Talk:Vatteluttu alphabet

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Merging with Tamil script[edit]

Given that I got to this page from Malayalam language, I don't agree with this proposal. It could definitely do with some expansion and cleaning up though. Polar 20:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't the title be Vattezhuthu? --Umeshunni 03:10, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Dravidian civilizations[edit]


Wiki Raja 10:14, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

"His story"[edit]

As a research worker, I think an encyclopedia must be as close as possible to the present state of knowledge.

The "Pallava script" from which many Southeast Asian alphabets are derived is distinct from Vatteluttu. It seems to be the Grantha script, which makes sense since, at least in the case of early Indonesian inscriptions, these are written in Sanskrit, not in Tamil.

Pallavas did not "(carry) their writing system on their voyages to the east". Oliver W. Wolters of Cornell University and Pierre-Yves Manguin of Ecole Française d'Extrême Orient see evidences that it was Austronesians who sailed westwards, maybe as early as the 4th century BC, looking for new markets for their products, including cloves, which was known in Europe at least 2000 years ago. Roman author Pliny the Elder mentions it in his work. So Austronesians from Indonesia initiated a trade flow between southern India and the Indonesian archipelago. Amongst "goods" they would bring back in their voyages were cultural elements, including the Sanskrit language (not Tamil), Indian religious concepts, and of course the Pallava script.

It is not correct to state that "Malay language (...) received a lot of Tamil influence". You do have a few Tamil words in Malay, like modal ("capital funds"), but these are much more recent borrowings than the Pallava script. Wolters and Manguin have shown the other way round, i. e. that part of the vocabulary related to sailing in languages of southern India have Austronesian origin, which makes sense since Austronesian were sailors.

The Dravidian project is a nice one. It deserves more accuracy, especially with regard to other people's culture! :-) Djoehana (talk) 03:22, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Response to "His story"[edit]

Palava - kingdom or script?[edit]

The word "Pallava" was used by European "scholars" to generically categorize the curvy writings found in Southeast Asia. As a matter of fact, Pallavas is a name of a a kingdom of present day Southern India which migrated, interacted, and traded in various parts of Southeast Asia. That is where the term Pallava script may have originated from. As a matter of fact what the Pallavas including other Dravidian kingdoms such as the Cholas and Pandyas wrote in the Tamil script. So, if one historian wants, he or she could also call Vatteluttu a Chola script or Pandya script.

Pallava script, Grantha script, Vatteluttu - which is which?[edit]

Vatelluttu is a classification of writing scripts that contain curvy styled characters. These were used by the Dravidians of Southern India/ Sri Lanka and introduced to Southeast Asia over time. Grantha, Tamil, Malayalam, Khmer, Thai, etc. would fall under the classification of Vatteluttu since they contain the curvy characters. Please take note that I am talking about the scripts and not the spoken languages.

Pallava scipt was a term used by European historians of their version of categorization of Vatteluttu scripts taken from the Pallava kingdom of the Tamils and latter Telugus.

Grantha script was the Tamil script containing several added characters to be used to write Sanskritic words, with letters that are absent in spoken Tamil such as the letters ஜ (j), ஷ (ṣ), ஹ (h), க்ஷ (ks), just to name a few. The Grantha script would fall under the classification of Vatteluttu.

Sanskrit/Tamil - language/script[edit]

As you've stated, "early Indonesian inscriptions were written in Sanskrit, not Tamil". I agree. However, there seems to be a confusion between language and script. Early Indonesian inscriptions were written in the Sanskrit language, but not the Sanskrit script. Sanskrit words were written using the curvy Vatteluttu script and not the Devanagiri script, which resembles Hindi with a line over the top of the sentence. Once again, it were the Pallava kingdom of the Tamils along with their Brahmin priests who brought both Sanskrit and Tamil with them. Afterall, Tamil was the language they communicated in while Sanskrit was used by their priests for rituals. But, the curvy Vatteluttu script was used to wright both languages.


If you are referring to the indigenous peoples of Australia, then you are correct. Dravidians are aboriginals of South Asia.

Malay and Tamil[edit]

I have not stated "Malay language received a lot of Tamil influence". Please point that out where I have wrote that and I will take back what I said. Before posting something, I make sure to find at least one referenced source to tag along what I write.

