Shankhalipi is a term describing ornate characters that are assumed to be the derivatives of Brahmi Script. It is also known as “shell script” because it looks like conch shells or shankhas. They are found in inscriptions across north-central India dating between 4th and 8th centuries. Both Brahmi and Shankhalipi scripts are used mainly for name and signatures. It was discovered for the first time in 1836 on a brass trident in Uttarakhand’s Barahat.
Recently, Archeological Survey of India discovered the remains of an ancient temple dating back to the Gupta period in a village in Uttar Pradesh. The stairs of this temple had shankhalipi inscriptions, which were deciphered to be ‘Sri Mahendraditya’ – the title of Kumaragupta I.