Pallava alphabet

Languages Tamil, Prakrit, Sanskrit
Time period
6th century AD to 9th century AD
Parent systems
Child systems
Grantha alphabet
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 Grantha, 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 nga ca cha ja jha* nya ṭa ṭha* ḍa ḍha* ṇa ta tha
da dha na pa pha ba bha ma ya ra la va śa ṣa sa ha

Independent Vowels

a ā i ī u e o ai* au*



  1. "Javanese alphabet, pronunciation and language (aksara jawa)". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  2. "Burmese/Myanmar script and pronunciation". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  3. "Khmer/Cambodian alphabet, pronunciation and language". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  5. "Lao alphabet, pronunciation and language". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  6. "Pallava script". 2010-12-30.
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