I'm following a tutorial for learning to read Devanagari, but I'm finding that I'm having trouble. The letters are presented in what appears to be a "standard order" (my apologies, I don't actually know much about Devanagari yet). However, it seems that some letters both sound the same and have similar symbols. Is there a resource where similar sounding letters are grouped together? I feel that might be easier to learn from. Alternately, some of the letters appear to look very similar but sound different. Is there a resource that groups the letters by shape and not sound?

  • Can you tell which tutorial were you following?
    – its4zahoor
    Mar 26, 2019 at 8:47
  • 1
    Among many others, it was from www.learning-hindi.com. However, that one follows more or less the same order as everyone else Mar 26, 2019 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


There are three key things to pay attention to (I've found):

Wikipedia has a convenient table: Devanagari consonants - Wikipedia

of the top row, I think (in my beginners' experience) only nasalisation needs conscious thought, which is why I don't include it in 'key things'.

For groupings of 'similar sounding' consonants, read either horizontally or vertically, e.g.:

  • guttural consonants (varying aspiration and voicing):
    • ka (u.a. u.v.)
    • kha (a. u.v.)
    • ga (u.a. v.)
    • gha (a. v.)
  • voiced aspirated consonants (varying place of articulation):
    • gha (gutteral)
    • jha (palatal)
    • d.ha (retroflex)
    • dha (dental)
    • bha (labial)
  • Great answer, thanks! I honestly wasn't expecting such a thorough answer so long after I asked the question Sep 17, 2019 at 0:10

Devanagari letter has vowels, Consonants and Compound letters.

alpaprāṇa(very little air flow through mouth) and mahāprāṇa(more air flow through mouth) are types of Consonants which are sounds similar for new learner. ex: Ka(क) and kha(ख)

Compound alphabets look similar for new users, ex: letter ka(क) is compound with e becomes ke(कॆ).

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