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Vatteluttu
Quick Facts
TypeSyllabic Alphabetic
GenealogyBrahmi
LocationSouth Asia
Time6th to 14th century CE
DirectionLeft to Right

The Vatteluttu (or Vattezhuttu) script was a syllabic alphabet used in the southern part India, in what is now the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It grew from the southern form of Brahmi script from around the 6th century CE, and was employed to write Tamil and Malayalam languages. One historical development is that the signs inherited from Brahmi unnecessary to represent the Tamil language were eliminated from the Vatteluttu script, a feature also found in the Tamil script and most likely was an influence from Vatteluttu.

The following is the list of basic signs in the Vatteluttu script.

From the 8th century CE onward, the Tamil language was written with both the Vatteluttu script as well as the Tamil script, a situation facilitated by political fragmented nature of southern India in which different kingdoms employed different scripts. However, by the 15th century CE the Vatteluttu script has all but been supplanted by the Tamil script in Tamil-speaking areas. Similarly, in 12th-century CE Kerala the Malayalam script developed from the older Grantha script and therefore phonetically suited the Malayalam language better. This also led to the disuse of Vatteluttu in favor of the Malayalam script.

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