Pallava alphabet

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Languages Tamil, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Old Malay
Time period
6th century AD to 9th century AD
Parent systems
  • Southern Brāhmī
    • Pallava
Sister systems
Vatteluttu alphabet

The Pallava script, a Brahmic script, was developed under the Pallava dynasty of Southern India around the 6th century AD.

Southeast Asian scripts such as Javanese,[1] Kawi, Baybayin, Mon, Burmese,[2] Khmer,[3] Tai Tham, Thai[4] Lao,[5] and the New Tai Lue alphabets are either direct or indirect derivations from the Pallava alphabet.[6]


The form shown here is based on examples from the 7th century AD. Letters labeled * have uncertain sound value, as they have little occurrence in Southeast Asia. (Chart of images based on Pallava glyphs presented at


Each consonant has an inherent /a/, which will be sounded if no vowel sign is attached. If two consonants follow one another without intervening vowel, the second consonant is made into a subscript form, and attached below the first.

ka kha ga gha ṅa ca cha ja jha* ña ṭa ṭha* ḍa ḍha* ṇa ta tha
Pallava Ka.svg Pallava Kha.svg Pallava Ga.svg Pallava Gha.svg Pallava Nga.svg File:Pallava Ca.svg Pallava Cha.svg Pallava Ja.svg Pallava Jha.svg Pallava Nya.svg Pallava Tta.svg Pallava Ttha.svg Pallava Dda.svg Pallava Ddha.svg Pallava Nna.svg Pallava Ta.svg Pallava Tha.svg
da dha na pa pha ba bha ma ya ra la va śa ṣa sa ha
Pallava Da.svg Pallava Dha.svg Pallava Na.svg Pallava Pa.svg File:Pallava Pha.svg Pallava Ba.svg x40px Pallava Ma.svg Pallava Ya.svg Pallava Ra.svg Pallava La.svg Pallava Va.svg Pallava Sha.svg x40px Pallava Sa.svg Pallava Ha.svg

Independent Vowels

a aa i ii u e o ai* au*
Pallava A.svg Pallava Aa.svg Pallava I.svg File:Pallava Ii.svg Pallava U.svg Pallava E.svg Pallava O.svg Pallava Ai.svg Pallava Au.svg


  • Sivaramamurti, C, Indian Epigraphy and South Indian Scripts. Bulletin of the Madras Government Museum. Chennai 1999


  1. "Javanese alphabet, pronunciation and language (aksara jawa)". Retrieved 2012-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Burmese/Myanmar script and pronunciation". Retrieved 2012-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Khmer/Cambodian alphabet, pronunciation and language". Retrieved 2012-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Lao alphabet, pronunciation and language". Retrieved 2012-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Pallava script". 2010-12-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links