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Gāndhārī language: Wikis


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Alternate meanings: see Gandhari

Gāndhārī (Devanagari: गांधारी) was a north-western prakrit spoken in Gāndhāra. Like all prakrits, it is thus descended from either Vedic Sanskrit or a closely related prior language. Gāndhārī has been found written in the Kharoṣṭhī script. Scholars believe that the language featured elements from the languages native to the area (pre-Indo-European population), as well as Dardic and East-Iranian ethnic languages, which are related to the Indo-Aryan family to which all prakrits belong.


Buddhist manuscripts in Gāndhāri

Until the recent discoveries, the only Gāndhāri manuscript available to the scholars was a birch-bark scroll of Dharmapada discovered at Kohmāri Mazār near Khotan in Xinjiang, China in 1893 CE. Recently a large number of fragmantary manuscripts of Buddhist texts were discovered eastern Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. These include[1],

  • 29 fragments of birch-bark scrolls of British Library collection consisting of parts of Dharmapada, Anavatapta gāthā, Khargavişāņa sutra, Sangiti sutra and a collection of sutras of Anguttara,
  • 129 fragments of palm leaf folios of Schøyen collection, 27 fragments of palm-leaf folios of Hirayama collection and 18 fragments of palm leaf folios of Hayashidera collection consisting of Mahāparinirvāna sutra and Bhadrakalpikā sutra,
  • 24 birch-bark scrolls of Senior collection consists of mostly different sutras and Anavatapta gāthā, and,
  • 8 fragments of a single birch-bark scroll and 2 small fragments of another scroll of University of Washington collection consisting of probably an Abhidharma text or other scholastic commentaries.


  1. ^ Saloman Richard, Recent Discoveries of Early Buddhist Manuscripts in Between the Empires, Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE, Oxford University Press, New York, 2006 CE, ISBN 978 0 19 568935 8

See also


  1. Rahman, Dr. Tariq, Peoples and Languages in Pre-Islamic Indus Valley,University of Texas at Austin.

Further reading

Yu. V. Gankovsky, The Peoples of Pakistan: An Ethnic History. Translated from the Russian by Igor Gavrilov (Lahore: Peoples' Publishing House, 1964)

External links



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