Gilgit manuscripts

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Jatakamala manuscript 8th-9th century

The Gilgit manuscripts are a corpus of manuscripts discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, Pakitstan, containing many Buddhist texts, including the Lotus Sutra. The manuscripts were written on birch bark in the Buddhist form of Sanskrit in the Sharada script. They cover a wide range of themes such as iconometry, folk tales, philosophy, medicine and several related areas of life and general knowledge.[1]

The Gilgit manuscripts[2] are included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register.[3] They are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, and the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan,[2] having major significance in the areas of Buddhist studies and the evolution of Asian and Sanskrit literature. The manuscripts are believed to have been written in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, though some more manuscripts were discovered in the succeeding centuries, which were also classified as Gilgit manuscripts.

Current location

"The manuscripts were discovered in three instalments in the Gilgit region of Kashmir. While the main part of the manuscripts is housed in the National Archives of India, New Delhi, the rest of the collection is at Sri Pratap Singh Museum, Jammu and Kahmir."[4]

In October 2014, one source reported that the part of the collection deposited at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar was irrecoverably destroyed during the 2014 India–Pakistan floods.[5]

See also


  1. "BBC News – India: Rare Buddhist manuscript Lotus Sutra released". 3 May 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gyan Marwah (August 2004). "Gilgit Manuscript — Piecing Together Fragments of History". The South Asian Magazine. Haryana, India. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  3. "Gilgit Manuscript | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Retrieved 2018-07-31. 
  4. Gilgit Manuscript (UNESCO)
  5. "Kashmir floods damage 2000-year-old Buddhist treasures". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)

External links

This article includes content from Gilgit on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo