we strive to serve the motherland
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
WHAT IS MITHILA HERITAGE?
Do you remember the ring finding ritual?
Yes that ritual in which few Kaudi shells and a ring are kept in the milk and both bride and groom get seven chances to find the ring.
In this modern era, we still love our rituals and traditions. People are now more interested in traditions and cultures. However due to lack of knowledge and generation gaps, it is getting lost somewhere.
But, Don't Worry!
Mithila Heritage is here to save our culture and to help us enjoy it.
The cultural heritage of Mithila is extremely rich, we need to understand it's importance and continue to learn and embrace it.
कल-कल कमला,कोशी बलान
बागमती के तीर सिधार।
परम-प्रिय मिथिला नमस्कार।
These lines are a brief description of the serene Mithila.
The land of Kamla , Koshi and Bagmati. The land where these rivers comes down from the Himalayas to get their youth form and surge in their full flow . The place where people are pure by their heart and soul. We bow to that holy land of Mithila.
Mithila,the land of culture and traditions .This is what we think of when we hear this word but the sphere of Mithila can not be limited up to this only. There are many more dimensions where Mithila has left its print .Many more dimensions are yet to be discovered and those which are known are still out of reach of many common people and are limited to some texts only.
Before showing you the varied forms of Milthila, let us know "what Mithila is ?"
Mithila is a great amalgamation of people from varied originality who came together along with their history , culture ,tradition and language and so a very new and profound form came up in a particular region ( in the plains of Gandaki, Kosi, Bagmati and Ganga) which later on called as Mithila. The name of Mithila was given on the name of the king 'Mithi' who established his kingdom here and so the language which the people speak there, called Maithili.
In this holy land, many great philosopher came up and enlightened the whole region , it is why Mithila is called as the land of enlightened one. It is also well known for its rich culture of food,clothing and festivals which have their own cultural and economic significance with a profound scientific reasons behind each of them.
Now a days, due to lack of economic development a major portion of population is left uneducated and hence don't know much about their rich cultural heritage which have a great relevance in today's world.
So, we here at Mithila Heritage aim to unveil some of the less known faces of Mithila,so that each and everyone get to know about its rich history ,culture and tradition along with its social and political aspects and feel proud that they are a part of this holy land of Mithila.
मिथिला की सांस्कृतिक धरोहर अत्यंत समृद्ध है। इसका संरक्षण बहुत जरूरी है। यहां प्राचीन सामग्री तो बहुत है लेकिन उनमें जो विशिष्ट हैं वे हमारी धरोहर हैं। इनके महत्व को समझना तथा उनका संरक्षण करना नई पीढ़ी का दायित्व है।
The cultural heritage of Mithila is very rich. It's preservation is of utmost priority. There are a lot of ancient materials available here, and among them the most special ones are our heritage. Understanding their importance and preserving them is the responsibility of the our generation.
MITHILA HERITAGE IS THE FIRST STEP
Amazing Mithila Facts!
Makhana or Foxnut originated from Mithila and become famous worldwide for it's rich nutritional values and super delicious taste. It is undoubtedly the most versatile and yummy food which could not only be a superfast snack but also a mouthwatering Kheer (pudding).
Recently the Geographical Indications Registry (GIR) under the central ministry of commerce has accepted the plea to rename GI Tag on Makhana from "Bihar Makhana" to "Mithila Makhana".
Sujani is a kind of cotton quilt containing stylised embroidery and is remarkable for detailed and complex workmanship. Delicate embroidery is done on white quilts made of Cotton, woven into thick coverlet mostly white and sometimes coloured also.
