Devanagari Script (देवनागरी लिपी)

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Devanagari (देवनागरी) is an Abugida script used to write numerous languages of South Asian countries. It is also called Devanagari Lipi. Devanagari is a conjunction of the Sanskrit Language (term): deva + Nagari. The term Deva refers to “god,” and the term Nagari refers to the “script or lipi of the city”.

It used to write in India including Sanskrit, Hindi, Bihari, Bhili, Marathi, Sindhi, Marwari, Awadhi, Balti, Bhojpuri, Bhumij, Chamling, Chhattisgarhi, Dhimal, Gurung, Halbi, Haryanvi, Konkani, Santhali, Maithili, Maldivian, Nepali, Garhwali and Kumaoni Language.

It is also used in Nepal to write many languages such as Nepali or Nepalese, Nepal Bhasa, Magar, Newar, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Awadhi, Tharu, Santhali, Bajjika, and others.


Devanagari script is mostly used in India and Nepal for more than 200 languages, making it the fourth most widely adopted writing system in the world.

In Nepal, the Nepali language in the Devanagari script is the official language of Nepal, and the official documents are recorded in the Devanagari script.

Origin of Devanagari

Devanagari script developed from the North Indian massive script known as Gupta script.

Devanagari emerged about 1200 C.E. out of the Siddham script, slowly swapping the earlier closely related Sharada script. It was used from the 7th century CE and happening in its established method from the 11th century ahead.

Both Siddham and Sharada script are direct descendants of the Gupta script, ultimately derived from the Brahmi alphabet confirmed from the third century B.C.E. That’s all modern Indian and Nepali writing systems are derived.

Application to Nepali

Now, I going to discuss the application of the Devanagari script to Nepali.

The Nepali language is written using the Devanagari script. Devanagari script is also used to write other languages as mentioned above. The Devanagari script characterizes the sounds of the Nepali language with remarkable consistency.

While numerous letters of the English letters in order might be articulated a wide range of ways, the letters of the Devanagari content are pronounced consistently. So, the Devanagari script is comparatively easy to learn.

Basic Features

The Devanagari script comprises 11 vowels and 33 consonants. Devanagari is written from left to right in line.

Vowel Description
as in “cup”, “ahead
as in father, fast
as in “still”, “his”
as in “feet”, “meat”
as in “push”, “full”
as in “foot”, “shoot”
as is “rip”, “rib”
as in “bed”, “obey”
as in “woman”, “van”
as in “so“, “goat”
as in “sought”, “thaught”

Symbols of Devanagari

All the vowels in Devanagari have appended to the top or lower part of the consonant or to a <aa> vowel sign joined to one side of the consonant, except for the <i> vowel sign, which is connected on the left. In the Devanāgarī vowel table beneath, the “Letter” section contains the image utilized when a vowel happens without a consonant, the “Vowel sign with <p>” segment contains the image utilized when a vowel is joined to a consonant, appeared with the <p> letter, for instance, the “Unicode name” segment contains the name given in the Unicode particular for the vowel, and the “IPA” segment contains the International Phonetic Alphabet character(s) comparing to ways to express the Devanāgarī character.

Characters Transliteration Pronunciation (IPA)
Independent Dependent Dependent
IAST ITRANS Sanskrit Nepali
a a ə a
पा ā A
ि पि i i i
पी ī I
पु u u u ʊ
पू ū U
पे e e e, eː
पो o o οː o, οː
पै ai ai əi æː
पौ au au əu
पृ R ɻ ɾɪ
पॄ RR ɻː
पॢ LR ɭ
पॣ LRR ɭː
पॅ æ
पॉ ɔ

Forms of Vowels


Independent Dependent With क (ka)
(none) क (Ka)
का (Kaa)
ि कि (ki)
की (Kee)
कु (ku)
कू (koo)
कृ (Kri)
के (ke)
कै (kai/kae)
को (ko)
कौ (kau/kou)
अं कं (kam)
अ: : क: (kah)


Velar Consonants
Letter Description
क (ka) unaspirated “k”
ख (kha) aspirated “k”
ग (ga) unaspirated “g”
घ (gha) aspirated “g”
ङ (na) n, as in “sing”


Palatal Consonants
Letter Description
च (cha) unaspirated “ch”, as in “cheese”
छ (chha) aspirated “ch”
ज (ja) unaspirated “j”
झ (jha) aspirated “j”
ञ (na) n, as in “punch”


Retroflex Consonants
Letter Description
ट (ta) like “t”, but retroflex and unaspirated
ठ (tha) like “t”, but retroflex and aspirated
ड (da) like “d”, but retroflex and unaspirated
ढ (dha) like “d”, but retroflex and aspirated
ण (na) like “n”, but retroflex

ड़ is articulated by fluttering the tongue from the retroflex situation ahead, close to the alveolar edge. ढ़ is articulated comparatively, besides with yearning.

Dental Consonants
Letter Description
त (ta) like “t”, but dental and unaspirated
थ (tha) like “t”, but dental and aspirated
द (da) like “d”, but dental and unaspirated
ध (dha) like “d”, but dental and aspirated
न (na) like “n” in “name”, but dental


Labial Consonants
Letter Description
प (pa) like “p”, but unaspirated
फ (pha/fa) like “p”, but aspirated
ब (ba) like “b”, but unaspirated
भ (bha/va) like “b”, but aspirated
म (ma) “m”


Letter Description
य (ya) “y”, as in “yes”
र (ra) like “r”, but often rolled
ल (la) “l”, as in “lift”
व (va/wa) either “w”, or “v”


Letter Description
श (sha) “sh”, as in “shave”
ष (sha) like “sh”, but retroflex
स (sa) “s”, as in “save”


Letter Description
ह (ha) like “h”, but voiced

In Devanagari script the consonants ‘ङ’, ‘ञ’, ‘न’, ‘ण’ lool like similar but they have different pronounce, hence these all are nasal tone. In English, there is only one ‘N’ consonant.


Devanagari script is the oldest script in the world. Devanagari script is the primary language script in basically Nepal and India. In Nepal, this script is the official script for documentation. The primary script for study and education system in Nepal also the Devanagari script.


Devanagari, retrieved from on February 26, 2020.

Devanagari, retrieved from on February 26, 2020.


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