|c. 11th-12th century AD |
Bhaiksuki (Sanskrit?, Bhaiksuki:) is a Brahmi-based script that was used around the 11th and 12th centuries CE. It used to be known in English as the "Arrow-Headed Script" or "Point-Headed Script," while an older designation, "Sindhura," had been used in Tibet for at least three centuries. Records showing usage of the script mainly appeared in the present-day states of Bihar and West Bengal in India, and in regions of Bangladesh. Records have also been located in Tibet, Nepal, and Burma.
The script is found exclusively in Buddhist texts. According to the Unicode proposal, "Only eleven inscriptions and four manuscripts written in this script are known to exist. These are the Bhaiksuki manuscripts of the Abhidharmasamuccayak?rik?, Ma?icaj?taka, Candr?la?k?ra, and at least one more Buddhist canonical text. The codices of the Abhidharmasamuccayak?rik? and of the Ma?icaj?taka were once kept in the Tibetan monastery of Gonkhar, and were brought to Italy by Giuseppe Tucci in 1948. While the exact place of preservation of the Ma?icaj?taka is unknown, and only the photographs of the text are accessible, the codex of the Abhidharmasamuccayak?rik? was rediscovered in Tucci's last home in 2014, and is now on display at the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome. The fourth codex was discovered in Tibet and was recently shown in a Chinese documentary; however, information about this manuscript is limited."
The Bhaiksuki alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in June, 2016 with the release of version 9.0.
The Unicode block for Bhaiksuki is U+11C0–U+11C6F:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)