The Sujani-making of Mithila is still undiscovered across the borders of Bihar. The quilts and covers prepared by women are similar to Kantha of Bengal. The technique of weaving Sujani is simple but time-consuming and requires much patience to complete the entire process. A number of old worn-out Sarees and Dhotis are stitched together with white(sometimes coloured)threads drawn from the borders of Sarees. After the quilting is done, the central portion is stitched with coloured threads from borders or old dyed materials, and further attractively worked with various motifs and designs. Sometimes, while preparing designs cross-stitches are also used. Often, the motifs inspired by the natural surroundings are carved on the Sujani i.e. the motifs depicting the kingdom of animals, birds, flowers and plants are drawn. Lively and vibrant pictures representing the antique regional traditions, often inspired by everyday life such as 'the palanquin-bearers carrying a bride or old woman on her way to the pilgrimage' are attractively drawn, enriched by the imagination of the artists.
A comparison between the Kantha of Bengal and the Sujani of Mithila would highlight the fact that the former is delicate and intricate but the latter is simpler yet bolder in conception. Without compromising with the richness of patterns, the surface is carefully worked out and a balanced pattern is created.
The Sujani serves the purpose of the quilt during the winter season and a wrap for the infants. Also customised Sujanis are used in order to cover musical instruments, precious commodities and old records.
Dismally, due to lack of time and availability of various alternatives, the artistic and beautiful Sujanis are losing their relevance. Hence, in order to rejuvenate the regional art of quilt making, we need to attract the market forces including both producers and consumers. This will certainly generate employment, another alternative for quilts in the market, along with a recognition tag to the regional makers of Sujani. Producers (the makers of the quilt, mostly women, confined to their homes) would lovingly grab this golden opportunity in order to earn a living and the consumers too would satisfy their utilities with another great alternative in the market.
Editted By : Anjali
As we have already discussed in brief about the rich cultural heritage of Mithila, let us examine it in some greater depth, so that we can get a better clarification about each aspect of it. In the course of learning about various art and crafts of Mithila, here we are going to be familiar with the most prominent art of floor-drawing which is called by the name of 'Aripana'
It has a long drawn history and has been handed down from generations. Even today, it is very difficult to find a single house in Mithilanchal where ceremonies are held without Aripana. The ladies who are well trained in this work, enjoy a special status among women and get the tag of Aripana Denihar (lady who does the drawing). During special occasions, these ladies are the flavour of the month, even a ceremony can be delayed if Aripana Denihaar does not come.
If we look upon the etymology of this word, we will find that, it has a sanskrit origin and is derived from the word 'Alimpana' which means the art of drawing Ali(embankment or wall). It is a form of Varta Mandala ( a sub-classification of Mandalas) and is known by different names at different places (like Alpana in Bengal, Kolam in Tamil-Nadu and so on) with some variations in designs. The early manifestation of these diagrams (Mandalas) and their evolution can be traced in some ancient epics and in early rock paintings of India. Many of these drawings have some religious background but the main purpose behind these is yet to be known. There are certain beliefs that, it was drawn to make cultivated land fertile and fruitful by magical performances. Primitive women drew this for their personal benefits and subsistence, and not merely for artistic decoration.
These diagrams are referred to as writing, and not as drawing or painting. Aripana symbolises the prevalence of the Shakti cult in Mithila of which we have numerous references in various Puranas and in Harsacarita as well. Most of these Aripana are closely associated with the Tantric cult.
As noted above, the Aripana or line-drawings are formed on the ground on the eve of certain rituals or ceremonies such as Puja, Vrata, and Sanskara etc. On every occasion, these drawings are made fresh and anew in the courtyard,door-front, and other places. It is one of the sixty-four arts described in Classical literature.
In drawing Aripanas, brushes aren't used, the drawing is usually made with the help of nimble fingers. The material primarily used is the thin paste of powdered rice, which is called 'Pithara'in Maithili. Besides the natural white colour of the paste, sometimes turmeric and Sindura is mixed into the paste to give it a yellow and red effect respectively. The floor where the drawing or writing is to be made is plastered partially with the cow dung to maintain its sanctity.
The subject matter of these drawings usually falls under the five given categories
-Images of human beings, birds, and animals especially fish, peacock and snake along with different living and natural phenomena.
- Flower (lotus) leaves, trees and fruits.
-Tantric symbols, Yantras, Bindus etc.
-Gods and Goddesses.
