The Dravidian languages
of today are spoken primarily in South India
, though it is believed to be the language of the Indus Valley
Civilization in present day Pakistan and North-West India. The family has three branches, the Northern, Central, and Southern. The best known North Dravidian language is Brahui, a language spoken in Baluchistan, part of modern-day Pakistan
. It is written in Arabic script and supports the theory
that the Indus Valley Civilization was Dravidian. The Central branch consists mainly of tribal languages. The only exception is Telugu, the most spoken Dravidian language in the world. Telugu is primarily spoken in Andhra Pradesh, though there are Telugu minorities in the neighbouring states of Orissa and Tamil Nadu. The Southern branch includes Kannada
. Only Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil have significant speaking populations. Tamil is famous for its ancient literature and for retaining the most Dravidian words. Malayalam is more closely related to Tamil than Kannada. Many dialects
of the above exist, including a significant Ayengaar Tamil population
who are Tamilians settled in Karnataka and who speak a strongly Kannada influenced dialect of Tamil.
The Dravidian languages have an affinity for liquids and are inflected languages. Some people have suggested that the Dravidian language group may be distantly related to the Finno-Ugric language group, but there exists little evidence to support this conclusion. Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu are the only Dravidian "national languages" of India. Examples of the languages can be seen on an Indian rupee, where the denomination of the note is written in the national languages in English alphabetical order (which makes some Tamilians more than a little angry).