100s of Free Unicode Fonts for Indian Languages
There are 100s of free Unicode fonts available on the net for various Indian languages like Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Oriya, Assamese, Kashmiri, etc. Links to download the same are given below. Please note that these fonts were not developed by me but by other developers. Hence, links below (Link1, Link2, etc.) will take you to external sites. You can download the Unicode fonts by clicking the download links available therein and/or following the instructions therein.

Link1 - http://gandhijifont.com

Link2 - http://lipikaar.com/fonts

Link3 - http://www.ildc.in/index.html

Link4 - http://info.webdunia.com/downloadfont.htm

Link5 - http://tdil.mit.gov.in/download/openfonts.htm

Link6 - http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/main/t/ttf-indic-fonts

Link7 - fonts installed automatically, along with Microsoft products

Link8 - multilingual (many languages) fonts - Arial Unicode MS and Code2000

Link9 - 100s of free Tamil Unicode fonts - http://azhagi.com/freefonts.html#unicode

Note: 'ttf-indic-fonts_0.5.10.tar.gz' in Link6 above contains fonts for all prominent Indian languages in one single archive with fonts for each language already segregated in separate folders.

Extracting fonts
If the fonts you download are inside archived files - .zip, .deb, .tgz, etc. - then, to extract them, use applications like Winzip or 7zip. Note that to extract files from '.tgz' archives, you can use Winzip; to extract files from '.deb' archives, you can use 7zip.

Fonts provided by Microsoft
MS has developed Unicode fonts specific to each Indian language. They are loaded along with the installation of the OS (operating system) itself or along with the installation of certain Microsoft products. A list of them is as follows.

Language Font Name
Tamil Latha (Win2K & above), Vijaya (Win7 & above)
Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, etc. Mangal (Win2K & above), Aparajitha (Win7 & above)
Telugu Gautami (WinXP & above), Vani (Win7 & above)
Kannada Tunga (WinXP & above)
Malayalam Kartika (WinXP-SP2 & above)
Gujarati Shruti (WinXP & above)
Bengali Vrinda (Win XP-SP2 & above), Shonar Bangla (Win7 & above)
Punjabi Raavi (WinXP & above)
Oriya Kalinga (WinVista and above)
Arial Unicode MS# All Indian languages# (Office 2002 and above)
(#) 'Arial Unicode MS' ('aum' for short) font comprises all the characters of almost all prominent Indian languages. 'aum' gets installed along with the FULL installation of MS Office 2002 (i.e. Office XP), MS Office 2003 and above. To know how to find out whether you have this font installed in your system and to know how to install this font if not found in your system, please visit http://azhagi.com/uniset.html#wordpp and read appropriate portions under 'Method A'.

 Code2000 font
Apart from 'aum', there is also a shareware font called Code2000 ('c2k' for short), which also compries all characters of almost all prominent Indian languages. So, whether you find 'aum' in your system or not, you shall download 'c2k' font. Our sincere thanks should go to the author of 'c2k' for his EXTREMELY painstaking effort in creating such a wonderful font. 'c2k' is available for download here - http://www.code2000.net/code2000_page.htm. Visit this page and navigate to the bottom of this page. Therein, you will find the link to download this font. After downloading, unzip the downloaded file (code2000.zip) and extract the font (code2000.ttf) to 'c:\windows\fonts' directory. That iss all to it.

How to install the downloaded fonts?
In case you are new to computers and do not know how to install the Indic (Indian language) fonts you download, then follow instructions below, which are for Windows XP operating system. The instructions for other operating systems are not given, as they are almost similar.

After saving or extracting (if the font is inside an archived file - .zip, .deb, .tgz, etc. - to extract files from '.tgz' archives, you can use Winzip; to extract files from '.deb' archives, you can use 7zip) the font to a folder of your choice in your system, you can opt to do one of the following.

  • Option-1: Copy/Paste or Drag/Drop the font file (say Tscu_Comic.ttf) into the 'Fonts' folder (usually 'C:\Windows\Fonts')
  • Option-2: Navigate* to the 'Fonts' folder (usually 'C:\Windows\Fonts'). Click 'File->Install New Font', select the folder where you have saved/extracted the font to be installed and click OK.
(*) In Windows XP, you can reach the 'Fonts' folder by clicking 'Start->Control Panel->Appearances and Themes' and then clicking the 'Fonts' icon.

Important note
There are a few visitors who are accustomed only to fonts similar to Typewriter fonts and hence assume that all the fonts downloaded from the above links can be straightaway used for typing in Sanskrit, Hindu, Telugu, etc. by selecting them from the fonts list of an editor like MS-Word. If you are one like them, then please note that not all Indic fonts are monolingual fonts. Monolingual fonts enable you to type only in one language. For example, 'Kruti Dev' font (available for download from indiatyping.com site). Using 'Kruti Dev' font, you can type only in Hindi. Contrary to monolingual fonts, there are bilingual fonts. For example, 'Mangal' font, which is in Unicode encoding. Using 'Mangal', you can type in both English and Hindi. Most of the fonts you download using the above links will be in that category. Apart from monolingual and bilingual fonts, there are multilingual fonts (e.g. Arial Unicode MS - you can type in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, etc., etc., etc.) and also bilingual/multiencoded fonts (e.g. Tscu_SaiIndira - you can type in both Tscii and Unicode and in both English and Tamil).

Considering the above, when you select a multilingual (e.g. Arial Unicode MS) or bilingual font (e.g. Mangal) from the fonts list of an editor (e.g. MS Word) and start typing, you can type in English only and NOT in Hindi. If you wish to type in Hindi, then you need* a software like Azhagi/Azhagi+ up and running or you need any other tool/utility/mechanism - which will display the Hindi characters from that multilingual/bilingual font.