-the other symbols like Swastika, mountain(Meru), rivers etc.
From the above discussion, we found that this floor -painting has an exceptional significance in the field of art and it is well appreciated by various art lovers and connoisseurs. The concept of line-drawing has a special charm and attraction in the world of art, and Aripana is one of the prominent and lively examples of any such artwork. Whenever a suitable occasion comes, these wonderful drawings bloom up on the floor inside the household and gradually fade up after the ceremony is over. Why this amazing artwork is so much neglected that it is still devoid from the eyes of many connoisseurs around the world? It is a matter of great concern and we shall be completely helpless if we do not take any initiative to highlight these beautiful artworks of our Mithila. If the lost Paintings of Ajanta and Kangra can be revived, why not the Aripana?
This floor-work is very unique in itself, holding an age-old tradition which is carried by very great and skilled women of Mithilanchal. They have inherited this tradition from generations in such a way that anyone can get mesmerized, looking at its fine work, variety of themes and structural brilliance, which can be found nowhere else.
Editted By : Anjali
Paag : The Pride of Maithils
Paag : The Pride of Maithils
Paag , the traditional headgear of Mithilanchal has been dated back from the pre-historic India . Earlier, it was believed to be made of plant leaves. Paag , being the cultural symbol of Mithila , features pride and dignity and is mainly worn by men on different occasions and festivals .
Pugg, Pagdi , Pheta , Safa, Turban , skull cap,all these are indistinguishable from Paag , in different regions of India
Traditionally, the Paag is found in three different colours ( dark pink, mustard,white) having its own significance. The dark pink is carried by the bridegroom and by the ones undergoing festive and wedding rituals. Paag of mustard colour is worn by those attending wedding and thread ceremony ( Janew) and last but not the least, white is carried by the elders. Apart from these three colours , customized paags and Mithila-painted paags are highly in vogue.
Colleges and universities in the Mithila region add Paag in the compulsory dress code for convocation as an initiative to revive the cultural symbols of Mithilanchal. 'Paag Bachau Abhiyan' 2016 , a regional campaign aiming to draw the attentions of regionals towards the fading colours of Maithili culture and heritage , was promoted by Dr.Birbal Jha , acclaimed author and chairman of Mithilalok Foundation.
10th February, 2017 came up to be a red lettered day as the Indian Posts released a set of 16 celebrative postage stamps on different headgears of India and Paag was one among them.
As another matter of fact , the popular Macmillan dictionary in 2019 , featured the traditional headgear of Mithilanchal.
As a matter of fact, the identity of Paag has shrunk to an ' occassional headgear ' rather than the 'traditional headgear' of Mithilanchal. It's usage has been declining with the passage of time and thus limited to special occasions like thread ceremonies and weddings , which is disheartening. Each one of us aspire to expand one's stems and grow but keeping in mind ,
the intactness of our deep healthy roots. Therefore we need to evoke the spirit of healthy regionalism in ourselves in order to strengthen our roots by reviving our culture and heritage.
Among numerous rich and fine artworks of Mithila, the Needle-craft (embroidery) also known as 'Kasida' holds a prominent position. It is widely practised by women in the houses of Mithilanchal. Needlework is an age-old art whose wide prevalence in Mithila has been attested by Vidyapati in his famous book, ' Kirtilata'.Unlike the Aripana, the Kasida embroidery is popular among various sects and communities, and not just a particular religion. Sadly, the recent works on different Indian embroideries leave the Mithila Kasida embroidery unmentioned.
The art of embroidery has been defined as 'the painting with a needle' and has a distinguished place in the hedonistic civilization of our country. Embroidery, like painting in Mithila, has been liberally a prerogative of women and thus believed to be a feminine craft. Like Aripana, it is created afresh every time, meanwhile, some patterns have to be fixed and can be repeated, for the reason of maintaining the standards of perfection.
