Bhaiksuki alphabet

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Languages Sanskrit .
Time period
c. 11th–12th century AD [1]
Parent systems
Sister systems
ISO 15924 Bhks, 334
Direction Left-to-right

Bhaiksuki (Sanskrit: भैक्षुकी) is a Brahmi-based script that was used around the 11th and 12th centuries CE. It used to be known in English as the "Arrow-Headed Script" or "Point-Headed Script," while an older designation, "Sindhura," had been used in Tibet for at least three centuries.[2] Records showing usage of the script mainly appeared in the present-day states of Bihar and West Bengal in India, and in regions of Bangladesh. Records have also been located in Tibet, Nepal, and Burma.

Bhaiksuki has been accepted for inclusion in a future version of Unicode.[3]

Extant manuscripts[edit]

The script is found exclusively in Buddhist texts. According to the Unicode proposal, "Only eleven inscriptions and four manuscripts written in this script are known to exist. These are the Bhaiksuki manuscripts of the Abhidharmasamuccayakārikā, Maṇicūḍajātaka, Candrālaṃkāra, and at least one more Buddhist canonical text. The codex of the Abhidharmasamuccayakārikā was once kept in Tibet, but it is now inaccessible and its exact place of preservation is unknown. The fourth codex was discovered in Tibet and was recently shown in a Chinese documentary; however, information about this manuscript is limited."[2]

Sanskrit is the main language written in this script. It is strongly related to the Devanagari and Sharada scripts.


  1. ^ James, Ian (April 2012). "Bhaiksuki script". Retrieved November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Pandey, Anshuman; Dimitrov, Dragomir (23 April 2014). "Final Proposal to Encode the Bhaiksuki Script in ISO/IEC 10646" (PDF). Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Proposed New Scripts". Unicode Consortium. 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-07-16.