Pallava Script

The journey of Pallava script from Tamil Nadu to South East Asia: Scroll

(Ajay Kamalakaran is an independent journalist and a Kalpalata Fellow for History & Heritage Writings for 2021. The column first appeared in the Scroll on October 26, 2021)


  • Amidst its vast collection of Buddhist images and Hindu sculptures, India gets several mentions in the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand. The Indian influence is clearly visible across the vast Sukhothai Historical Park, which houses the museum and comprises of the ruins of 13th and 14th century temples, monasteries and other structures of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Thais revere this kingdom and King Ramkhamhaeng, who is believed to have invented the Sukhothai script, which was derived from Old Khmer, itself derived from the Pallava script. From Thailand and Laos in the north to the Malay peninsula and the Indonesian archipelago to the south, traditional scripts across South East Asia were derived from the Pallava writing system, named after the Pallava dynasty (3rd Century BCE to 9th Century CE)…

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