Relation of Pallava script or Vattelutu to other modern scripts
|Time period||c. 700–present|
|Sister systems||Malayalam, Grantha|
Vatteluttu alphabet, also spelled Vattezhutthu alphabet (Tamil: வட்டெழுத்து vaṭṭeḻuttu; Malayalam: വട്ടെഴുത്ത് vaṭṭeḻuttŭ) (means rounded letters) is an abugida writing system originating from the ancient Tamil people of Southern India. Developed from the Tamili (Tamil-Brahmi), Vatteluttu is one of the three main alphabet systems developed by Tamil people to write the Proto-Tamil language, alongside the ancient Grantha alphabet (Pallava or Grantha Tamil) and Tamil alphabet. The syllabic alphabet is attested from the 6th century CE to the 14th century in present day Tamil Nadu and Kerala states in India. It was later supplanted by modern Tamil script and Malayalam script.
It was also an ancient writing system used for writing the Tamil language after the 2nd century CE replacing an older Tamil-Brahmi script based on the Brahmi writing system. This rounded form of writing was also used in Kerala to write in Tamil as well as in Proto-Malayalam and Malayalam language. Currently Malayalam uses the Malayalam script. Inhabitants of Kuccaveli, located north of Trincomalee, used the Vatteluttu script between the 5th and 8th centuries, attested to on rock inscriptions found there.
Inscriptional records in the Tamil language date from 300 BCE to 1800 and have undergone varying changes through history. The Grantha Tamil was an alphabet in which extra letters were created specifically for Sanskrit words. It was also a modified form of Tamil script to write Sanskrit granthas, or books. In Tamil many of the letters which are found in Sanskrit do not exist.
- Tamil copper-plate inscriptions
- Indian copper plate inscriptions
- Laguna Copperplate Inscription
- Pallava script
- Tamil script
- Sivaramamurti, C, Indian Epigraphy and South Indian Scripts. Bulletin of the Madras Government Museum. Chennai 1999
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- Manogaran. The Untold Story of Ancient Tamils in Sri Lanka. p. 31.
- Agesthialingom, S. & S.V. Shanmugam (1970). The Language of Tamil Inscriptions. Annamalainagar, India: Annamalai University.