internationalized domain names

India (.Bharat) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)

by Shaan Chopra

India has 15 Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). All of them are .Bharat in different languages. India itself has about 121 recognized languages and 1369 considered dialects but in total are 19569 languages and dialects (census of 2011). That is huge, as far as I know, most of the educated class knows at least 3 languages, English, Hindi and their state language. These IDNs in front of .com or .net or .in (ccTLD) can not be compared because the IDNs for native readers and writers. 

What I saw was even more shocking. I never expected a huge no of registrations in these native IDNs. The ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) for India is .IN that is mostly recognized internationally. But .भारत which is an IDN and looks like (.xn--h2brj9c) in ASCII has about 2557 registrations and .ਭਾਰਤ which is the Gurumukhi (Punjabi) Script has 866 registrations.

If you are still wondering about what I mean by Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Let me explain this with an example;

Do you see the URL below that is the complete URL which is in ASCII now if we change this to a different language that would become an IDN

You can visit my IDN which I just created; 


The above domain is in Gurumukhi and English translation means SHAAN.BHARAT and if I look at it in ASCII, it is;


Coming to the findings only 13 out of 15 have some registration, .भारत is at the top and second best is .ਭਾਰਤ.

If I have to look at just the market share of IDNs with each other;

I know a lot of people who would come out and say that IDNs are just not valuable in the domain market. I agree, but I am not comparing or viewing them because of resale value. I am seeing them in their use as I have personally seen people who only have native language keyboards on their cell phones.

I have also visited local courts where most of the documentation happens in the native state language. So for those people who don’t know English much, these IDNs are a great way to connect to the internet world. India is giving a huge push to digitalization but it is not just limited to English it also wants other languages to move towards that space. These registrations in IDNs just prove that other language scripts are also getting onboard.

Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)PunycodeNo. of RegistrationsScript
.भारत.xn--h2brj9c2557.Bharat in Devanagari Script
.ਭਾਰਤ.xn--s9brj9c866.Bharat in Gurumukhi (Punjabi) Script
.ભારત.xn--gecrj9c602.Bharat in Gujarati Script
.भारोत.xn--h2brj9c8c252.Bharot in Devanagari Script
.ಭಾರತ.xn--2scrj9c134.Bharat in Kannada Script
.ভারত.xn--45brj9c122.Bharat in Bengali Script
.இந்தியா.xn--xkc2dl3a5ee0h96.Bharat in Tamil Script
. بھارت.xn--mgbbh1a71e40.Bharat in Arabic Script (Urdu)
.भारतम्.xn--h2breg3eve32.Bharatam in Devanagari Script
.ଭାରତ.xn--3hcrj9c16.Bharat in Oriya Script
.ভাৰত.xn--45br5cyl 7.Bharat in Bangali Script
.بارت.xn--mgbbh1a6.Bharat in Arabic Script (Kashmiri)
.ڀارت.xn--mgbgu82a6.Bharat in Arabic Script (Sindhi)

The top 3 registrars that are making this happen are;

  • Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a (
  • Gandi SAS
  • Dynadot Inc

I am very happy to see this kind of movement in the Indian IDN market. I also understand that these IDNs will not make a global reach because of the language barrier. These are also under the same registry NIXI that manages .IN ccTLD. I would be very happy if the cost of these IDNs came down a bit compared to .IN. The same pricing is just a deal breaker as we all know the target market is very small readers as well as the writers.

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