Handwritten character recognition is one of the most challenging and ongoing areas of research in the
field of pattern recognition. HCR research is matured for foreign languages like Chinese and Japanese but
the problem is much more complex for Indian languages. The problem becomes even more complicated for
South Indian languages due to its large character set and the presence of vowels modifiers and compound
characters. This paper provides an overview of important contributions and advances in offline as well as
online handwritten character recognition of Malayalam scripts.