Dhives Akuru

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Dhives Akuru
Dives title.png
Script type
Directionleft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
Related scripts
Parent systems
Sister systems
Malayalam, Tigalari, Saurashtra
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Diak, 342 Edit this on Wikidata, ​Dives Akuru
Unicode alias
Dives Akuru
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
The last version of the Maldivian script used after the conversion of people to Islam around the 1700s.
Standard Indic order. This table is provided as a reference for the position of the letters on the table.

Dhives Akuru or Divehi Akuru (island letters), is a script formerly used to write the Maldivian language. This script was called Dives Akuru by H. C. P. Bell who studied Maldive epigraphy when he retired from the British government service in Colombo and wrote an extensive monograph on the archaeology, history and epigraphy of the Maldive islands.


The Dhives Akuru developed from the Grantha script. The early form of this script was Dīvī Grantha, which Bell called Evēla Akuru (ancient letters) to distinguish it from the more recent variants of the same script. The ancient form (Evẽla) can be seen in the loamaafaanu (copper plates) of the 12th and 13th centuries and in inscriptions on coral stone (hirigaa) dating back to the Maldive Buddhist period. Like Sinhala script and most of the native scripts of India (but not Thaana), Dhives Akuru descended ultimately from the Brahmi script and thus was written from left to right.

Dhives Akuru was still used in some atolls in the South Maldives as the main script around 70 years ago. Since then its use has been limited to scholars and hobbyists. It can still be found on gravestones and some monuments, including the stone base of the pillars supporting the main structure of the ancient Friday mosque in Malé. Bell obtained an astrology book written in Dhives Akuru in Addu Atoll, in the south of the Maldives, during one of his trips. This book is now kept in the National Archives of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Bodufenvalhuge Sidi, an eminent Maldivian scholar, wrote a book called Divehi Akuru in 1959, prompted by then Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir, in order to clarify Bell's errors. However, Maldivian cultural associations have not paid much attention to Sidi's work and keep perpetuating those errors.


The Dhives Akuru script was added to Unicode version 13.0 in March 2020, with 72 characters located in the Dives Akuru block (U+11900–U+1195F):[1]

Dives Akuru[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1190x 𑤀 𑤁 𑤂 𑤃 𑤄 𑤅 𑤆 𑤉 𑤌 𑤍 𑤎 𑤏
U+1191x 𑤐 𑤑 𑤒 𑤓 𑤕 𑤖 𑤘 𑤙 𑤚 𑤛 𑤜 𑤝 𑤞 𑤟
U+1192x 𑤠 𑤡 𑤢 𑤣 𑤤 𑤥 𑤦 𑤧 𑤨 𑤩 𑤪 𑤫 𑤬 𑤭 𑤮 𑤯
U+1193x 𑤰 𑤱 𑤲 𑤳 𑤴 𑤵 𑤷 𑤸 𑤻 𑤼 𑤽  𑤾   𑤿 
U+1194x 𑥀  𑥁  𑥂 𑥃 𑥄 𑥅 𑥆
U+1195x 𑥐 𑥑 𑥒 𑥓 𑥔 𑥕 𑥖 𑥗 𑥘 𑥙
1.^ As of Unicode version 13.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  • Bell, H.C.P. Excerpta Maldiviana. Reprint 1922-1935 edn. New Delhi 1998.
  • Bell, H.C.P. The Maldive islands. Monograph on the History, Archaeology and Epigraphy. Reprint 1940 edn. Male' 1986.
  • Bodufenvahuge Sidi. Divehi Akuru; Evvana Bai. Male' 1958.
  • Divehi Bahuge Qawaaaid. Vols 1 to 5. Ministry of Education. Male' 1978.
  • Divehīnge Tarika. Divehīnge Bas. Divehibahāi Tārikhah Khidumaykurā Qaumī Majlis. Male’ 2000.
  • Geiger, Wilhelm. Maldivian Linguistic Studies. Reprint 1919 edn. Novelty Press. Male’ 1986.
  • Gunasena, Bandusekara. The Evolution of the Sinhalese Script. Godage Poth Mendura. Colombo 1999.
  • Romero-Frias, Xavier. The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom. Barcelona 1999.
  • Sivaramamurti, C. Indian Epigraphy and South Indian Scripts. Bulletin of the Madras Government Museum. Chennai 1999.
  • السّيّد ބޮޑު ފެންވަޅުގޭ ސީދީ. "ދިވެހި އަކުރު -- އެއްވަނަ ބައި." (Assidi Bodu Fenvalhugey Seedee. Dhivehi akuru—e`vana ba`i = Dhivehi akuru—volume one). Primary title (not standardized by Unicode)


  1. ^ "Unicode 13.0.0". unicode.org. Retrieved 2020-02-06.

See also[edit]