India | Jammu and Kashmir

Sharada Script

Sharada script is an ancient language used in Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmiri language was originally written in Sharada script. This script evolved from the Brahmi between the 8th and 10th centuries. This script was in use in almost all parts of north-western India.

The script of the Dogras called Takari and the script that was designed by one of the Sikh gurus for Punjab called Gurmukhi, were derived from Sharada. Among the Western Himalayan scripts, the Sharada alphabet has a place of pride.

Many famous inscriptions which include the famous Hindu Shahi Dynasty of Kabul and the legends of the coins of the Shahis are written in this script. During the early medieval period, this script was a vital link in the chain of communication of ideas, knowledge, and culture among the states comprising the Western Himalayan region.

The primary records in which the Sharada characters appear for the first time are the coins of the Utpala dynasty of Kashmir and a brief record incised on the fragment of a broken jar discovered from the precincts of the Avantiswami temple. This script remained an alphabet par excellence of Kashmir till the present century. Even now, in some places of Kashmir, the script continues its sway.

Updated on 18th August, 2005


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