The Unwritten History of the Saurashtrians of South India by T. A. Ramesh SignUp
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The Unwritten History of the Saurashtrians of South India
by T. A. Ramesh Bookmark and Share
 

From 500 to 1000 A.D. Saurashtrians lived in Mandsar, Dasapura towns of the old Saurashtra Province which included portions of the present Gujarat and Maharashtra States doing spinning and weaving works. In Dasapura they built  their own a Sun Temple and worshipped Sun God. The Sanskrit term Saura means sun. As they built and worshipped Sun or Saura God they were called as Saurashtrians and the region they lived was naturally called as Saurashtra Province.  

In major portions of Saurashtra region cotton was growing in large quantities. It was long staple variety cotton. As it was growing in the Arabian Sea breeze it was similar to the Egyptian or American type cotton very suitable for making thin thread. Even today the cotton plants grow most in Ahmedabad in the whole of the Deccan Plateau. Also, the climate of the region is most suited to make thin thread and dresses. So, they naturally learned the art of weaving thin clothes out of the very thin silk like cotton available there.

Saurashtra region was ruled by the Mourya dynasty King Somasarma, Saka dynasty King Rudradama and Gupta dynasty King Chandragupta called Vikramaditya. King Kumaragupta of 473 A.D. has said in his Royal Charter that the Saurashtrians who were spinning silk like thread and weaving thin clothes out of it, migrated from Lata town of Saurashtra region to Mandasar of Malwa region during the Gupta period; they were called as "Pattavayahs" weavers of thin silk like cotton clothes or silk clothes. Queen Mangamma (1681-1704) of Madurai also has said in her Royal Charter that such dress makers as Pattavayar  Migrations of Saurashtraians.

In 1024 Mohamed of Ghazini attacked the area of Somnath in Kathiawar. He plundered, looted, destroyed the Temple of Somnath and carried away valuable jewels, gold, diamonds, etc. As the Saurashtrians were unable to bear the harassments, continued disturbances of their works and destruction of properties by Ghazini 17 times or so they left their beloved place and migrated to peaceful places in the North, Centre and South of India.

Some migrated to the Surat town on the banks of River Tungabadhra and then to Devagiri of Yadava Kingdom. In Devagiri or Dauladabad they lived for about 2 to 3 centuries. As the dress, culture and movements of the people there were similar to theirs they adjusted themselves and lived there. Thereby some terms and words of Varaja language got mixed with the Saurashtra language.

In 1294 the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji and his General Malik Kafur crossed Vindhiya hills and Devagiri, waged battles with the Yadava King Ramchand. In the battle Yadava King was defeated and imprisoned. Alauddin Kiliji plundered all the properties of the people and left for Delhi. Due to this historical reason, Saurashtrians left Devagiri and migrated first to Marati Kingdom and then to Vijayanagar Empire. In that way many terms and words of Marati, Konkani and Kannada languages mingled with the Saurashtra language. Examples: Amti (curry), Limbu (Lemon), Angidi(Shop), etc.

Vijayanagar was situated near a village called Hampi in the Bellary District then. The first kings of the region were Harisharar and Bukka. Bukka sent delegates to Madurai to save Hindu Dharma and Hindu Kingdom from the destructions of Muslim rulers and established Pandyan King Rule there. When the heirs to the throne of Pandyan Kingdom were not available in 1500 Madurai came under the direct rule of Vijayanagar Empire, which was at its best under the King Krishadevaraya between 1509 and 1531. First Madurai was ruled by the General of Krishnadevaraya. Viswanatha Naicker was the first Naicker King to rule Madurai between 1558 and 1563. His Prime Minister and General, Aryanatha Naicker built the Thousand Pillar Mandapam at Madurai.

Viswanatha Naicker and his successors were defeated in the battle by Bahmani Sultan at Talikota in 1565. Vijayanagar Empire also was destroyed. At that time Saurashtrians who were living there with the full support of the kings for about 2 centuries had to leave Vijayanagar also. During that period many words and terms of Telegu language got mixed with the Saurashtra language such as Lohan (Iron), Boskanna (a festival), etc.

Between 1623 and 1659 Thirumalai Naicker was ruling in Madurai. He invited the Saurashtrians weavers to Madurai to make silk dresses for the Royal family and as a result they came down to Madurai and settled there. As time went on they settled in other places like Trichy, Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Salem, etc. in Tamil Nadu. Because of their arrival at Madurai, the town developed into a big city.

