An excerpt of printed Multani, 1880
Script type
Time period
c. 18th–20th century CE
DirectionLeft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
RegionMultan region of Punjab and in northern Sindh
Related scripts
Parent systems
Sister systems
Gurmukhi, Khudabadi, Khojki, Mahajani
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Mult (323), ​Multani
Unicode alias
Final Accepted Script Proposal
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Multani is a Brahmic script originating in the Multan region of Punjab and in northern Sindh, Pakistan. It was used to write Saraiki, often considered a dialect of Lahnda group of languages.[1] The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. Multani is one of four Landa scripts whose usage was extended beyond the mercantile domain and formalized for literary activity and printing; the others being Gurmukhi, Khojki, and Khudabadi. Although Multani is now obsolete, it is a historical script in which written and printed records exist.[2] It was also known as Karikki and as Sarai.

Background and origin

The script is of Brahmic origin. The script originated from Landa script, a derivative of Sharada script. It share similarities with other Landa scripts such as Khojki and Khudawadi.[3]


The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. In the early 19th century it was adapted for literary usage when the Baptist Missionary Press produced metal fonts for the script in order to print Christian literature. The first book printed in the Multani script was the New Testament (1819). In the latter half of the 19th century, the British administration introduced the Arabic script as the standard for the languages of Sindh, which led to the demise of the Landa script of the region. The Multani script is no longer used and Punjabi is now written using Shahmukhi in Pakistan and Gurmukhi in India.[4]


The word 'Multani' in modern Multani typeface. The word is rendered without any dependent vowels as they are not yet part of the Unicode chart for Multani

Two different styles are observed over the course of the 19th century, with the later style representing a simplified version of the original style. Some consonants begin to represent their aspirated and implosive forms. The script also functions more as an abjad than as an abugida, as vowels are not marked unless the word is monosyllabic and as there are no dependent vowel signs, only independent ones that can appear at the beginning of a word, as with other Indic scripts. There is no virama, and consonant clusters are written with independent consonants. There is one section mark punctuation that has been identified. The independent vowels, of which there are only four, represent both short and long forms of the independent vowels in addition to phonological variations, and 'i' sometimes represents 'ya'. Ultimately, many consonants represent multiple sounds, and the digits largely represent those found in Gurmukhi, with the exception of 6 and 7, which resemble Devanagari more closely.


Main article: Multani (Unicode block)

Multani script was added to the Unicode Standard in June, 2015 with the release of version 8.0.

The Unicode block for Multani is U+11280–U+112AF:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1128x 𑊀 𑊁 𑊂 𑊃 𑊄 𑊅 𑊆 𑊈 𑊊 𑊋 𑊌 𑊍 𑊏
U+1129x 𑊐 𑊑 𑊒 𑊓 𑊔 𑊕 𑊖 𑊗 𑊘 𑊙 𑊚 𑊛 𑊜 𑊝 𑊟
U+112Ax 𑊠 𑊡 𑊢 𑊣 𑊤 𑊥 𑊦 𑊧 𑊨 𑊩
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. ^ Frawley, William (May 2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: 4-Volume Set. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-513977-8.
  2. ^ Pandey, Anshuman (2012-09-25). "N4159: Proposal to Encode the Multani Script in ISO/IEC 10646" (PDF). Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.
  3. ^ Grierson, George A. 1919. The Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. VIII. Indo-Aryan Family. North-Western Group. Part III. Sindhī and Lahndā. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India.
  4. ^ Serampore Missionaries. 1819. The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments translated from the originals into the Mooltani Language. Vol II – Containing the New Testament. Serampore: Mission Press