Tigalari alphabet

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Tigalari
Tigalari-sanskrit-manuscript.jpg
A Sanskrit manuscript
Type
Languages Sanskrit
Kannada
Tulu
Time period
c. 1200-present[1]
Parent systems
Brahmi alphabet
  • Southern Brahmi
Sister systems
Malayalam script
Dhives Akuru
Sinhala script
Unsupported.
Priliminary Proposal submitted
(U+11380U+113DF )

Tigalari (Sanskrit: तिगळारि लिपि, Kannada: ತಿಗಳಾರಿ ಲಿಪಿ ,Tigaḷāri lipi) is a southern Brahmic script used in the Coastal and Malnad regions of Karnataka, also prevalent in Kasaragod district of Kerala. Sometimes it also known as the Tulu script based upon the practice of linking writing systems to languages. It evolved from the Grantha script. It bears high similarity and relationship to its sister script Malayalam, which also evolved from the Grantha. It was primarily used by Tulu-speaking Brahmins like Shivalli Brahmins and Havyaka Kannada Brahmins to write Vedic mantras and other Sanskrit religious texts. Sanskrit is the main language of the script.But some Kannada and Tulu works are also available. It is currently not used to write the Kannada and Tulu languages as they use the Kannada script for documentation.

Works in the script[edit]

Thousands of manuscripts have been found in this script such as Vedas, Upanishads, Jyotisha, Dharmashastra, Purana and many more.Most of the manuscripts are in Sanskrit.But, some Kannada manuscripts are also found such as Gokarna Mahatmyam which are mainly in Havyaka dialect. Tulu Mahabharato is the earliest piece of literature, from the 15th century written in this script in Tulu language. But earlier to this several 12th-13th century Sanskrit manuscripts of Madhvacharya are also found. Other manuscripts like Devi Mahatme, from the 15th century and two epic poems written in 17th century, namely Sri Bhagavata and Kaveri have also been found.

Region where used[edit]

The script is used all over Canara region of Coastal Karnataka.The districts include Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. Many manuscripts are also found in Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru Districts.In Malnad and Uttara Kannada region the script is known as Tigalari. There are innumerable manuscripts found in this region. The major language of manuscripts is Sanskrit, mainly the works of Veda, Jyotisha and other Sanskrit epics. Some works are also available in vernacular Kannada and Tulu languages.The Honnavar in Uttara Kannada District is known for its Samaveda manuscripts.

Decline[edit]

This script is used mainly for religious purposes. It was never used for official or political purposes, and so was not promoted by any state.

As printing came to Kannada and scripts of India, native users adopted Kannada as more typefaces and metal fonts were available. This led to gradual decrease in the script.

Today[edit]

Today the usage of the script has decreased. It is still used in parts of Kanara region and traditional maṭhas of undivided Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada Districts.

The National Mission for Manuscripts has conducted several workshops on Tigalari script. Dharmasthala and the Ashta Mathas of Udupi have done significant work in preserving the script. Several studies and research work has been done on Tigalari script. Keladi houses over 400 manuscripts in Tigalari script.

Places where Tigalari manuscripts are preserved[edit]