For nearly 4 centuries now they have been living in Madurai and other towns in Tamil Nadu. Not only weaving works but also all sorts of works they are doing there. Today schools, colleges, Mills and other institutions are run by them. In spite of this many people are still working as weavers and remain poor. Nobody knows the Saurashtra Script and also none reads or writes in that language. Only if this drawback is rectified, perhaps Saurashtra language can be saved in the future.

References
1. Indian History of Medieval Period
2. Saurashtra Nation and Saurashtra Community, an Article by Sri. N.S. Krishnamachari in the Golden Jubilee Souvenir of Sourashtra High School, Madurai, Tamil Nadu Magazine   

15-Jan-2006
More by :  T. A. Ramesh
 
Views: 17118
Article Comment Thank you for your great explanation. Our language is very very old. I am really very proud to be an sourashtra.
Venkatesh Babu RJ
08/16/2016
Article Comment Hi, our History is too good, but there is script for sourashtra and some people in Madurai are good with scripts. They are publishing newspaper and books in sourashtra script.
Nimeshikha
03/22/2016
Article Comment too good for , pattusali nekar family, Shetty galli Belgaum.

Ramesh M.Gaddi
01/13/2016
Article Comment thank you for your kind informations, but I want deep history of sourastrians (palkars)
sudhakar
11/10/2015
Article Comment I was searching for my fathers family who were born in Durban , Orange Garden, South Africa. I googled and got this wonderful article. the information in this article is very true . I visited Hampi town in Karnataka in 2014 and it was amazing.

I strongly believe that Naickers have ruled and build many large buildings in India. I too involved in the construction business of building schools in Malaysia.
Varatha Raju Naicker Malaysia
10/14/2015
Article Comment Super good information article to be used theyoung generation people,thanks.
B.R.PERUMAL
09/30/2015
Article Comment My parents often says that we are palgar i.e. silk weaver, as well as our community were actively trading in silver and gold ornaments. My parents are also saying that we are Bhavan, i.e. Brahmin and yes, we all are aware of our Gothra. In the Bhagavat and Vishnu puran our community were identified as Abhir. If so, then when did and why we accept silk weaving as a family business?

I might be wrong, but it is indeed of great importance to come across with the facts and evidences that will clarify the doubts in the minds of the young generation. Hence, a lot of unbias research is demanding. - Punit Pillin.


Punit Pillin
09/07/2015
Article Comment Now a days, sourashtra girls are marrying intercaste mens. I think this is not the right way to retain our strong community.. If she marries another caste boy then she belongs to her husband's community only. Because this is a male dominative society. So i wish all girls should marry sourashtra boy..
san
08/17/2015
Article Comment Really very informative article about Sourashtra community.Salute to the writer for letting us know about our community.
Balaji.R.K
05/27/2015
Article Comment Heart throbbing. All the youngsters from sourashtra must read this. At times our people have start changing our customs and traditions just because of modern culture. Its better to migrate again to our own state instead of spreading across the india without identity.
Jeyasri Mollin
02/25/2015
Article Comment Felt very inspirational after learnin our history... And as you said no one knows the saurashtra script.. its very pathetic... I hope our race will survive in near future..
Shabnam
01/16/2015
Article Comment It is high time that all sourashtra colleges started to teach Sourashtra scriptand established a chair for carrying out research on Sourashtriansparticularly their origin, history and migration to various parts of india.
Muthuram Janakiraman.
Muthuram Janakiraman
12/12/2014
Article Comment There is no word to say after reading our own history. We should be very proud to say sourashtrian.
T.R.SRIDHARAN
12/03/2014
Article Comment i have studied in sourashtra college BBA 1978 very good people to move with even today i have friends from sourahtra community
viswanathan
10/26/2014
Article Comment So sweet dear your our great history.

We are the sourashtrian, should follow our culture and tradition and should not give up at any cost.

I really proud being a sourashtrian.
PREMNATH KOVIN
10/15/2014
Article Comment Dear Sir,

I am very happy to know about my history.

