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  This page presents the details of the scripts of the different languages of the country. As seen earlier, the languages of India are phonetic in nature and hence the writing system for any language maps the sounds of the aksharas to specific shapes. The basic set of aksharas for most languages consist of sixteen vowels and about forty consonants. These are shown in the illustration below. For reference, the aksharas are shown along with the equivalent Roman Diacritic representations. The actual rules for forming consonant vowel combinations and conjunct characters vary from script to script.

   Additional information about the script is given following the image.

Script shown: Brahmi

  Some additional information about the script including the methods adopted in the writing system for the script may be seen below. Aspects of the writing system specific to the script will also be indicated. The reader my benefit from looking at the pages discussing the aspects of writing systems followed for Indian languages for a generic view of syllabic writing systems.

The Brahmi scripts is the earliest known script used for writing Sanskrit. According to the scholars, the period of the Brahmi script relates to the reign of Emperor Ashoka (300 B.C.). The interesting point about Brahmi is that virtually every known piece of writing in the script was inscribed on stone. Variations of the script have been seen in the rock inscriptions of south India, especially at Bhattiprolu in Andhra Pradesh. The Tamil Brahmi, includes symbols for four Tamil letters not seen in Sanskrit. The image below is a rock inscription in Tamil Brahmi, from the interior of TamilNadu.

We are grateful to Sri. Iravatam Mahadevan for the permission accorded to display the images on this page. He has also given us a normalized (or standardized) set of Brahmi letters using which we have designed the Truetype fonts shown in the illustration above.

The image below is obtained from the above colour image through a separation process by converting the image to CMYK channels.

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Please follow the links below for details of other scripts.









Ancient scripts



Related scripts



Heritage Logo
Inscription in stone. Text in Brahmi script in one of the Torana's at the Great Stupa in Sanchi. The Stupa is one of the Unesco heritage sites.

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