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Kharosthi alphabet


The Kharosthi alphabet was invented sometime during the 3rd century BC and was possibly derived from the Aramaic alphabet. It was widely used in northwest India and central Asia until the 4th century AD.

Unlike the Brahmi script, which was invented at around the same time and spawned many of the modern scripts of India and South East Asia, Kharosthi had no descendants.

Kharoshti was deciphered by James Prinsep and others around the middle of the 19th century. Since then further material has been found and the script is now better understood.

Notable features

·         Kharosthi is a syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels are indicated using diacritics.

·         It was written from right to left in horizontal lines.

Used to write: Gandhari and Sanskrit

Kharosthi alphabet


Kharosthi consonants

Kharosthi vowels and numerals

Sample text

Kharosthi sample text