The Kasida of Bihar and Mithilanchal closely resemble 'Kasuti' embroidery of Mysore in appearance, having a large variety of geometrical patterns which is quite abundant in folk figures and designs. It is mainly practised by the women of North- Bihar(Mithila) in order to embroider their regular as well as occasional garments for which the household linen is generally embellished. It is however not commercialized and still confined to the personal household use such as; blouses, caps for babies, Gerua or Takia(pillow-covers), bed-covers and Gautakia(bolsters). According to an old custom, prevalent in Mithila- the bride carries different varieties of embroidered clothes called Bhara(along with her other artworks) to her husband's house at the time of her 'Dwiragaman'. This pursuit of art is usually done in leisure, satisfying the womenfolk's inner urge for artistic expression.
In Kasida, there are many varieties that can be categorised on the basis of various stitching patterns, leading to the formation of different styles such as Gachua, Bharita(Bharata) and Taganua.
Gachua has many sub-varieties such as Jhigali, Jhikhu and Techu. This is a chain-stitch design(pattern), where the needle is pulled through the cloth. The blouse worn by village women is generally worked with chain-stitch.
The Bharita or Bharata work is the second variety, which is embroidered on the entire surface. the methodology of this work is complicated and tiresome. The work progress is slow, thus the art is acquired with great difficulty. This is similar to Bagh and Phulkari embroidery of Punjab (Bagh form of embroidery where the floral motifs cover the whole surface of bright coloured clothes).
The third variety is known as Taganua, which literally means counting threads. In this form, the village women first sketch designs on clothes with the help of a pencil and then fill them up by counting the stitches.
A study of different variations of Kasida reveals the real character of the embroidery work done in Mithila and elsewhere in Bihar. It is secular in form and decorative in nature, having a geometrical pattern of various shapes and sizes, which probably points towards its early existence during the evolution of embroidery. The Tulsi plant, Jhava plant, Banana plant, Groves, Lotus(Kamala) flower and Sarso flower are some of the prominent floral designs along with many faunal motives like elephant, peacock, fish and humans. Sometimes we come across the designs depicting the combined figure of the man and the beast, i.e., hybrid form(probably representing the Nar-Simha; the incarnation of Lord-Vishnu)and figure of dancing girls, Doli and Kahara and many more. We can also get figures of Gods and Goddesses in the form of Kasida embroidery. Henceforth, we have many Aripana designs woven as Kasida works of Mithilanchal. Several Maithili folk songs abound in reference to the embroidery art of Mithila. In some of them, women express their desire to wear embroidered clothes as their wedding outfits, along with 'Chunari', which their respective husbands to be would bring for them. There are hundreds of such amazing folk traditions in our Mithila. The only thing which is much needed is to revive our opulent culture and traditions and breathe a new life into them so that these colourful and aesthetically pleasing artworks of Mithila can flourish in the region and outside and can inspire millions.
Reference from Madhubani Painting by Upendra Thakur.
~ Yasha Sandilya
Editted By : Anjali
Salhesh Artists and Their Relegation
Salhesh Artists and Their Relegation
When we talk about the folk culture of Bihar, Raja Salhesh comes out as the most prominent and popular figure of Mithila. He is worshipped not just as a diety but as a local hero among the major mass of Mithila.
Salhesh means the king of mountains (we must not miss that a major portion of Mithila is in Nepal and the origin of Salhesh can be found there only). He emerged as the hero of Dalits and the downtrodden and is still treated as a source of pride among the Dalit community of Mithila.
There are many folklores about Salhesh describing various aspects of Salhesh and his life but the first documentation, which is available in print format, was done by British colonial official and scholar George A. Grierson in 1882. He had mentioned Salhesh Gahwars in his book and says, ‘In the villages of Mithila one can see Salhesh shrines under Pipal trees with clay figures representing the characters in the story.
His depiction can also be seen in Mithila paintings but due to the lack of focus of Dalit art and culture, it has lost its presence. His representation can be seen in many other art forms like folk painting, folk theatre, or folk songs and even through many kinds of folk dances performed during Salhesh pooja.
Today, these practices are on the decline because only a few artists are practicing Salhesh theatre and painting and the number is decreasing very rapidly. Even very few terracotta figurines of Salhesh can be seen during festive months.
