Devanagari, also called Nagari, is type of script that is used in India, Nepal, Tibet and southeast Asia. It is written from left to right, has a strong preference for symmetrical rounded shapes within squared outlines, and is recognisable by a horizontal line that runs along the top of full letters.
The Nagari script has roots in the ancient Brāhmī script family. Some of the earliest epigraphical evidence attesting to the developing Sanskrit Nagari script in ancient India, in a form similar to Devanagari, is from the 1st to 4th century CE inscriptions discovered in Gujarat. The Nagari script was in regular use by the 7th century CE and it was fully developed by about the end of first millennium.
The use of Sanskrit in Nagari script in medieval India is attested by numerous pillar and cave temple inscriptions, including the 11th-century Udayagiri inscriptions in Madhya Pradesh, and an inscribed brick found in Uttar Pradesh, dated to be from 1217 CE, which is now held at the British Museum. The script's proto- and related versions have been discovered in ancient relics outside of India, such as in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia; while in East Asia, Siddha Matrika script considered as the closest precursor to Nagari was in use by Buddhists. Nagari has been the primus inter pares of the Indic scripts. It has long been used traditionally by religiously educated people in South Asia to record and transmit information, existing throughout the land in parallel with a wide variety of local scripts (such as Modi, Kaithi, and Mahajani) used for administration, commerce, and other daily uses.
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