End Note[edit]

With all due respect, I am not here to rewrite history, but to present facts and change incorrect information just like you do. I admire your your interest in the various subjects, and do respect the time you have put over the years with your research work. Below are a list of some books which may be of interest to you.

  1. Pallavas of Kanchi in South-East Asia - Suki Subramaniam
  2. The Politics of Expansion: The Chola Conquest of Sri Lanka and Sri Vijaya
  3. The Dravidian languages - Sanford B. Steever
  4. The Indonesian Language: Its history and role in modern society - James Sneddon
  5. South Indian Influences in the Far East - K.A. Nilakanta Sastri

The book called The Indonesian Language: Its history and role in modern society is an interesting book. I've learned from reading that there are Malay words in the Polynesian languages such as Tonga, Samoa, and Tahiti. An example would be Ikan for fish, is found in some of the Polynesian languages. One of my interests is in cultural diffusion, or the history of cultures communicating and sharing influences with one another. I guess that explains similarities of cultures, languages, dance, and scripts in various parts of the world. Did you know the Sri Vijayan empire travelled as far as Madagascar?

Likewise, I am here to communicate and interchange historical information with those interested. Regards. Wiki Raja (talk) 08:06, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Removed scripts chart[edit]


The following chart has been removed for further discussion:

Examples of various scripts derived from the Devanagari and Pallava scripts

Below this chart states "Examples of various scripts derived from the Devanagari and Pallava scripts. This chart is incorrectly presented. Reason being is while both Devanagari and Vatteluttu (Pallava) scripts are presented, there is a script being called "Devanagari" in the box. Also, the article on Vatteluttu does not say anything about Devanagari scripts. So, it would be proper to have a chart just showing the curvy Vatteluttu scripts of South and Southeast Asia. Perhaps, in the "See Also" section, there can be link leading the reader to the Devanagari page. Don't get me wrong, this chart is nice, but can be made better. For those who are unfamiliar with these scripts, there needs to be more info showing which belongs to which classification of scripts. Also, wasn't the original name for Jawa Kawi, and Bali script Carakan? Do you know who created this chart? Perhaps we could put together a better chart. Let me know what you think. Regards. Wiki Raja (talk) 08:32, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

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Pallava script and Vatteluttu[edit]

The two aren't the same. See Talk:Tamil_people#Vateluthu_Vs_Tamil_Pallava. I've temporarily removed all references to the Pallava script, but the article needs a major rewrite. -- Arvind (talk) 16:00, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Vattezhuttu or Vatteluttu??[edit]

Hai...Isnt it zha used there?????So isnt i more sensible to use he title vattezhuttu than vatteluttu?????

ARUNKUMAR P.RTalk 06:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Currently, the infobox and the bolded part of the title say the former, so I feel like it really should be moved... --V2Blast (talk) 08:35, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


I've removed the two photographs of inscriptions from the article based on an email clarification from Prof.Vijaya Venugopal (epigraphy) that those are not Vatteluttu. He also noted that File:Vatteluttu.png is a Chola inscription that is not Vatteluttu. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 16:19, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Pallava script is not Vatteluttu[edit]

Pallava is not the same as Vatteluttu. Compare the inscription image in the article with this article on Pallava script on —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexius108 (talkcontribs) 23:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Chelvadurai Manogaran and Vatteluttu and Kuccaveli inscription[edit]

What are the credentials of Chelvadurai Manogaran? Is he an epigraphist or a linguist for his political pamphlet called "Untold story of ancient Tamils in Sri Lanka" to be used as a reference for a this and not the one given in Epigraphica Zeylanica Epigraphica Zeylanica III; pp. 158 - 163? Manogaran is also claiming that the Brahmi script used all over India is derived from Vatteluttu, which is not acceptable, as Vatteluttu first apears around the 5th-6th century (See Mahadevan Tamil Epigraphy for example). Can this script be used to write Sanskrit? Please learn some basics before reverting and editing these articles. SriSuren (talk) 14:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