There are many reasons behind the marginalization of Salhesh artists, and some of them are as follows:
Lack of interest among the general public about theatre art and drama ultimately leads to low enthusiasm and zeal to perform in the artists
Disrespect for those who perform any such dance and drama on occasions can lead to a sense of hilarity among these artists. Even sometimes this leads to abusive behavior toward them.
Due to the seasonal unemployment among people who belong to the lower strata of the varna system, these artists who perform theatres cannot afford to stick with this tradition, as this can give them income in certain festive months of years only. They have to look for some other alternate option for the rest of the times in a year.
Government is also not paying any particular attention to such artists so that they can do something for the betterment of their livelihood and can preserve this age-old tradition. They do politicize these matters sometimes while elections but later on they pay very little attention to them.
There is a huge impact of globalization and mechanization on salhesh traditional art. People are least interested in theatre art or dances and these traditions are replaced by D.J's and recorded music. Due to a lack of knowledge about modern equipment and technology these artists are not able to cope up with the ever-changing world.
Nowadays a very new culture of working on contracts has come up and it has shown its impact on this field too. Those having a strong financial and social background hire some artists on contracts and charge a fair amount for their work. But these values do not reach the real owner of the art and middlemen get a fair and well amount out of it. Here also they get a very little share of the work that they did.
All these factors lead to a decline in the status of these artists which ultimately leads to a lack of interest in artists toward their age-old tradition and low-paid artist are opting out for some other job opportunity, rather than continuing with this. Especially the young generation is moving away from this vibrant tradition. This may someday lead to the extinction of these artists and the culture that comes with Salhesh will be buried within this.
Being a part of society it's our moral and ethical value as well to preserve and promote any such tradition which is a representation of our age-old culture and depicts a clear-cut picture of revolutionary ideas. Especially those ideas that helped to stabilize the whole social structure of society.
~ Yasha Sandilya
Editted By : Anjali
The Geography of Mithila
The Geography of Mithila
The ancient and serene land of Mithila or Mithilanchal is the birthplace of Goddess Sita. It is one of the most blessed region with extremely fertile land, 7 rivers and rich heritage which is not only mentioned in ancient history but even in vedic and pre-vedic texts!
To answer the question "Where is Mithila in India", we can take reference of Vrihad Vishnu Puran, where the boundary of Mithila is described as :-
कौशिकीन्तु समारभ्य गण्डकीमधिगम्यवै।
योजनानि चतुर्विंश व्यायामः परिकीर्त्तितः॥
गङ्गा प्रवाहमारभ्य यावद्धैमवतम्वनम् ।
विस्तारः षोडशप्रोक्तो देशस्य कुलनन्दन॥
अर्थात् : पूर्व में कोसी से आरंभ होकर पश्चिम में गंडकी तक 24 योजन तथा दक्षिण में गंगा नदी से आरंभ होकर उत्तर में हिमालय वन (तराई प्रदेश) तक 16 योजन मिथिला का विस्तार है।
It means "Starting from Kosi in the east, to 24 Yojana(One Yojana = 13 km) till Gandaki in the west and 16 Yojana starting from the Ganga River in the south to Himalayan Forest (Terai region) in the north.
The rich heritage of Mithila, could be easily noticed from the time of Ramayana, where it it also called Janakpur and it's king or Mithila Naresh is called Mithila Janak, which means father of Mithila. In Ramyana Lord Ram travelled from Ayodhya to Mithila with sage Vishwamitra to reach Janakpur Palace( now in Nepal) to marry the Goddess Sita.
The present day boundary of countries and states does not define the boundary of Mithila neither does it confine the people of Mithila. The present map of Mithila would include parts of Nepal, Bihar and Jharkhand where Maithils( people of Mithila) live with complete peace and love, distant from the hatred of national and international boundaries and any form of chauvinism. This is a very peculiar example and so is the land of this beautiful place.
