Saraju RATH


Indian Studies, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands

Saraju RATH

Octobre 2013 à Juin 2014


Saraju Rath obtained a PhD in Sanskrit Grammar at the University of Pune (Maharashtra, India) in 1991, and has extensive research experience in ancient Indian scripts and manuscripts since 1987, when she started to work in the “Vaidika Samshodhana Mandala” in Pune, where her Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts, vol. V, which describes around 650 manuscripts in Vyakarana, Abhidhana and Darsanas, appeared in 1998. She recently published Aspects of Manuscript Culture in South India, the proceedings of a workshop she organized at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, in 2007. She obtained an M.A. in Sanskrit in 1982 at Utkal University, Orissa, India, an M.Phil. degree in Sanskrit in 1985, a two-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Manuscriptology in 1999 and a one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Sanskrit Linguistics in 2001 at the Centre of Advanced Study of Sanskrit, University of Pune. She has expertise in the fi eld of ancient Indian scripts such as Brahmi, Sarada, Newari, Grantha, Malayalam, Telugu, Nagari, Nandinagari. Since 2000 she has been teaching courses in India and in Europe on manuscriptology and on the history and development of ancient Indian scripts, and since 2004 she has been attached to the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Search project

Siddham?trk?: Identity and Context of an Ancient Indian Script, 6th – 11th century C.E.

The earliest significant use of writing in South Asia is found in the A?okan inscriptions, ca 250 BCE. For many centuries to come, Br?hm? was the major Indian script. From various textual sources we know that the script was widely known under this name by those who used it. After several centuries, a distinct script came into use in some parts of India and remained in vogue for around five centuries, from around the sixth till the eleventh century. There is no direct Indian
evidence about the name under which this script was known, but a ccording t o Al-B?r?n? ( tenth c entury), w hose t estimony roughly matches the palaeographic evidence, a script called Siddham?t?k? was widely in use in India as known to him. This script was similar or akin to the script cultivated in China and Japan under the name “Siddha” (Gulik 1956). The purpose of this research project is to make, for the first time, a systematic study on the basis of primary evidence of the internal coherence and variations of this script and of its geographical and chronological extension on the Indian subcontinent.


RATH, Saraju. Varieties of Grantha Script: The Date and Place of Origin of Manuscripts. In RATH Saraju (ed.). Aspects of Manuscript Culture in South India. Leiden : Brill, 2012.

RATH, Saraju. The Evolution of Inscriptional N?gar? from Early 7th till 12th CE. Epigraphika Vostoka [Epigraphy of the Orient], 2011, vol. 29, p. 187-201.

RATH, Saraju. Vedic Education in early Medieval India according to North Indian Charters. Le Veda-Ved??ga et l’Avesta entre oralité et écriture, 2010, p. 393-424.

RATH, Saraju. Scripts of Ancient India: Siddham?trk?. Ny?ya-Vasi??ha, 2006, p. 717–728.