Kochila Tharu
Native toNepal
Native speakers
258,000 in Nepal (2003)[1]
  • Western Kochila
  • Saptari
  • Morangia
Official status
Official language in
Tharuban of Nepal
Language codes
ISO 639-3thq

Kochila Tharu, also called Morangiya, Septari or Saptariya Tharu, Madhya-Purbiya Tharu, and Mid-Eastern Tharu, is a diverse group of language varieties in the Tharu group of the Indo-Aryan languages.[2] The several names of the varieties refer to the regions where they dominate.[3] It is one of the largest subgroupings of Tharu.[4] It is spoken mainly in Nepal with approximately 250,000 speakers as of 2003.[5] In addition to language, cultural markers around attire and customs connect individuals into the ethnic identity Kochila.

Heavily concentrated in the eastern area of Terai,[5] speakers of Kochila Tharu live in linguistically diverse regions and are generally multilingual (with the exception of some elderly female speakers).[6] The language is widely utilized by all members of the community and coexists with the use of Nepali.

Kochila Tharu communities are not found in isolation, but live in districts intermixed with speakers of other languages. Kochila Tharu have superficial similarities with neighbouring languages such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, Bengali and Rajbanshi due to their close proximity with these various ethnicities depending upon the districts that they are present.[6]

A 2013 survey by SIL International found that the language was being taught to children as their first language and used conversationally between multiple generations of speakers, characteristics of a "vigorous" language as defined by Ethnologue Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS).[3][6]

Dialects and distributions

There are 3 main dialects of Kochila Tharu spoken throughout mid-central and eastern Nepal which are into the following varieties due to their intelligibility:[6]

Western Kochila: 65,000 speakers in Mid eastern Nepal

Central Kochila (Septari or Saptariya Tharu): 140,000 speakers in Eastern Nepal

Eastern Kochila (Morangiya, Rajghariya, Khawas Tharu): 160,000 speakers in Eastern Nepal

The lexical similarity percentages among the three Kochila Tharu varieties show that the lexical similarity percentages vary from 65% to 73%. Lexical similarity follows a geographic pattern of the central variety having similar results for the eastern and western varieties, while the similarity percentage between the eastern and western varieties is slightly lower.[6]


  1. ^ Kochila Tharu at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  3. ^ a b "Tharu, Madhya-Purbiya". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  4. ^ Carl., Skutsch (2013). Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781135193959. OCLC 863823479.
  5. ^ a b International encyclopedia of linguistics. Frawley, William, 1953- (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003. p. 484. ISBN 0195139771. OCLC 51478240.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e Eichentopf, Stephanie R.; Mitchell, Jessica R. "A Sociolinguistic Study of Kochila Tharu in Southeast Nepal" (PDF). www.sil.org. Retrieved 2018-12-12.