India | Punjab


Gurmukhi is a script developed by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. This script which developed in the 16th century, was popularized and standardized by Guru Angad, the second Sikh guru. The word ‘gurmukhi’ literally means ‘from the mouth of the Guru.’ The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism is written in this script. It is also the script of Punjabi, the language of Punjab.

Sanskrit, which was the language popular in medieval times, was used only by the upper priestly class of the Hindu society. The Sikh gurus detested this caste system. Thus Gurmukhi was developed with a view of using a common script for all Sikhs, devoid of any distinction in caste or class. Today, this script is used by any person speaking Punjabi, irrespective of the person’s religion.

Gurmukhi consists of a total of 35 letters. Apart from the letters, there are 9 vowel modifiers and 5 sound modifier symbols. A vertical bar marks the end of a sentence. Two vertical bars indicate a momentary pause between sentences and paragraphs.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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