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Learn Sanskrit: A short quiz on identifying the Aksharas

   Welcome to the Akshara Quiz. This is a basic exercise in identifying the vowels, consonants and simple CV combinations in the Devanagari Script. The first lesson would have given you an idea of the Devanagari script and the three subsequent ones some experience in reading Sanskrit text.

  An Akshara will be displayed below. you will have to identify the same by typing in its representation in Roman. The chart at right may be used as a reference for selecting the Roman letter. The displayed akshara has been selected at random. It is likely that repetitions occur.

   Please refer to the chart at right which maps the vowels and consonants of Sanskrit to equivalent Roman letters. The mapping is arranged to conform to the sequences of vowels and consonants discussed in the introductory lesson. When you answer the quiz, type in the appropriate letter in the text box associated with the submit button.

This simple method obviates the need for sophisticated data entry methods for Indian languages on a web interface. The chart displays information in terms of the groups the aksharas are classified. This should help as well.

This first part of the quiz relates only to vowel identification. The selection box below allows you to select consonants or consonant-vowel combinations for subsequent quiz selection.

      Akshara Type  


You should be familiar with the Devanagari script to take this quiz. The Devanagari script is discussed at length in the introductory lesson.


a A i I u U !
E W O w @ # q


k K g G H

c C j J M

z Z f F N

t T d D n

p P b B m

Semi Vowels
y r l v

S x s h

Please note that this scheme is specific to this quiz. There are several schemes (e.g., ITRANS) that are popular on the web which could have been used. The advantage here is that by and large only one letter is used per akshara and it also happens that the IITM software uses this mapping for data entry.

Acharya Logo
The Acharya logo on this page depicts the mountain, held in reverence by the people of India as the abode of Lord Shiva. Mount Kailash, together with lake Manasarovar is considered a place for pilgrimage. Today, both these are in Tibet and The Government of India arranges special programs for Indian citizens to travel to Kailash with the help of the Chinese Government. Lord Shiva's dance is supposed to be accompanied by the sounds from a small drum held by him. These sounds constitute the basic sounds of the Sanskrit Language. The aksharas of Sanskrit, are referred to as "Maheswara Sutrani" or the rules from the Lord.

Picture credits:

Have you learnt to write the aksharas? The animated illustration of the strokes to be executed in writing an akshara is available in a separate page. Be sure to visit the page as well if you have not done so.

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