Mithila is sorrounded by natural boundaries like hills, rivers and mountains. It is a super fertile alluvial plane knitted by number of rivers originating from the mighty Himalaya.
Infact seven major rivers flow through Mithila! They are :-
7. Budhi Gandak.
They flow from the Himalayas in the north to the great Ganga river in the south. Thanks to flat plains and fertile land, it has a well off variety of biotic resources.
Native of this region have even proposed for Mithila State, so that the region can get it's due recognition in present time which is no doubt missing. Mithila is a large region, Maithils are in huge numbers and it's language Maithili is a largely spoken language and even listed in 22 Regional Languages of Indian Survey. Maithili is infact very old language and has it's own script called Mithilakshar. Hence, it can't be defied that in future we can see a new Mithila state in the map of India. Which could consist of following districts( Mithila Nepal not included ), claimed to be part of Mithila by locals and the history itself :-
~ Sumit Jha
History of Mithila
History of Mithila
Here we are going to unfold some the less known part about the history of Mithila ,that how it get known to the people and how the civilization of Mithila came up ?
History of mithila can be traced back to the arrival of Aryans in Indian subcontinent. During the pre-vedic periods (1000-600 BCE) the Aryans got to know about the rich and fertile land to the east of Gandaki river and so the civilzation in the holy land Mithila began from there .
When Aryans established themself in western and central part of Indian subcontinent ,they advanced up to the eastern part of India. However, as the Aryans advanced eastward from Varanasi, they noticed that the people of the eastern regions have a very rich cuture and were much more superior than them in this aspect. The Aryans' sense of superiority and vanity of culture was increasingly deflated as they moved eastward from Allahabad.
After coming to Varanasi Aryans found the entire land is a tantrik area,so they found it pointless to fight with them (considering it a wise way to deal with the virtuous people).So they declared that land as a doomed one and those who advanced eastward would be degenerated. The main purpose behind this was to prevent people from moving east to avoid any conflict with them as will certainly lead to Aryans defeat.But instead of these restrictions many of them moved ahead as they have heard lot about the fertile land to the east of Saryu (land of Ganga ,koshi and Gandaka).Those who entered the non-Aryan land were declared to be of an inferior caste ; they were called Sarayu'pa'r'ii Bra'hman.
While exploring the rich land of the east they crossed Ganga ,kosi and Nara'ya'nii Gan'd'aka and entered Mithila. The inhabitants of Mithila were of Aryan-Austriko-Mongoloid stock and were mostly tribal people. The Aryans had little conflict with those indigenous people but finally they were able to establish there.The imprints of those tribal tradition can be clearly seen in the Mithila paintings.Godna style of painting has its origin from their only (It was made by those people as a tatoo on their body).
Those who reached Mithila became very prosperous and those who stayed back there get covetous of their growing wealth. So they declared those who crossed river as of an inferior caste. Those who crossed the Nara'ya'nii-Gan'd'aka river were hated by the others, and the reason behind this haterd was greed and jealousy.
Kingdom of Mithila
Kingdom of Mithila was established by king "Mithi" of Videha kingdom .Mithila has been represented as a land of learned man "Janaka", who belong to a long line of Videhan king.It is the home of Sita,the protagonist of Ramayana.
Videhan kingdom was replaced by the Lichchhavis of Vajjian republic in vaishali,before the rise of Buddhism in 6th century BCE.Evntually, Ajatashatru of Magadh empire conquered the Vajjian kingdom and many other dynasty ruled over mithila and the glory of mithila fainted at the cost of expansionist policy of various kings.
It was fourteen hundred year later that Mithila kingdom found its 'lost glory'once again in Karnata kings.
Nanya dev was the first ruler of karnata dynesty and also he was the first sovereign ruler of Mithila.The epithet 'Mithileshvara' that he took on was meant to demonstrate his power to his subjects.Their first capital was Simraun Garh(Birganj). Nanya Deva is said to have infused 'Maithiliness' or 'maithiligiest' to the scholar practising Maithili language to his patronage. The earliest extant work in Maithili language 'Varnaratnakara' composed by Jyotiriswara is the product of this period.
