200,000 (2003 E. Udayakumar).
Kerala state: Palakkad district, Attapady and Walayar sub-districts; Tamil Nadu state: Coimbatore, Nilgiri, Periyar districts; Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states.
Mele Nadu Irula (Malanadu, Southern Irula), Northern Irula (Kasaba, Kasava, Kasuba), Vette Kada Irula (Irula Pallar, Vettakada), Irula Urali, Attapady Irula, Walayar Irula (Urali Irula). Dialects: Vette Kada 73% intelligibility of Mele Nadu; Northern Irula 83% of Mele Nadu; no intelligibility of Tamil [tam] (1993 Irula survey); Vette Kada 94% of Attapady; Walayar 84% of Attapady. (2004 Palakkad survey). Lexical similarity: 78%–86% between Mele Nadu dialect varieties, 67%–70% with Northern Irula, 64%–66% with Vette Kada, 47%–50% with Tamil [tam]. Attapady has 73%–75% with Mele Nadu and 85%–89% with Vette Kada. Walayar has 74%–79% with Attapady, 76% with Vette Kada, and 69% with Mele Nadu.
SOV; postpositions; nontonal.