The Tharu (Tharu: थारु, Hindi: थरुवा) or Tharuhat (Nepali: थरुहट) languages are any of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by the Tharu people of the Terai region in Nepal, and neighboring regions of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India.
Although their own precise classification within Indo-Aryan remains uncertain, Tharu languages have superficial similarities with neighbouring languages such as Awadhi, Maithili, and Bhojpuri. Moreover, the lexicon of certain Tharu households is indicative of an archaic, 'indigenous' substratum, potentially predating both Sino-Tibetan or Indo-Aryan settlement. Moreover, Tharu languages appear to be transitional within the context of Indo-Aryan.
Chitwania Tharu is spoken by approximately 250,000 speakers east of the Gandaki River, in and around the Chitwan Valley. Chitwania, as a whole, has superficial similarities with Awadhi. Nevertheless, certain Chitwania variants appear to have considerable lexical similarities with Manchad, a Sino-Tibetan language.
Dangaura, Rana, and Buksa refer to a triumvirate of mutually-intelligible Tharu variants spoken west of the Gandaki River, spoken by approximately 1.3 million people. Furthermore, an additional variant of Tharu, known as Sonha, is largely mutually intelligible with Dangauru.
Kochila, a diverse Tharu variant, is also spoken by approximately 250,000 people, in regions of eastern Nepal. Many ethnic Kochila have adopted Maithili.