Tirhuta, Mithilakshar
Languages Maithili, Sanskrit
Time period
c. 15thmid 20th century
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Tirh, 326
Unicode alias


Final Accepted Script Proposal

Tirhuta (तिरहुता / 𑒞𑒱𑒩𑒯𑒳𑒞𑒰) or Mithilakshar (मिथिलाक्षर / 𑒧𑒱𑒟𑒱𑒪𑒰𑒏𑓂𑒭𑒩) is the script used for the Maithili language originated in Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal and the oldest reference to Tirhuta script is in Janaki Mandir of Janakpur where Rama and Sita wed.[1] The script has a rich history spanning a thousand years, but years of neglect by Nepal and the Bihar government have taken their toll on the use of Tirhuta. Most speakers of Maithili have switched to using the Devanagari script, which is also used to write neighboring Central Indic languages such as Nepali and Hindi. As a result, the number of people with a working knowledge of Tirhuta has dropped considerably in recent years.

History and current status

The oldest specimen of Tirhuta is at Janaki Mandir. It is one of the place that had a major role in the development of the Sanskrit language. Despite the near universal switch from Tirhuta to the Devanagari script for writing Maithili, some traditional pundits still use the script for sending one another ceremonial letters (pātā) related to some important function such as marriage. Fonts for this script were developed in 2003.[1]

The 2003 inclusion of Maithili in the VIIIth Schedule of the Indian Constitution having accorded official recognition to it as a language independent of Hindi, there is a possibility that this might lead to efforts to reimplement Tirhuta on a wider basis, in accord with similar trends in India reinforcing separate identities.

Signs of the script

Consonant signs

Sign Transcription
Image Text IAST IPA
𑒏 ka /kа/
𑒐 kha /kʰа/
𑒑 ga /gа/
𑒒 gha /gʱа/
𑒓 ṅa /ŋа/
𑒔 ca /t͡ʃa/
𑒕 cha /t͡ʃʰa/
𑒖 ja /d͡ʒa/
𑒗 jha /d͡ʒʱa/
𑒘 ña /ɲa/
𑒙 ṭa /ʈa/
𑒚 ṭha /ʈʰa/
𑒛 ḍa /ɖa/
𑒜 ḍha /ɖʱa/
𑒝 ṇa /ɳa/
𑒞 ta /t̪a/
𑒟 tha /t̪ʰa/
𑒠 da /d̪a/
𑒡 dha /d̪ʱa/
𑒢 na /na/
𑒣 pa /pa/
𑒤 pha /pʰa/
𑒥 ba /ba/
𑒦 bha /bʱa/
𑒧 ma /ma/
𑒨 ya /ja/
𑒩 ra /ra/
𑒪 la /la/
𑒫 va /ʋa/
𑒬 śa /ʃa/
𑒭 ṣa /ʂa/
𑒮 sa /sa/
𑒯 ha /ɦa/


Independent Dependent Transcription
Image Text Image Text IAST IPA
𑒁 a /а/
𑒂  𑒰 ā /а:/
𑒃  𑒱 і /і/
𑒄  𑒲 ī /і:/
𑒅  𑒳 u /u/
𑒆  𑒴 ū /u:/
𑒇  𑒵 /r̩/
𑒈  𑒶 /r̩ː/
𑒉  𑒷 /l̩/
𑒊  𑒸 /l̩ː/
𑒋  𑒹 ē /е:/
 𑒺 e /е/
𑒌  𑒻 аі /аі/
𑒍  𑒼 ō /о:/
 𑒽 о /о/
𑒎  𑒾 аu /аu/

Other signs

Other dependent signs
Image Text Name Notes
 𑒿 candrabindu marks the nasalization of a vowel
 𑓀 anusvara marks nasalization
 𑓁 visarga marks the sound [h], which is an allophone of [r] and [s] in pausa (at the end of an utterance)
 𑓂 virama used to suppress the inherent vowel
 𑓃 nukta used to create new consonant signs
𑓄 avagraha used to indicate prodelision of an [a]
𑓅 gvang used to mark nasalization


Tirhuta script uses its own signs for the positional decimal numeral system.

Text 𑓐 𑓑 𑓒 𑓓 𑓔 𑓕 𑓖 𑓗 𑓘 𑓙
Digit 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The first two images shown below are samples illustrating the history of Tirhuta. The first is the sacred sign of Ganesha, called āñjī, used for millennia by students before beginning Tirhuta studies. Displayed further below are images of tables comparing the Tirhuta and Devanagari scripts.


Tirhuta script was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

The Unicode block for Tirhuta is U+11480U+114DF:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1148x 𑒀 𑒁 𑒂 𑒃 𑒄 𑒅 𑒆 𑒇 𑒈 𑒉 𑒊 𑒋 𑒌 𑒍 𑒎 𑒏
U+1149x 𑒐 𑒑 𑒒 𑒓 𑒔 𑒕 𑒖 𑒗 𑒘 𑒙 𑒚 𑒛 𑒜 𑒝 𑒞 𑒟
U+114Ax 𑒠 𑒡 𑒢 𑒣 𑒤 𑒥 𑒦 𑒧 𑒨 𑒩 𑒪 𑒫 𑒬 𑒭 𑒮 𑒯
U+114Bx 𑒰 𑒱 𑒲 𑒳 𑒴 𑒵 𑒶 𑒷 𑒸 𑒹 𑒺 𑒻 𑒼 𑒽 𑒾 𑒿
U+114Cx 𑓀 𑓁 𑓂 𑓃 𑓄 𑓅 𑓆 𑓇
U+114Dx 𑓐 𑓑 𑓒 𑓓 𑓔 𑓕 𑓖 𑓗 𑓘 𑓙
1.^ As of Unicode version 9.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. 1 2 Pandey, Anshuman (2011-05-05). "N4035: Proposal to Encode the Tirhuta Script in ISO/IEC 10646" (PDF). Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.
  1. free Download Tirhuta (Maithili) Fonts
  2. Tirhuta Lipi: Native Script of Maithili
  3. Mithila Online
  4. Learn Mithilakshara by Gajendra Thakur
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