The Kutila inscription of Bareilly is an inscription in the Kutila script (कुटिल लिपि) dating to 992 CE that provides crucial evidence in tracing the shared descent of the Devanagari and Bengali-Assamese scripts of Northern and Eastern India from the predecessor Gupta script. The writing was found on a stone unearthed in Bareilly district in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (modern-day Uttar Pradesh). The inscription proclaims that it was created by an engraver from Kannauj who was "proficient in the Kutila character". It also includes the date of the inscription, Vikram Samvat 1049, which corresponds to 992 CE.
The word Kutila (कुटिल) means crooked in the Sanskrit language, and it is assumed that the name came from the curving shapes of Kutila letters, distinct from the straighter lines of the Brahmi and Gupta scripts.
- Isaac Taylor (1883), The alphabet: an account of the origin and development of letters, K. Paul, Trench & Co.,
... celebrated 'Kutila' inscription ... found on a stone dug up in Illahabas, a village in Bareli ... temple built by a petty local raja ... artist from Kanauj was 'a proficient in the Kutila character' Samvat year 1049, answering to 992 AD ...
- Major-General A. Cunningham (1864), "Remarks on the date of the Pehwa Inscription of Raja Bhoja", Journal of the Asiatic Society, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 33 (3),
... Kutila means "crooked, or bent" ...
- "काँच जैसी नाज़ुक चीज़ कैसे बनती है: देवनागरी लिपि", BBC, 25 March 2006, retrieved 30 June 2010,
... ब्राहमी की उत्तरी शाखा से गुप्तवंशीय राजाओं के काल में, यानी चौथी पाँचवी शताब्दी में, जिस गुप्तलिपि का विकास हुआ, उसके अक्षरों का लेखन एक विशेष टेढ़े या कुटिल ढंग से किया जाता था, जिससे आगे चलकर कुटिल लिपि का जन्म हुआ (The Gupta script, which evolved from the northern branch of the Brahmi script during the Gupta dynastic period (4th–5th century), was written in a special 'kutil' or crooked way, and further evolved into the Kutil script ...