|c. 800 CE–present (almost extinct)|
|The Brahmic script and its descendants|
The Śāradā, Sarada or Sharada script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. The script was in widespread use between the 8th and 12th centuries in the northwestern parts of India (in Kashmir and neighbouring areas), for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā. Originally more widespread, its use became later restricted to Kashmir, and it is now rarely used except by the Kashmiri Pandit community for religious purposes.
Sharada was in use in large areas of South Asia, including Kashmir, Punjab, and Afghanistan, but its use later became restricted to Kashmir where the script is considered sacred by some Hindus. It is named after the Goddess Śāradā, (another name for Saraswati, the goddess of learing), the patron deity of Kashmir valley.
The Bakhshali manuscript uses an early stage of the Sharada script. The Sharda script was used in Afghanistan as well as in the Himachal region in India. In Afghanistan, the Kabul Ganesh has a 6th century Proto-Sharda inscription mentioning king Khingala.[clarification needed] At the historic Markula Devi Temple, the goddess Mahishamardini has a Sharada inscription of 1569AD.
The Unicode block for Śāradā script, called Sharada, is U+11180–U+111DF:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)