Devanagari Script in Hindi Language

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6 Questions

Where did the Devanagari script originate from?

Brāhmī alphabetical system

When did Devanagari become widely used, replacing the Gupta script?

Around 600 CE

What is the meaning of the term 'Devanagari'?

'City of gods'

What are the diacritics above the base characters in Devanagari called?


Which historical figure played a role in the widespread adoption of Devanagari?


What is the significant role of matras in Devanagari script?

Affecting pronunciation by indicating vowel length and tone

Study Notes

Understanding the Writing Script of Hindi Language

The Hindi language uses the Devanagari script, which is also known as Nagri. This script originated from the ancient Brāhmī alphabetical system used by various languages across South Asia, including Sanskrit. While most modern Indic scripts descend directly from this source, several have evolved into quite distinct forms.

Devanagari itself has its roots in Brahmi, an early form of writing that dates back over two millennia. It was developed during the reign of Asoka between 272 and 236 BCE. Devanagari became widely used when it replaced the Gupta script around 600 CE. This transition occurred under the auspices of King Harsha, who ruled much of North India from his capital Kannauj through the first half of the seventh century. However, some scholars argue that Devanagari might have been associated with Buddhist monasteries since the early centuries of the Common Era.

The term 'devanagari' means 'city of gods', suggesting a connection to the realm of divinity. Its letters represent vowels and consonants using cursive styles based upon the Brāhmī tradition. Each letter in Devanagari consists of a base character and one or more diacritics above it called matras, which indicate vowel length and tone. These matras can make a significant impact on pronunciation, so they play an important role in the correct reading of text written in Devanagari.

In summary, the Devanagari script is fundamental to understanding and appreciating the Hindu religion because it represents the essence of Vedas, Upanishads, Mantras, Bhajans, prayers, etc., all of which contribute significantly to Indian culture.

Explore the origins and significance of the Devanagari script, also known as Nagri, used for writing the Hindi language. Learn about its evolution from the ancient Brāhmī alphabet and its association with the Hindu religion, Vedas, Upanishads, Mantras, Bhajans, and prayers.

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