And i want to know when we will get the Gujarathi status so that we can move to Gujarath to live peacefully.

regards
s kumar
s kumar
09/11/2014
Article Comment I appreciate this article's effort. And also the feel of language quoted as " Nobody knows the Saurashtra Script and also none reads or writes in that language. Only if this drawback is rectified, perhaps Saurashtra language can be saved in the future. ".

The above drawback should be rectified and we have a script for our language.
some of the people has found our language and they can teach in many temples.Some of the publisher can release the NEWS paper in our(Saurashtra Language).
Then our current prime minister
(2014-201_)Mr.Narendra Modi is a Saurashtrians.

Be proud to be a SAURASHTRIANS

Thank You,

Praveen Viswa
S.C.Praveen Kumar
08/19/2014
Article Comment Thus for I have been thinking, Sourashtra as a language and people historically came from a low economical background (compared to the likes of Chettiyars, Reddy's, Naidu's in India) It's amazing to know the skills they possess and demand for those skills pulled them acorss India. Madurai become a bigger city after Sourashtrian migrated. :)
If our primary skill was weaving Silk Clothes or Silk like Cotton clothes, I feel it's shame to realize that we haven't advanced ourselves in this area. By now if we had developed the technology and advance skills in premium weaving of silks like a Shet or Marwadi did with gold making. We all would have been a proud of ourselves.
I could only blame our predecessor for not improving the skills with the global market and passing on to the next generation. Now weaving is considered as poor man job. It's not that there is no demand for weaving or silk cloths in the earth. It's that we are lacking in the art in comparison to the global advancement. This is already an evident of our community getting deteriorated.. We should start helping each other and develop the community in every possible aspect. A Shet, A Reddy, A Chettiyar, A Marwadi would always prefer to do business within the community in whichever possible way, because they believe they help each other and they get a righteous service and price doing so. It's actually a reverse in our community, In "majority" a sourashtrian cheats another sourashtrian more than any other community folks starting from buying Electronics, water supply, household servicing, cloths and what not.. Give discounts, take business, help each other, believe we are brothers.. we could be an integrated community ever.
Gnana Prakash
07/18/2014
Article Comment Very interesting material about our history. Unfortunately, there is no references or sources mentioned. Indians as a whole have been notorious for not keeping meticulous records and we Saurashtrians are no exception.

A serious multi-disciplinary needs to be undertaken which should include the following: study of epigraphs, linguistic analysis (linguistic paleontology), correlation with textual reference in other languages such as Sanskrit, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil etc, genomic analysis, analysis of old Saurashtrian manuscripts and oral traditions.

Perhaps we can seek the help of the Gujarat Govt for sponsoring this research?

As an aside, it is very interesting to note that Saurashtrians do not seem to have a caste identity. Is this because, during the migration we were forced to intermarry among the castes to preserve our larger identity or the migrating group comprised of weavers looking to better themselves in a foreign land?

Ramesh Neelmegh
07/16/2014
Article Comment Its a good article. I wish to learn Sourashtra. I use to search online but i cant any exact needs to learn Sourashtra, can any one help me to learn it. my email id ramsixer94@gmail.com
S.Ram
07/12/2014
Article Comment Hi all,
It is nice to hear this news. I am very happy to see your supports for our community. Becoz some of our community people dont want to idendify as Saurashtrian. Even They dont want to speak saurashtra. They are always speaking tamil in home also. I dont why this people are behaving like this.
Anyway We should concentrate on our community growth.

