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Kadamba script

LanguagesKannada, Telugu, Sanskrit
Time period
5th century-7th century[1]
Parent systems
Child systems
Telugu-Kannada alphabet, Pyu script[4]

The Kadamba script (known as Pre-Old Kannada script) marks the birth of a dedicated script for writing Kannada and Telugu. It is a descendant of the Brahmi script, an abugida visually close to the Kalinga alphabet.[citation needed] The Kadamba script is also known as Pre-Old-Kannada script. This script later became popular in what is today the state of Goa and was used to write Sanskrit, Kannada.

The Kadamba script is one of the oldest of the southern group of South Asian scripts that evolved from the Brahmi script. By 5th century CE it became different from other Brahmi variants and was used in southern Indian states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It evolved into the Old Kannada script by the 10th century CE and was used to write Kannada and Telugu.[5] It is also related to Sinhala language's Sinhala script, abugida.[6]


Kadamba coinage
Coin of Kadamba king Sri Manarashi, name written in Kadamba script
Sri manarashi written in Kadamba script on Kadamba coin
Coin of the Kadambas written in Kadamba script as sri dosharashi and other side Shri shashankaha
Sri dosharashi written in Kadamba script on Kadamba coin

During the rule of Kadamba dynasty (325-550), major change in the Brahmi script resulted in the Kadamba Kannada script, letters were shorter and round in shape. During (325 to 1000 AD) the rule of the Western Ganga dynasty in the southern parts of Karnataka the Kannada script used differently (also known as Ganga script) in rock edicts and copper plate inscriptions. During 6th to 10th century, the Telugu-Kannada alphabet stabilized during the rule of the Chalukyas of Badami from 500-1000[7] and Rastrakutas.[citation needed]

Inscriptions in Kadamba script

Halmidi Inscription Replica

See also


  1. ^ Diringer, David (1948). Alphabet a key to the history of mankind. p. 381.
  2. ^ Handbook of Literacy in Akshara Orthography, R. Malatesha Joshi, Catherine McBride(2019),p.29
  3. ^ Salomon 1999, p. 35
  4. ^ Aung-Thwin, Michael (2005). The mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma (illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2886-8.
  5. ^ "Scripts fading away with time". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  6. ^ Jayarajan, Paul M. (1 January 1976). History of the Evolution of the Sinhala Alphabet. Colombo Apothecaries' Company, Limited.
  7. ^ Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 692. ISBN 978-0-306-46158-3.
  8. ^ Rajiv Ajjibal (16 December 2011). "Monuments crying for attention". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Government Museum Chennai". Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Kannada inscription at Talagunda may replace Halmidi as oldest". Deccan Herald. 12 January 2017.

External links