The book studies the palaeography of Orissa from the third to the seventeenth century ad. It focuses on the evolution of the regional script of Orissa from the Brahmi script to the advent of the modern Oriya script through various intermediate stages. Analyzing several hundreds of copper plate and stone inscriptions and with reproductions from facsimiles of many original inscriptions, the author delves into the palaeographical peculiarities of the scripts prevalent in different sub-regional/regional kingdoms of ancient and medieval Orissa. He followed the dominant stylistic nomenclatures for studying the scripts and emphasized on the importance of the geo-political forces in determining the writing style of a sub-region/region. The view that the process of 'palaeographical segmentation ran parallel with linguistic segmentation' has been successfully tested in Orissan context. The advent of the proto-regional and regional script of Orissa has been studied in the backdrop of this process. Besides, an attempt has been made to resolve the prolonged debate on the parentage of the modern Oriya script. It has been argued that political changes and ideologies of the ruling class were some of the determining factors in the growth and development of Oriya language and script.
The work will be useful to scholars and students of history, culture, language and literature for understanding the growth and development of languages and scripts in interaction with the political milieu and cultural growth of a region.