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|(c. 43 million)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|India||40 million (2001 Census of India)|
|Nepal||3.1 million (2011 Census)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Indo-Aryan peoples · Biharis · Awadhis|
Maithils (Tirhuta: মৈথিল, Devanagri: मैथिल, ) also known as Maithili people are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group who speak the Maithili language and inhabit the Mithila region, which is now situated mainly in Northern Bihar of India and some adjoining districts of the eastern Terai of Nepal.
The Maithil homeland forms an important part of Hindu mythology as it is said to be the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Ram. "Pure" Maithil culture is said to be found in the villages of Madhubani district in Bihar.
Mithila first gained prominence after being settled by Indo-Aryan peoples who established the Videha kingdom. During the late Vedic period (c. 1100-500 BCE), Videha became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla. The Kings of the Videha Kingdom where called Janakas.
The Videha Kingdom later became incorporated into the Vajji confederacy which was based in Mithila.
From the 11th century to the 20th century, Mithila was ruled by various indigenous dynasties. The first of these where the Karnatas who where of Parmar Rajput origin, the Oinwar dynasty who where Maithil Brahmins and the Khandavalas of Raj Darbhanga who where also Maithil Brahmins. It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shifted to Darbhanga.
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