Hello Mr.Gowri shankar,
you are telling to go back to our motherland and settle there. What is the status? what gujart govt is doing for that? Howmuch is it possible? If it will happen, I will be the first person to be happy.
Gangadhar
06/10/2014
Article Comment saurashtrians as otherwise identified as palkars within ourselves meant somehow related with sun worship since we maintain the sacred thread ceremony as saunal .the origin might have gone to hind-kush mountains to recent tajikistan to northwest india today itself because our entire community people garh- naav belongs to the ancient villages or forts of the abovesaid regoins and our language is very fundamental to sanskrit and other indo-euro bashas.the only untraceable truth is our settlement in recent tamilnadu. a faithful research must be continued by any born saurashtras ..thanks to all of you...
giridharan.b.aunan.
06/08/2014
Article Comment Every person from our community will do work hard to growth our self - economically , education , language. Every year we must meet in a common place and plan to do worth full for our community
padmadevi
05/29/2014
Article Comment I am from South Africa and I believe my grandfather a Surname Thoppai
came form these parts.So difficult to trace as no records exist and immigrants were given numbers
Will like to trace family in India
Tony Lutchman
05/28/2014
Article Comment Hi,
Moga thukku thinnukan monnum sethaya thujal pusalna meni avdartha. Nowadays especially in madurai, avro pedkin anna jaath pedkag farat kellariyo, and vice verse happens. What is your opinion about this? Everyone welcoming this ?
Devaki
04/23/2014
Article Comment My Great grand father Mr. Bhakyanadhan was a Vaithiar (Ayurvedic treatment). His native is Tanjore but he migrated to Andhra Pradesh. My grand father Mr. Selvaraj worked as a head master in one small school in Andhra Village. Later my Dad got transfer to chennai, he got married & settled in chennai itself. Now i'm very much interest to know about my ancester & their history, i'm hunting, hope God will help me to find my clan.
Sneha Jaichandran
04/23/2014
Article Comment Sourashtras migrated from Lata or South Gujarat by 800 A.D and the cause for the migration has nothing do with Gazni's invasion in 1024. for more information pl. read the book entitled 'The Migrant silk Weavers of Tamil Nadu-A Study' written by Prof.C.S. Krishanamoorthy and published by Sakthi Cultural & Educational Trust, Madurai. those who need it may contact 9381256419/ 9150618281. The book is written on the basis of historical evidences like inscriptions etc.,
cskrishnamoorthy
04/12/2014
Article Comment good article. we need to learn our language must. in school we need to introduce that is a additional language. try to know our culture n origin.
Rekarajagopal
04/04/2014
Article Comment Very nice.... it creates a great pleasure in knowing about our history....
Santhiya Chandrasekaran
03/02/2014
Article Comment Iam really surprise to read our history and i will appreciate with whole hearterly, the effort put to find our ( sourastrian ) history.Again i will convey my regards to all the concern/s who has put more efferts to publish.

Regards,

N.V.Bhaskaran.
N.V.Bhaskaran.
02/21/2014
Article Comment The sourastra language is very useful of leraning of Hindhi
SABARIVASAN GN
01/30/2014
Article Comment we must know one thing that we migrated towards south by islamic attacks. that time we in sourastra provinces were well settled and our profession was related with learning vedas,preaching vedas, and pooja punaskar, we called as archaryas and pandits, and also some sub divisions in cotten weaving and some in making golden thread.(jari) and also we have sub divisions with in us like bhaata ,trivedi, pandy,kuppal, patel livpattel, modh etc like that eighteen sub divisions. the mentioned sub divisions are not family name now we mentioning (gheru now). and another thing silk thread weawing is not our's it was done by pattusali in krishnadevarayar kingdom.after our arrival only pusali used golden thread in silk sarries. at beging we wont use symbole like nama in fore head. we use only kumkum and black called arakaja madefrom darbai. i appel my community don't worry about silk bussines for that was not our's own. now i glad to inform you all i with team making arrengements to go and settle to our native were we live with all comfort. deal of speeach with gujart govt official is going to held with in few months. for all are busy in election2014. after that with minister of culture, if it becomes succesfull no doubt soon we get regonize by gujart govt and we get refuge rehabitation from govt of gujart.please use that we are all sourashterian bharamin in our educational certificates and other official develupments and authorities. till 1955 we are in forward class. no loss if we in forward class, but try for ligustic minority that will help us more. another secerate forward community only enjoy more benifits current now and feature due to privitation.with regards
gowrishankar m.s
01/19/2014
Article Comment good to know our history...
surely need to pass this information our children.
K.K.Prasanna,Oman
11/05/2013
Article Comment very nice
karthikeyan U R
10/08/2013
Article Comment we need cooperations from gujarat govt gujarati peoples also please consider placement oppurtunities our people at gujarat they don,t know about us
purusi murali
09/21/2013
Article Comment Yellamaam rheeli kai kalaaras? Dhakki dhamatthak harumbam ketthiyeth dhamiledoos rhano, aski thenu thermiledoos rhaan. phiri vedoor hibbedees ami onta thet rhathak musai. thelle ami aski thenu Madurai-m sikkiriyo.

