|6th century AD to 9th century AD|
|Grantha, Mon, Khmer, Kawi|
|Tamil, Vatteluttu alphabet|
The Pallava script, a Brahmic script, was developed under the Pallava dynasty of Southern India around the 6th century of AD. Indian script Grantha and Southeast Asian scripts such as Balinese, Javanese, Kawi, Baybayin, Mon, Burmese, Khmer, Lanna, Thai, Lao and the New Tai Lue alphabet as well as the Sri Lankan Sinhala script are either direct or indirect derivations from the Kadamba-Pallava alphabet.
The form shown here is based on examples from the 7th century AD. Letters labeled * have uncertain sound value, as they have little occurrence in Southeast Asia.
Each consonant has an inherent /a/, which will be sounded if no vowel sign is attached. If two consonants follow one another without intervening vowel, the second consonant is made into a subscript form, and attached below the first.
During the rule of Pallavas, the script accompanied priests, monks, scholars and traders into South East Asia. Pallavas developed the Pallava script based on the Tamil-Brahmi. The main characteristics of the newer script are aesthetically matched and fuller consonant glyphs. Similar to Pallava script, also visible in the writing systems of Chalukya, Kadamba, Vengi at the time of Ikshvakus. Brahmi design was slightly different of the scripts of Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras. Pallava script very first significant developments of Brahmi in India, take care in combining rounded and rectangular strokes and adding typographical effects, was suitable for civic and religious inscriptions. Kadamba-Pallava script evolved into early forms of Kannada and Telugu scripts. Glyphs become more rounded and incorporate loops because of writing upon leaves and paper.