Kadamba script

LanguagesKannada, Telugu, Sanskrit
Time period
5th century-10th century
Parent systems
  • Gupta
    • Kadamba alphabet
      • Kadamba

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 was developed during the reign of the Kadamba dynasty in the 4th–6th centuries. 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.[1] It is also related to Sinhala language's Sinhala script, abugida.[2] Many scripts were derived from the Kadamba script, including the Pyu script.[citation needed]


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[3] and Rastrakutas.[citation needed]

Inscriptions in Kadamba script[edit]

  • Gudnapur Inscription on 20-foot-long stone pillar written in Kadamba script[4]
  • Copper plate inscriptions in Kadamba (Pre - Chalukya) script, Kadamba-Pallava script, Kannada-Telugu script are available at Chennai museum[5]

See also[edit]

Standard indic table


  1. ^ "Scripts fading away with time". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  2. ^ Jayarajan, Paul M. (1 January 1976). History of the Evolution of the Sinhala Alphabet. Colombo Apothecaries' Company, Limited.
  3. ^ Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 692. ISBN 978-0-306-46158-3.
  4. ^ Rajiv Ajjibal (16 December 2011). "Monuments crying for attention". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Government Museum Chennai". Chennaimuseum.org. Retrieved 13 March 2014.

External links[edit]

In Development of Brahmi script (6th column), further the second column script is same as Kadamba script