Laṇḍā scripts

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Landa scripts
Script type
Time period
10th-11th century CE
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Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Gurmukhi, Khudabadi, Khojki, Mahajani, Multani
Sister systems
The theorised Semitic origins of the Brahmi script are not universally agreed upon.
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Landa script chart.

The Laṇḍā scripts (from the term laṇḍā meaning "without a tail"), is a Punjabi word used to refer to writing systems used in Punjab and nearby parts of North India.[1] In Sindhi, it was known as 'Waniko' or 'Baniyañ'.[2] It is distinct from the Lahnda language varieties, which used to be called Western Punjabi.

Laṇḍā is a script that evolved from the Śāradā during the 10th century. It was widely used in the northern and north-western part of India in the area comprising Punjab, Sindh, Kashmir and some parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was used to write Punjabi, Hindustani, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Kashmiri, Pashto, and various Punjabi dialects like Pahari-Pothwari.


There are at least ten ancient scripts that were classified as Laṇḍā scripts. They were often used as the mercantile scripts of the Punjab region. 5 of them have enough information to be supported in Unicode.

  1. Gurmukhī is used for Punjabi and sometimes for Sindhi. It evolved from Laṇḍā and is the only major Landa script in modern day usage.[3]
  2. Khojkī, an ecclesiastical script of the Isma'ili Khoja community, is within the Sindhi branch of the Landa family of scripts.[4]
  3. Khudabadi, formerly used for Sindhi, is a Laṇḍā-based script.[5]
  4. Mahājanī, a script previously used for the Punjabi and Mārwāṛī, is related to Laṇḍā.[6]
  5. Multani, formerly used for Saraiki, is a Laṇḍā-based script.[7]


  1. ^ 中西 亮(Nakanishi, Akira) (1980-01-01). Writing systems of the world: alphabets, syllabaries, pictograms. Rutland, Vt.; Tokyo, Japan: C.E. Tuttle Co. pp. 50-51. ISBN 0804812934.
  2. ^ Pollock, Sheldon; Raghunathan, Arvind (2003). Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia. University of California Press. p. 623. ISBN 9780520228214.
  3. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. (2010). L2/10-011R A Roadmap for Scripts of the Landa Family
  4. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. (2011). L2/11-021 Final Proposal to Encode the Khojki Script
  5. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. (2011). L2/11-022 Final Proposal to Encode the Khudawadi Script
  6. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. (2011). L2/11-274 Proposal to Encode the Mahajani Script
  7. ^ Pandey, Anshuman. (2012). L2/12-316 Proposal to Encode the Multani Script

Further reading[edit]