India, Aug 7, 2012

Look at the origin of Sambhar:

One of the stories is that it originated in the kitchen of Thanjavur Marathas ruler Shahuji during the 17th century from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[1] Shahuji trying to make a dish called amti, experimented with pigeon peas instead of mung bean, and tamarind pulp for kokum and the court named it sambhar after the guest of the day, Sambhaji, second emperor of the Maratha Empire


(Proud inventor of Sambhar)

I have seen most of the Marathi speaking Madhwa, easily learns and adapts kannada language. Why not the same in reverse?

I am going to post few of the commonly used words and sentences in Marathi. Those who want to learn Marathi, Can start learning and impress your near and dear ones!!!

Let us learn Marathi


Marathi word

How are you Kasa ayenta
I am fine Me besha ayen
What is your name(Addressing to elder one/with respect) Tumcha nama kaaya?
What is your name(Addressing to younger one/without respect) Tuja naama kaaya?
My name is ____________ Maja naama _______
Hello/Greetings Namaskara
How much does it costs? Kavda mola?
Where are you going? Kotta jathaayintha?
When will you come? Kamma yeyala?
What do you want? Tumaal kaaya payye?
Had your food? Jevna jaalaka?
Do you want water? Paani payekka?
Are you feeling sleepy? Jomba ethaka?
What is the time now? Attha kaaya gante?
Are you feeling hungry? Bhook lagatha ka?
Do you need anything? Kaithri payyeka?
Where are you now? Kotta ayentha?
See you tomorrow Uja pamna
Shall we talk now? Attha boluvyaka?
Take care Anga paanga

Marathi word

What Kaaya
How Kasa
When Kamma
Why Kajala
Where Kotta
Which Kotta
Who kona


Marathi word

Rice Tandool
Urad dhal Udidacha dala
Moong dal/Green gram Mooga dal
Split chick pea/Chana dhal Chanach dal
Wheat Gahoon
Sugar Saakara
Wheat flour Gavacha peeta
Salt Meeta
Mustard seeds Mohra
Tamarind Chincha
Red chilles Thamda mirsinga
Coriander seeds Dhane
Fenugreek seeds Methi
Cumin seeds Jire
Pepper Mire
Sesame seeds Til
Jaggery Gul
Peanuts Shengdana
Milk Dhoodh
Yogurt/curd Daahin
Ghee Thoopa
Sesame oil Chakot thela
Butter Loni
Cashew nuts Bibba
Raisins Dhrakshe


Marathi word

Lime Limbu
Ginger Aala
Brinjal Vangi
Pumpkin Bhomba
Yam Suran
Greens/spinach Paala
Chillies Mirsinga
Coconut Narla
Cluster beans Senga


Marathi word

Anger Raaga
Happy Santhosha
Sad Vesan
Love Laad
Suspicious/doubtful Sandega
Fear Beh
One who fears Bhikondi
Pride Garva
One who shows off Jhambista
Show off Jhamba
One who is so proud of himself/herself Garvishta
Rough person Moratt
Dignified Gambhira



Curry Bhaaji
Rasam/saaru Saara
Dhal Varna
Sambhar/Huli Sambhar
Kootu Pitla
See kootu Sapak pitla
Payasa Kheer
Dhal vada Ambode
Majjige huli Kadi
Bisibela bath Mandi sambar bath
Curd Dahi
Lemon rice Limbacha bath
Rice Batha
Mixed rice Kalivaltha batha


Marathi word

Sour Ambatta
Sweet Gulchitta
Spicy Thikkatta
Bitter Kadu
Bland sapak


Marathi word

Red Thambda
Black Kaala
White Pandra
Green Hirva
Blue Neela
Yellow Piyula
Oranga Naarangi