Keladi Museum & Historical Research Bureau, Shimoga, Karnataka
The Museum has a library of about a thousand paper and palm leaf manuscripts written in Kannada, Sanskrit and Telugu, besides four hundred palm leaf manuscripts in Tigalari script. They relate to literature, art, dharmaśāstra, history, astrology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics and veterinary science. There are several collections in the Museum, including art objects, arms coins, stone sculptures and copper plate inscriptions belonging to the Vijayanagara and Keladi eras. The Institution is affiliated to Gnana Sahyadri, Shankaraghatta, Kuvempu University of Shimoga.
Oriental Research Institute Mysore
The ORI houses over 33,000 Palm leaf manuscripts. It is a research institute which collects, exhibits, edits and publishes rare manuscripts in both Sanskrit and Kannada. It contains many manuscripts, including Sharadatilaka, in Tigalari script. The Sharadatilaka is a treatise on theory and practice of Tantric worship. While the exact date of the composition is not known, the manuscript itself is thought to be about four hundred years old. The author of the text, Lakshmana Deshikendra, is said to have written the text as an aid to worship for those unable to go through voluminous Tantra texts. The composition contains the gist of major Tantra classics and is in verse form.
Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur
Built up by the Nayak and Maratha dynasties of Thanjavur, this Library contains very a rare and valuable collection of manuscripts, books, maps and painting on all aspects of arts, culture and literature. The scripts include Grantha, Devanagari, Telugu and Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Tigalari and Oriya.
French Institute of Pondicherry
The Institut Français de Pondichéry was established in 1955 with a view to collecting all material relating to Saiva Āgamas, scriptures of the Saiva religious tradition called the Shaiva Siddhanta, which has flourished in South India since the eighth century A.D. The manuscript collection of the Institute[2] was compiled under its Founder–Director, Jean Filliozat. The manuscripts in need of urgent preservation cover a wide variety of topics such as Vedic ritual, Saiva Agama, Sthalapurana and scripts, such as Grantha and Tamil. The collection consists of approximately 8,600 palm-leaf codices, most of which are in the Sanskrit language and written in Grantha script; others are in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Nandinagari and Tigalari scripts.
The Shaiva Agama is composed in Sanskrit and written in Tigalari script. Though there may be a few copies of these texts available elsewhere, this particular codex comes from southern Karnataka, providing glimpses into the regional variations and peculiarities in ritual patterns. The manuscript was copied in the 18th century on (sritala) palm leaf folios.

Apart from these they are also found in Dharmasthala and the Ashta Mathas of Udupi.

Malayalam script resemblance[edit]

Tigalari and Malayalam are both descended from Grantha script, and resemble each other both in their individual letters and in using consonant conjuncts less than other Indic scripts. It is assumed that a single script, called Tulu-Malayalam script or Transitional Grantha and sometimes called Western Grantha, evolved from Grantha script and later divided into two scripts.[3]

Characters[edit]

JPG Image

Expected Unicode character names are:[4]

  1. TULU LETTER A, AA, I, II, U, UU, VOCALIC R, E, AI, O
  2. AU, KA, KHA, GA, GHA, NGA, CA, CHA, JA, JHA
  3. NYA, TTA, TTHA, DDA, DDHA, NNA, TA, THA, DA, DHA
  4. NA, PA, PHA, BA, BHA, MA, YA, RA, LA, VA
  5. SHA, SSA, SA, HA, LLA, LLLA, TULU VOWEL SIGN A, I, II
  6. TULU VOWEL SIGN U, UU, VOCALIC R, E, AI, O, AU, TULU VIRAMA, TULU SIGN ANUSVARA, TULU SIGN VISARGA
  7. TULU DIGIT 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


A folio from Tigalari manuscript in Sanskrit language-Vidyamadhaviyam-Jyotisha Shastram

Image: A folio from Tigalari manuscript in Sanskrit language-Vidyamadhaviyam-Jyotisha Shastram


Comparison of the Grantha script, the Malayalam script, and the Tulu script (ka, kha, ga, gha, ṅa):

Image: Grantha vs. Tulu vs. Malayalam scripts

See also[edit]

References[edit]

TULU LIPI PARICHAYA -Dr. Radhakrishna N Belluru -Tulu Sahitya Academy Compureraised Tulu Script -Dr. Radhakrishna N Belluru -Tuluvere Ayano Samithi, Badiyadke

  1. ^ Visalakshy, P. The Grantha Script. Dravidian Linguistics Association, 2003. books.google.co.in/books?id=mmUOAAAAYAAJ
  2. ^ The digitized Tigalari manuscripts can be viewed at http://www.ifpindia.org/manuscripts/
  3. ^ Andronov, Mikhail Sergeevich. A Grammar of the Malayalam Language in Historical Treatment. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1996.
  4. ^ http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso10646/pdf/tulu.pdf


External links[edit]