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|Early signs: 1st century CE, Developed form: 7th century CE|
The Nāgarī script is the ancestor of Devanagari, Nandinagari and other variants, and was first used to write Prakrit and Sanskrit. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for Devanagari script. It came in vogue during the first millennium CE.
The Nāgarī script has roots in the ancient Brahmi script family. Some of the earliest epigraph evidence attesting to the developing Sanskrit Nāgarī script in ancient India is from the 1st to 4th century CE inscriptions discovered in Gujarat. The Nāgarī script was in regular use by 7th century CE, and had fully evolved into Devanagari and Nandinagari scripts by about the end of first millennium of the common era.
Nagari comes from नगर (nagar), which means city.
The Nāgarī script appeared in ancient India as a central-eastern variant of the Gupta script (whereas Śāradā was the western variety and Siddham was the far eastern variety). In turn it branched off into several scripts, such as Devanagari and Nandinagari.
The 7th century Tibetan king Srong Btsan Sgam Po ordered that all foreign books be transcribed into Tibetan language, and sent his ambassador Tonmi Sambota to India to acquire alphabet and writing methods, who returned with Sanskrit Nāgarī script from Kashmir corresponding to 24 Tibetan sounds and innovating new symbols for 6 local sounds.
The museum in Mrauk-u (Mrohaung) in the Rakhine state of Myanmar held in 1972 two examples of Nāgarī script. Archaeologist Aung Thaw[full citation needed] writes: "... epigraphs in mixed Sanskrit and Pali in North-eastern Nāgarī script of the 6th century dedicated by (Kings) Niti Candra and Vira Candra", of a dynasty hailing from Vesáli in India.