Telugu-Kannada alphabet

Copper plate inscriptions in Kannada-Telugu script

The Telugu-Kannada alphabet is a writing system used in southern India. Despite, some differences, the scripts used for the Telugu and Kannada languages remain quite similar.


The Dravidian family comprises about 73 languages including Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. Saatavaahanas introduced the Brahmi to present day Telugu and Kannada speaking regions. It was followed by Kadamba script, then used for writing Kannada and Telugu languages. Next came Old Kannada in the third century CE. Kannada abugida emerged between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE from Chalukya and Kadamba script.

During 4th to 7th centuries AD the Early Bādāmi Chālukyās and Early Banavasi Kadambās used early form of Kannada script in inscriptions. The early Eastern Chalukyas and Salankayana who ruled the Kannada and Telugu speaking areas.[1]

Kannada became a written language ahead of Telugu. Both Kannada and Telugu produced poetry during the eighth century. Full-fledged literary works in Kannada appeared in the ninth century, two centuries before they became available in Telugu.[2][3][4] The earliest known Telugu inscriptions date to the 6th century CE. Telugu poetry began to appear in the 11th century.[5] Telugu writers waited until the 11th century because of socio-political factors (royal patronage, the influence of Buddhism and Jainism).[6]

Between 1100 CE and 1400 CE the Kannada and Telugu scripts separated from Old Kannada. The Chalukya dynasty influenced the modern form of Telugu script and its similarity with modern Kannada script.[7]

A new written standard emerged in Telugu during the second half of the 20th century.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Inscriptions in Kannada-Telugu script[edit]

Evolution and Development of Kannada-Telugu script[edit]


  1. ^ "Epigraphical Studies in India - Sanskrit and Dravidian, Scripts used in India, Scripts Abroad". Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  2. ^ Kumar, R. Krishna (2017-11-25). "Kavirajamarga, a tour with a difference". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  3. ^ "Kavirajamarga", Wikipedia, 2019-01-21, retrieved 2019-01-22
  4. ^ "Aadi Kavi Nannaya's brilliant translation of the Mahabharata". The Hans India. 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  5. ^ a b "A sampler of the world's writing systems" (PDF). J. Marshall Unger Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures -The Ohio State University. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  6. ^ "Origins of Telugu Script". Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  7. ^ "Evolution of Telugu Character Graphs". Retrieved 2013-07-22.