If we get into the bottom of this migration, one thing looks clear that our sourashtrians were not allowed to settle nowhere between their origin and Tamil Nadu, despite of attacks from various kings and sources, the other native people continued living in the path of war affected regions, it was only sourashtrians kept moving. I think we should be thankful to Tamilians who gave us settlement.

Aski thenu sondos kon rhano. (Mee attho kasun hannav kuchi UK migrate hoiyyiriyo!)


Upendran
08/20/2013
Article Comment Ikathi kalanatha jeya history hindo yemam see kalalyo chuku sonthosh mogo.

Balaji Musathin Subramanian
08/16/2013
Article Comment thanks for the information. It is very useful to know about our history.
Sindhu
08/10/2013
Article Comment hi,
I am very much keen interested in knowing the history of our's. Ofcourse this article given some info which was good. but still my heart thinks that we losing our tradition and culture style.eg; I heard that our ancesters (When lived in gujarat) celebrated wedding as a 1 week occasion. every day in a week they have some occasions like that.Now a days its gone out. I wish the culture and tradition to be back
Devipriya
07/24/2013
Article Comment mogo atha su ampiri pala mankan pathi choku kalai riya se,
so, i got more message from this cover story.
dharanibalan
06/13/2013
Article Comment as a sourastrian I proud of you like peoples!

gopikkannan k t
06/13/2013
Article Comment Good article about Sourashtra root and history...Thanks for publishing.
C R Premkumar
06/11/2013
Article Comment I had gone through the page and it is very useful historical events you have said. I am the founder of Saurashi Academy that works to develop the saurastrian or sauras's language in devanagari scripts and some text books brought out for the students who are from all age groups.
kanthalu. k. chandirasekaran
05/14/2013
Article Comment I'm proud to be a saurashtrian.This is usefull for me to know about our range.We are the people of sun god
Amarnath V.V.Krishnan
05/08/2013
Article Comment A Valuable Tamil person talk me about the same story at palani near danalakshmi ATM beside sourastra society,
after I seeked the history tru google and got it I am so happy
chandrasekar.s
04/19/2013
Article Comment it is very interesting in knowing about sourashtrian origin but a little diosappoitment is that why couldn't we go to our own motherland and continue our traditional culture
s.r.suresh
01/27/2013
Article Comment
My great parents from South India left to South Africa and later from Natal returned to Tamil Nadu. Again they migrated to Malaya to seek greener pasture ! They passed away and my naina too passed away in 1973. My great parents were from Chengkatpaddu and I have visited my village in Damal ( no 1 village in Kanchipuram ) and astonished to note
I have a great tradition to look upon and inform my next of kins around !
The whole village is populated by Naickers only !

May be compilation of documented proof on Naickers could be undertaken in the near future and that could enliven great memories of yester years.
Darmaraju
01/14/2013
Article Comment It is very useful to me who is interested to know more about Sourashtrialns history and where they (including me) are from. If you know some more sites related to my interest, forward to me. Thank you.
Thiruma(lai Rajan.R.G
12/12/2012
Article Comment Nice to know the background of sourashtra speaking people. The script issue which was mentioned as negative is now slowly changing. With the help of technology now translation softwares too available & peoples shows interest in learning social media too.
T N Krishnamoorthi
11/25/2012
Article Comment After reading the history of Sourashtrians, Now I understand why many telugu & other words mixed in our language. I will surely visit the Somnath temple in my life time
LOGANDHAN SUNDARAM KUMAR
10/25/2012
Article Comment u r explanation good :) but i want to know about north side saurastrians. wat abt them? their language is differ from our lang or slang? tel details about them.their festivals,marriage style,dressing..
sakthy
10/17/2012
Article Comment Thanks a lot. Very useful to know our history. Proud to be the builders of SUN temple.
Prasanna
09/24/2012
Article Comment It is very useful to us to know history.
G.D. Jothi Lakshmi
08/18/2012
Article Comment Mahal 'baathey'
deivathiru "rajaram"
mother tongue: sourashtra

I am reading this story very nice

sourashtra veerakula maanaadu thiramai panpaadhu en manamaarka nandri

by
sourashtra madurai super king & sourashtra madurai rocks

Balaji
08/07/2012
Article Comment Its great to know about our (saurashtrian) history...jukku sonthosh...
Lavanya Prabhuram
07/04/2012
Article Comment This article is really interesting and tends to know more details about our origin. As a sourashtrian iam very much interested and keen to know our history...
T.S.Srinivasan
06/28/2012
Article Comment Really Very Very Smart...!

