I recently looked at several YouTube videos that teach you how to write Devaganari, the abugida writing system used by languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Maithili and Sanskrit. What struck me as someone who has previously learnt Chinese (for a while) is that the "stroke order", which is very important in Chinese, is inconsistent between the videos.

For example, for क:

That's just three different ways in the handful of videos that I found on my first search on YouTube. Which is the right one? Or am I mistaken in thinking that there is only one way for all languages using Devanagari? (Perhaps different languages adopted different stroke orders? Or different regions use different stroke orders? Or perhaps it doesn't matter as long as you are consistent in your own handwriting?)

Update: The YouTube playlist CrazyLassi - DEVANAGARI SCRIPT (Stroke order in English) illustrates an argument for writing the horizontal stroke last: words consists of several letters and you can only draw the horizontal stroke with its correct length when you've written the individual letters. See also the blogpost Devanagari stroke orders. (The creator of the videos is Lithuanian but lives in India.)

  • Thank you, I've wondered about this inconsistency too, having come from a Japanese kanji background.
    – LarsH
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


The stroke order is not important. You can draw the "ka" as you wish. But most people follow the way that you described in the first bullet as it's more natural that way. Usually people draw the horizontal line at the end as is correctly explained in your question. But all these are just for the sake of convenience. As the stroke order is not important to the language, you can draw the letters as per your convenience.

What I wrote is true for Hindi and Sanskrit. I have never learnt any other languages following the same script, but I believe the stroke order shouldn't be important in any other language as well. In fact, it was a new fact to me that there exists a language in which stroke order is important! I only know Hindi(native) and English in which I am fluent, and have tried learning Sanskrit and German in the past.

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