The earliest example of Maharashtri as a separate language dates to approximately 3rd century BCE: a stone inscription found in a cave at Naneghat, Junnar in Pune district had been written in Maharashtri using Brahmi script.A committee appointed by the Maharashtra State Government to get the Classical status for Marathi has claimed that Marathi existed at least 2300 years ago alongside Sanskrit as a sister language.
A 2-line 1118 CE Marathi inscription at Shravanabelagola records a grant by the Hoysalas.
These inscriptions suggest that Marathi was a standard written language by the 12th century.
At 83.1 million speakers in 2019, Marathi ranks 11th in the list of most spoken languages in the world.
Marathi has the third largest number of native speakers in India, after Hindi and Bengali.
Further growth and usage of the language was because of two religious sects – the Mahanubhava and Varkari panthans – who adopted Marathi as the medium for preaching their doctrines of devotion.
Marathi was used in court life by the time of the Seuna kings.Mukundaraja's other work, Paramamrta, is considered the first systematic attempt to explain the Vedanta in the Marathi language Notable examples of Marathi prose are "Līḷācarītra" (), events and anecdotes from the miracle-filled the life of Chakradhar Swami of the Mahanubhava sect compiled by his close disciple, Mahimbhatta, in 1238.The Līḷācarītra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language.During the reign of the last three Seuna kings, a great deal of literature in verse and prose, on astrology, medicine, Puranas, Vedanta, kings and courtiers were created.Nalopakhyan, Rukmini swayamvar and Shripati's Jyotishratnamala (1039) are a few examples.Marathi, a derivative of Maharashtri, is probably first attested in a 739 CE copper-plate inscription found in Satara.Several inscriptions dated to the second half of the 11th century feature Marathi, which is usually appended to Sanskrit or Kannada in these inscriptions.) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken predominantly by around 83.1 million Marathi people of Maharashtra, India.It is the official language and co-official language in the Maharashtra and Goa states of Western India, respectively, and is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.The former Maratha ruled cities of Baroda, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Tanjore have had sizable Marathi speaking populations for centuries.Marathi is also spoken by Maharashtrian migrants to other parts of India and overseas.