Very Nice Explanations...!

Thank U :)
Anand
06/18/2012
Article Comment It is very useful to know our history..
Lokesh
06/16/2012
Article Comment i have seen your website very informative i suggest to improve our educational career and financial growth ,there is no differances madurai sourashtras and otherthanmadurai sourashtrians MORETHAN 50% PERCENT our people living in otherthan madurai our native place only sourashtra region of gujarat only
purusithulasirammurali
06/02/2012
Article Comment I am saurashtrian belongs to Tamilnadu. I need entire history of my race.
PREM KUMAR.S.J.
06/01/2012
Article Comment Good supply of historical information. Thank you. I had experience too by hearing konkani speak, sourastrian can almost understand.

Now regarding scripts - at the moment we are in a better position. we have language dictionary, some small story books, and some group started writing Bhagavat Gita as well. Also for kids small sessions are happening to learn letters. Sourastra Sabha is really doing all these good job.

As recent update, we do have Sourastra University in Gujarat where people linked from Madurai.

Just few information that I knew :-)
I am keen to know about language origin and the long way that we travelled.
Harini Kendey
04/19/2012
Article Comment It was a great thing that Naiker kings (Telugu speaking Balija Naidu/Kapu kings ) encouraged the beleaguered Saurashtrians to settle down in Madurai and other places.Like their relatives, The Vijayanagar kings the Telugu speaking Balija Naidu kings of Madurai,Thanjavur,Senji and Kandy encouraged settlement of umpteen number of people of all walks of life from Andhra region and Karnataka region who needed help.These Balija Nayak kings were instrumental in protecting and propagating Indian culture,art,sculpture,language and music when the same were under threat from various regions.
Raj
02/03/2012
Article Comment This history narrated is purely based on oral tradition. The exact place from where the present Sourashtrans living in Madurai emigrated is not yet researched and historical evidences like stone inscriptions are obtained.
The Mandasor inscription is the earliest available one which simply states that a group of silk weavers migrated from Lata to Dasapura and built a Temple for Sun.

The term Sourashtra though occurs in Panini' Ashta Adhyaayi (Grammar), later when that term was used is not known !.

In Tamil Nadu, they were termed as Pattunulkarar only. Sourashtra Sabha, Madurai was established in 12.02.1885 only.

The reference of Sourashtras in Rani Mangammal Charter is not giving any clue to the place from where they left for South.

Only a thorough comparative study of languages like Marathi, Gujarati, etc. will give some hint about the place of origin of Sourashtras.

It is surprising to note that how the Sourashtras in Tamil Nadu have lost complete contact with the people of Saurashtra of Gujarat, from where they are said to have migrated as per oral tradition.

Further research is to be done.

O.S.Subramanian.
O.S.Subramanian
01/01/2012
Article Comment In the article, it is mentioned as SAURASHTRIANS. But the Sourashtrians in Tamil Nadu call themselves as SOURASHTRIANS. It will be of great interest to analyse what made them to differentiate themselves with the people of SAURASHTRA, a part of Gujarat.The people in South don't want to identitify themselves with their brothers of North India ?... Can anyone attempt it..?
R.Sundaresan
11/17/2011
Article Comment I am veryproud to say i am a naicker
vasudevan
10/14/2011
Article Comment thanks history of naicker, i my self from naicker family, pls protect our culture
also our generation.

seelan
10/08/2011
Article Comment I will always be in search of the origin of my language and the purpose of we Saurashtrians living in various parts of Tamilnadu, etc. As I read this article the interest still gets boosted so as to help my language survive for our future Saurashtrians...
KKPrasanth
06/06/2011
Article Comment It is very useful to know about our history.Young generations to know this
Peddaha.R.DEVADOSS
04/14/2011
Article Comment I appreciate this article's effort. And also the feel of language quoted as " Nobody knows the Saurashtra Script and also none reads or writes in that language. Only if this drawback is rectified, perhaps Saurashtra language can be saved in the future. ". The above point is a timely need to sourashtra language.
T.R.Bhaskar
09/08/2010
 
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