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Pallava    Pallava

The Pallava script was developed in southern India during the Pallava dynasty, (ca. 3rd-5th century AD) The Pallava script was based on the Brahmi script and consists of a matched set of symbols for consonants, as well as ways to write consonant clusters.

At first the script was used to write Sanskrit, varieties of Prakrit, including Pali, and a number of other languages. Later it became popular for religious and politcal inscriptions on stone monuments and for 500 years it was used in this way, with alterations and adaptations, to write most of the languages of Southeast Asia.

Many other scripts developed from, or were influenced by Pallava, including Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Sinhala, Burmese, Khmer, Lanna, Thai, Lao, Cham, Javanese, Balinese, Buginese and Sundanese.

The script is also known as Southern Gupta Brahmi, proto-Kannada, Tamil Grantham, and by a number of other names.

Notable features

Pallava script

The letter forms shown are based on inscriptions from the 7th century AD.


Pallava consonants

Vowels and diacritics

Pallava vowels

Other Pallava symbols

Other Pallava symbols

Sample text

This text comes from India and dates from the 3rd century AD.

Sample text in the Pallava script


Transliteration of the sample text

Information and images compiled by Ian James:


Information about Pallava alphabet, language and people

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

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