King Harisimhadev was the most prominent dynasty of this dynasty.On his order the system of documenting and maintaining genealogical records or panji prabandh was introduced for the Brahmins and Karn Kayastha of Mithila.
The Karnata dynasty was followed by the Onivaras.By the time of their dynasty muslim invaders has came to north India.
Firoz Shah Tughlak attacked Mithila and conquered it.For over the next thirty years there was no king and mithila was under direct control of muslim rulers.
Eventually, Tugalaq handed over the reign of the region to kameshwar Thakur, with whom started the tradition of Brahmin rulers,which continued till the monarchy when India became an Independent nation-state.
History of Maithili
History of Maithili
Maithili language, with Magadhi (Magahi) and Bhojpuri is one of the three main languages of Bihar state.Among all these Maithili is the only Bihari language with a script of its own, called Tirhuta, and a strong literary history. For centuries, the pandits of Mithila have been famous for their learnings.
While looking into the history of maithili we found that it is one of the Indo- Aryan languages.Even in its linguistics, we will get that Maithili is considered as Eastern- Indic language,therefore making it diffrent from Hindi, which is Central Indic in origin. It is believed that Maithili was a corrupt form of Hindi until the Maithili grammar appeared in 1880-81. This language is derived from Avahattha. The name of the language is derived from the word Mithila which is said to be the ancient kingdom of Sita's father King Janaka. Though it is said that in ancient times in Mithila, Sanskrit was used by the scholars for their literary work and Maithili was the common language of the local folk.
The various dialects of Maithili are standard Maithili, southern standard Maithili, eastern Maithili, Western Maithili, Jolaha and Central Colloquial Maithili.The central/ Madhubani dailect or Sotipura is considered as standard form of Maithili.It is spoken mainly in Darbhanga and Madhubani district of Bihar.
Maithili was traditionally written in the Maithili, which has some resemblance to the Bengali script and is also known by names like Tirhuta and Mithilakshar. Apart from this, the Maithili language was also written in the Kaithi script. However, it is the Devanagri script that is most commonly used for writing Maithili in the present times. An official statement by government shows that, Mithilakshar emerged as a language in 10 Century AD. The oldest form of the language was found in Sahodara stone inscriptions of 950 AD.The script has been used throughout Mithila from Champaran to Deoghar. Maithili Grammar is considered to be a very standard Grammar. It is based on the based on the sutras of Sanskrit grammar of Panini.
When we talk about literature of Mithila then we get that it has a very rich literary history with its own script,which makes it diffrent from other folk languages of the region and gives it the dignity of being called 'Bhasha'(language),rather then just being a 'Boli'(folk language).
If we start tracing the history of Maithili literature, then we will get that most of the works in Maithili is done by a very prominent figure of Mithila "Vidyapati" who was in the court of Maharaja Shiva Simha of Sugaona ,who flourished in the middle of the l5th century. But the credit to start the literary works in Maithili goes to'Jyotirishwar Thakur' as his book "Varn Ratnakar" is probably the earliest work in Maithili literature dated at about 1224 AD. The medieval period of Maithili was during the Karnat Dynasty and litterateurs like Gangesh, Padmanabh, Chandeshwar, Vireshwar and others were famous during this period.
In 1965, Maithili language was officially accepted by Sahitya Academy. After that, it has won awards almost every year. Literary works in the Maithili language have also won a number of other awards. Maithil Mahasabha, the first social organization was established in 1910 for the development of Mithili and Maithili languages. Maithil Mahasabha had also campaigned for official recognition of Maithili as a regional language.In 2003 it was recognized in the VIII schedule of the Indian Constitution as a major Indian language.
Lack of using Mithilakshar script has become a reason for the language's decline. Government is taking some of the measures recommended to protect the Maithili language. The use of this script has been declining since the last 100 years, which is the primary reason for the cultures decline. Maithali language is getting developed in a composite manner despite having been accorded a constitutional status in the constitution.