Marathi word

Father Bapa
Mother Amma
Brother Bhau
Sister Bhahin
Father’s brother Kakka
Paternal uncle’s wife Kakki
Grandfather Aaja
Grand mother aaji
Mother’s sister Mausi
Father’s sister Athya
Mother’s brother Mama
Maternal uncle’s wife Maami
Sister in law Vaini/Vahini
Brother in law Bavoji
Wife’s brother Mevana
Wife’s sister Mevini
Father in law Sasra
Mother in law Saasu
Husband’s brother Dera
Husband’s elder sister Vainaka
Husband’s Younger sister Nananda
Brother’s wife Bauja
Son in law/ Daughter in law father Vyaahin
Son in law/ Daughter in law mother Vihina
Cousin brother(Maternal aunt son) Maausa baavu
Cousin sister(Maternal aunt daughter) Maausa bahina

Body parts

Marathi word

Head Doska
Ear Kaan
Eyes Dola
Face Thonda
Tooth Dhanta
Neck Gala
Chest Oora
Hand Hatha
Leg Paaya
Stomach Pota
Back Mada
Fingers Bota


Marathi word

Tuesday Mangalvaar
Wednesday Budhavaar
Thursday Guruvaar
Friday Shukravaar
Saturday Shanivaar
Sunday Aithvar

Miscellaenous Words

Marathi word

Not doing well Aang bharni
Cold Padasa
Cough Konkla
Throat pain Ghasa dhukta
Body pain Aang soola
Fever Jara
Broke Modla(Hath modla – broken hand, PAaya modla – Broken leg)
Cut Chiru
Pus Poon
Tumors Gadda
Lamp Diva
Festival Sena
Bowl Vaati
Ring the bell Ghanta vajiva
Conch Shanka
Plate Thaata
Vessel Pathra
Brass vessel Kancha
Frying pan Thel thava
Huge vessel for storing water Gangaala
Kudam/vessel for carrying water Ghagara
Serving spoon Phali
Flat spoon for making chapathi/dosa Ucchatni
Slotted spoon for frying Jharni
Vessel to hold water during meal Thambe
Thread Dhora
Silk Reshme
Veranda Naduvi
Nine yard saree Nau gacha lugda
Women in periods Vittaalsi
Stove Choola
Flower Phula
Fruits Pandu
Tree Jhaada
Bush Judupa
Stitch Seevna
Comb Pani
Combing Vinchara
Left hand Dava haatha
Right hand Ujva haatha
DosA Dhirda
Winter Himaala
Summer Unaala
Rain Pausa
Windy Vaaravasi
Teacher Panthoji
Bag Pisivi
Kitchen Sampak koli
Room Koli
Bedsheet cover/comforter Pangurna
Free time Rikaama
Maths Ishoba
Bedding Anthurna
Cot Palanga
Bad guy Vangla
Bad women Vangli
Hot water Unu paani
Cold water Himsa paani
Feeling cold Hima vastha


Marathi word

1 Ek
2 Dona
3 Theena
4 Chaara
5 Paancha
6 Saha
7 Saatha
8 Aata
9 Nou
10 Daha
11 Akra
12 Bhara
13 Thera
14 Chouda
15 Pandhra
16 Soula
17 Sathra
18 Athra
19 Ekunavees
20 Vees
21 Ekevees
22 Baavees
23 Theevees
24 Chouvees
25 Panchivees
26 Souvees
27 Sattavees
28 Attavees
29 Ekunathees
30 These


  50 Pannas
60 Saati
70 Sattar

I remember few of the rhymes in Marathi My grandfather used to tell us:

Jhoola hatthi jhoola re
hathi soonda phoola re
devakicha moola re
hathi kasha jhoolatha
raama kasha bolotho
Kasha hasto ha!ha!ha!

Motha paan maanduna
koshambari ghaluna
bhaji ghaluna
bhaat galuna ( while holding your palm up as a plate and holding baby’s hand to mash the imaginary cooked rice).
Thoop galuna
daal galuna
besh kalivuna
paal karuna
thejantha kadi galuna
kadi paal phutla, phutla, phutla (tickling hand)



17 thoughts on “Madhwa Marathi deshasthas

  1. Very interesting and thought provoking article. We are also madwa Marathi deshashtas but, we now settled in Karnataka and don’t speak Marathi. Our forefathers spoke Marathi. Thanks for providing a good insight.


