Tulu is a Southern Dravidian language spoken mainly in the southwest of Karnataka State and in part of northern Kerala State in India. There are also some Tulu speakers in Maharashtra State and in the Gulf countries. The 2001 India census reported 1.72 million Tulu speakers, though according to a 2009 estimate, the total number of speakers is between 3 and 5 million.
The Tulu alphabet, which developed from the Grantha alphabet and resembles the Kannada alphabet, was used from about 1500 mainly by Tulu-speaking Brahmins to write Vedic mantras and Sanskrit texts translated into Tulu. Since the end of the 20th century Tulu has been written with the Kannada alphabet, though efforts are being made to revive use of the Tulu alphabet. The first piece of literature in Tulu was a Tulu version of the Mahabharata - the Tulu Mahabharato.
Information about the Tulu language and alphabet
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