The Kaithi script developed from the Gupta script
and was used from at least the 16th century to
write a number of languages, including Bhojpuri, Maghadi,
Urdu, Awadhi, Maithili and Bengali.
During the British colonial period the use of Kaithi
was discouraged, except in Bihar, where it was made the
official script of government offices and courts. As a result it
is also known as the Bihar script. Elsewhere it was
used mainly by the Kayastha, a Brahmin caste made up
mainly of scribes and clerks, and the name Kaithi
is derived from Kayastha, which means 'scribe' in Sanskrit.
Until the early 20th century Kaithi was widely used,
but since then it has been largely replaced by Devanagari
or other scripts, although it is apparently used to some
extent in personal correspondence in rural areas.
- Type of writing system: alphasyllabary / abugida.
- Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
Consonant letters carry an inherent vowel which can be altered or muted
by means of diacritics or matra.
- Vowels can be written as independent letters, or by using a variety
of diacritical marks which are written above, below, before or after
the consonant they belong to.
Used to write:
Bhojpuri, Maghadi, Urdu, Awadhi, Maithili and Bengali.
Vowels and vowel diacritics
Sample text in Kaithi
Information about Kaithi
Mongolian Horizontal Square Script,
New Tai Lue,