The Śāradā, Sarada or Sharada script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. The script was in widespread use between the 8th and 12th centuries in the northwestern parts of India (in Kashmir and neighbouring areas), for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā. Originally more widespread, its use became later restricted to Kashmir, and it is now rarely used except by the Kashmiri Pandit community for ceremonial purposes.
|c. 800 CE–present (almost extinct)|
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Sharada was in use in large areas of South Asia, including Kashmir, Punjab, and Afghanistan, but its use later became restricted to Kashmir where the script is considered sacred by some Hindus. It is named after the Goddess Śāradā, (another name for Saraswati, the goddess of learing), the main deity of the Sharada Peeth temple.
The Bakhshali manuscript uses an early stage of the Sharada script. The Sharda script was used in Afghanistan as well as in the Himachal region in India. In Afghanistan, the Kabul Ganesh has a 6th century Proto-Sharda inscription mentioning king Khingala.[clarification needed] At the historic Markula Devi Temple, the goddess Mahishamardini has a Sharada inscription of 1569AD.
The Unicode block for Śāradā script, called Sharada, is U+11180–U+111DF:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
- Selin, Helaine (2008). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media. p. Bakhshali Manuscript entry. Bibcode:2008ehst.book.....S. ISBN 9781402045592.
- Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. p. 43. ISBN 9788131711200.
- Sir George Grierson. (1916). "On the Sharada Alphabet". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 17.
- For photograph of statue and details of inscription, see: Dhavalikar, M. K., "Gaņeśa: Myth and Reality", in: Brown 1991, pp. 50,63.
- "Pandits to visit Sharda temple". The Hindu. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- From Persepolis to the Punjab: Exploring Ancient Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Elizabeth Errington, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, British Museum Press, 2007 p. 96
- Observations on the Architecture and on a Carved Wooden Door of the Temple of Mirkulā Devī at Udaipur, Himachal Pradesh, Francesco Noci, East and West, Vol. 44, No. 1 (March 1994), pp. 99-114
- Pandey, Anshuman (2009-08-05). "L2/09-074R2: Proposal to encode the Sharada Script in ISO/IEC 10646" (PDF).
- Saerji. (2009). Śāradā script: Akṣara List of the Manuscript of Abhidharmadīpa (ca. the 11th Century). Research Institute of Sanskrit Manuscripts & Buddhist Literature, Peking University.
- Download Noto Sans Sharada, a Sharada font by Google.
- Prevalence of the Śāradā Script in Afghanistan