  2. Usually I ignore such persons because they too talk colloquial Kannada only by mixing telegu,Tamil and English.I feel we the maratti speaking people speak better is only an illusion that they are superiors.Ignore them.


  3. Thanks for the article. Even though iam desastha ,i do not know the history and the origin of this language. Desastha people are scattered all over india and are minority clan.


  4. Thanks for the article. Even though iam desastha ,i do not know the history and the origin of this language. Desastha people are scattered all over india and are minority clan.


  5. Very interesting article. I am doing a Ph.D research course, at Madras University, with the
    thesis title being ‘Contribution of Madwa Community to Music in Tamilnadu’.
    When collecting data on the subject, the scope of the ‘title’ has to be expanded to include all South India and the definition of ‘Madwa’ has to be expanded to include every ‘sub-groups’ prevelant in Tamilnadu – 1. Kannada speaking Madhwas called ‘Karnatakavuru or balaganadavuru’
    largest group in numbers, 2. Marati speaking ‘Desastharu’ second in numbers, 3. Kannada speaking ‘Arvelavaru’ about third in numbers and 4. Kannada speaking Aravathu vokkuluvaru, probably last in numbers.

    One explanation for the name ‘Desastharu’ is given as ‘People from DESH ( a defined geographical area in North West Maharashtra ) which more or less agrees with your ‘heritage’ data. Similarly, the explanation for ‘Karanatakavuru’ or ‘balagunadavuru’ may refer to the
    explanation – they belong to ‘Old’ or ‘Original’ Country.

    Every community thinks they are the God’s ‘Chosen people’ and their living region is the ‘Holy Land’ – like Jews and Jerusalam / Isrel – and the name ‘Desastha’ as well as ‘Balaganadu’ must have originated.

    One major difference I have noticed ( at least in Tamilnadu ) that some of the Madwa Desasthas
    follow Smartha traditions – Saivite names and Shiva worship. Though they follow Madwa philosophy and traditions. Upto recent years inter-group marraiages were frowned upon though in the last 20-30 years it is very common. Right in our family itself quite a few inter group marriages
    have taken place.

    Incidentally, I belong to the Kannada speaking ‘balaganadu’ group of Madwas, born in Tamilnadu
    but for more than 60 years I have been abroad, completeing 50 years in Canada – interesting quote, Kanchi Sri Maha periyava who I had the honour of having a little close relationship, with his great sense of humour, replied to his assistant when the assistant reported my presence in the ‘devotees que for dharsan’, ‘Oh, I know him well, his language and his country ( denoting my mothertounge Kannada and my country of residence Canada ).

    Anyway, I would like to be in touch with you (and your friends in your blog) for exchange of information on the whole ‘Madwa Community’ with respect to their contributions to Culture and Fine arts in India (particularly in South India ).

    To everyone reading this post : Kindly understand that this is not a study to divisions among the Madwas, nor for claiming superiority for one group over the others. This is purely an educational study to record / bring out the ‘heritage’ of Madwas – even there, this not a study on Theological debates between Advaitha, Dwaitha and Vishistadwaitha philosophies. So, PLEASE do not post any replies or comments along those lines – theological or divisive subjects.

    Venkataraman (Ram)


  6. I can relate every word of it….wonderful post..esp. the words and ” Motta paan galuna…..”..want to know some more clarity of my roots…my villagr name…etc


  7. Thanks for this article… I can relate each part of it… As being a madhwa deshashta marathi I always face it in my life… N people keep assuming if am a south indian…. N that word “kaay re kottare jengalu” touched my heart… That’s exactly how people call us if they know our community… Though a small one.. bt m very proud of being a part of this community.. and thanks for also teaching out marathi 😊


  8. Informative,to be shared among Madhwas to know their ancestral roots n culture of both Deshasthas n smarthaas.Tnx for the information.


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