We have heard He is a historian who substantiates his facts with well-backed archaeological references. Read carefully, don't ramble. He states the Vatteletu evolved from Tamil-Brahmi and not the reverse, as you claim. The Brahmi script again was not only exclusive to Sanskrit. Tamil had a greater literary culture in the pre 5th Century BCE than any other language in India(unless you can prove otherwise). And it is well and widely known Sanksrit borrowed its fundamental script and grammar from Tamil language, so however you may phrase it, your argument would seem invalid.CuCl2 (talk . contr . mail) 14:53, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
So what is his reading and text? As for rambling, you are the one who is doing that, all over Wikipedia - no sources, no honesty, no nothing, but wants to rewrite history, fake claims.
And, you hearing that he is a historian doesn't help at Wikipedia. For a source to be accepted as a reliable source, the scholar has to be an academic in the subject matter. WP:RELY, WP:SCHOLARSHIP So the question is, is this guy an epigraphist? If so, what are his credentials? His claims of Brahmi evolving from Vatteluttu are not accepted by any scholar and Vattelluttu is only found from about the 5th - 6th century. Brahmi pre-dates that by many centuries. Well, I am not going to waste my time discussing your absurd claims about Sanskrit borrowing its script and grammar from Tamil language, let alone it being well and widely known. Anyway the nature of this pamphalet and his political involvement in Tamil separatist agenda, makes him an unreliable source.
As far as I can see you have no idea what you are talking about even, and a pamphlet of 80 pages, which is more or less a long essay of whining, complaining, blaming and baseless allegations can hardly be considered as having any academic value, other than documenting the whining itself.
This is what Edward Müller writes about the Kuccaveli inscription in his "Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon":
"Kucchawelli, 22 miles north of Trincomalee, on the sea side. There is a solitary rock inscription close to the sea which bears a fragment of an inscription in the characters of the seveth century. The country is now inhabited almost exclusively by Tamils, but that time must have been Sinhalese, as we can see not from this incription but also from the remains of a buddhist temple found at at Nattana kovil, about three miles west Nilawelli (8 miles from Trincomalee), and close to the bund of the Periyankulam tank. One or two other places north of Kuccawelli which are also said to contain buddistical remains, I was unfortunately not able to visit".
This is a screenshot of the text and reading from Epigraphica Zeylanica, Vol III. Does it sound Tamil?
Please give references from a third party reliable source, that this inscription is in Vatelluttu, before reverting. SriSuren (talk) 22:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No honesty? fake claims? Well, I don't subscribe to your preaching, maybe you should try a catherdal nearby. In any case they are highly fickle and not seem to be connected at all to what we have here.

Either I have to assume you are a no-good doing POV pusher, or you do not have thecredentials to read/comprehend proper English, which is more important to edit EN.Wiki more than anything else. In the article its mentioned that the Vattelutu alphabet evolved from Tamil-Brahmi. Aburd claims? Tamil and Sanskrit literary traditions existed in the mainland for several centuries before even languages like Prakrit was vocally spoken.[1] Literary texts in Telugu are lexically Sanskrit or Sanskritised to an enormous extent, perhaps seventy percent or more.[2] Let Kuchaveli have been inhabited by even the Batman, the Vattelutu script evolved from Tamil-Brahmi which was fundamentally common to almost all languages in South Asia, and as I said wahtever way you try to phrase it, you can't possibly make it sound otherwise.--CuCl2 (talk . contr . mail) 18:37, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

@SriSuren - why isn't Manogaran a RS - because you say so or because he's a Tamil? Manogaran was a professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for 30 years. He has written many articles and two books on political geography and climatology. He has 1,560 entries on Google scholar and his work has been cited by well known historians such as K. M. de Silva, C. R. de Silva, Patrick Peebles and Kristian Stokke. I have no idea if he's right about the Vatteluttu alphabet but don't dismiss him just because he's saying something that goes against your own POV.--obi2canibetalk contr 11:52, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Vatteluttu alphabet/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Vetteluttu evolved because South Indians predominantly wrote on dried palm leaves and found that straight letters often cut through the veins of these leaves shortening the lifespa of the script. Circular letters work around this problem.

Substituted at 18:43, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Staal was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Velcheru Narayana Rao; David Shulman, Classical Telugu Poetry (2 ed.), The Regents of the University of California, p. 3