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Classical Sanskrit

Classical Sanskrit was used by Hindus in India from approximately 500 BCE to 1000 CE. It is now a literary and liturgical language.

Shown below in various writing systems used for Sanskrit:  Devanagari, Bangla, Burmese/Myanmar, Grantha, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Khmer, Lantsa, Malayalam, Oriya, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Saurashtra, Siddham, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, and Tibetan
Also shown using major Latin transliteration schemes:  IAST, Harvard-Kyoto, ISO 15919, ITRANS, and Velthuis

top Devanagari script

Devanagari script has been considered the de facto writing system for Sanskrit since the late 1800s. It is shown here with IAST romanization.

[Classical Sanskrit using Devanagari script]


top Bangla script

Bangla script has historically been used to write Sanskrit in the eastern region of South Asia.

[Classical Sanskrit using Bangla script]


top Burmese/Myanmar script

Myanmar script is used to write Sanskrit in Myanmar.

[Classical Sanskrit using Burmese/Myanmar script]


top Grantha script

Grantha script was used to write Sanskrit in the Tamil-speaking parts of South Asia until the 1800s.

[Classical Sanskrit using Grantha script]


top Gujarati script

Gujarati script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Gujarati script]


top Gurmukhi script

Gurmukhi script has been adapted to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Gurmukhi script]


top Kannada script

Kannada script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Kannada script]


top Khmer script

Khmer script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit in Cambodia.

[Classical Sanskrit using Khmer script]


top Lantsa script (also known as Lanydza, Lanja, Lantsha, Lentsa, and Lendza)

Lantsa script is most often used for writing the Sanskrit titles of translated texts that have been brought to Tibet from India. It was also commonly used for writing Sanskrit mantras as well as seed syllables. Lantsa was developed around the 11th century from Ranjana script and retains many similarities.

[Classical Sanskrit using Lantsa script]


top Malayalam script

Malayalam script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Malayalam script]


top Oriya script

Oriya script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Oriya script]


top Phags-pa script

Phags-pa script has been used to write Sanskrit.

Standard script:

Seal script:

Tibetan style:

[Classical Sanskrit using Phags-pa standard script] [Classical Sanskrit using Phags-pa seal script] [Classical Sanskrit using Phags-pa Tibetan script]

top Ranjana script

Ranjana script is a Brahmi-derived script developed during the 11th century. It was used until the mid-20th century in India and Nepal by the Newari people to write the Newari language and Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Ranjana script]


top Saurashtra script

Saurashtra script has been used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Saurashtra script]


top Siddham

Siddham script was used for writing Sanskrit around 600-1200 CE.

[Classical Sanskrit using Siddham script]


top Sinhala script

Sinhala script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit in Sri Lanka.

[Classical Sanskrit using Sinhala script]


top Tamil script

Tamil script is used by Tamils to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Tamil script]


top Telugu script

Telugu script has been used to write Sanskrit.

[Classical Sanskrit using Telugu script]


top Thai script

Thai script is sometimes used to write Sanskrit in Thailand.

[Classical Sanskrit using Thai script]


top Tibetan script

Tibetan script is used to write Sanskrit in Tibet and Bhutan.

[Classical Sanskrit using Tibetan script]


top IAST

The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is the most popular academic standard for the romanization of Sanskrit. IAST is the de facto standard used in printed publications, like books and magazines.

[Classical Sanskrit using IAST romanization]


top Harvard-Kyoto

The Harvard-Kyoto Convention is a system for romanization of Sanskrit and other languages that use the Devanagari script. It is predominantly used in e-mail and for electronic texts.

[Classical Sanskrit using Harvard-Kyoto romanization]


top ISO 15919

ISO 15919 is an international standard on the romanization of many Indic scripts.

[Classical Sanskrit using ISO 15919 romanizaiton]


top ITRANS script

ITRANS (Indian languages TRANSliteration) is an extension of Harvard-Kyoto. Many webpages and forums are written using ITRANS.

[Classical Sanskrit using ITRANS romanization]


top Velthuis script

The Velthuis transliteration system wsa developed in 1996 by Frans Velthuis. It is loosely based on IAST but is case insensitive.

[Classical Sanskrit using Velthuis romanization]


Language information at Wikipedia and Ethnologue

Writing system information at Wikipedia and Omniglot

Transliteration information

Indian fonts in the Gallery of Unicode Fonts


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