Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Chamundeswari temple

Name of the Temple

  • Chāmunḍeśhwari Temple


  • Temple is located few kilometers away from Mysore. Chāmunḍi Temple is situated on a mountain , which is why it is also known as Chāmunḍi Mountain, Karṇāṭaka
How to reach there?
  • By Air: Bengalūru is the nearest airport to Chāmuṇḍéśhwari temple in Mysore and is located 180 km away. From Bengalūru take the State Highway 17 south-west to Maisūru.
  • By Train: Mysore railway station is located 13 km from Chāmuṇḍéśhwari temple
  • By Road: Chāmuṇḍéśhwari is located at a distance of 13 km from Maisūru.Maisūru is connected by the National Highway 766 from Kozhikōḍu to Koḷḷegāla.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysaḷa rulers while its tower was probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century.
  • In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill. Initially the temple was a small one, but over the past few centuries, as a result of the patronage and expansions made by the Mysore Maharajas it has become a big temple.
  • In the olden days, human and animal sacrifices were regularly made at this temple, but were stopped in the 18th century. Mahāraja Kriṣhṇarāja Woḍeyar repaired this temple in 1827 and built the enormous tower on it. He also gifted the temple with a large wooden chariot known as the Simha Vāhana, which is now used during the Rathothsava or car festival.

Deities’ - Goddess

  • This temple is dedicated to Dhevi Durgā

Architecture Style

  • Chāmunḍi Temple is a shining example of Dhravidian architecture.
  • The lovely view of Mysore can be seen from the top of the mountain. In the temple's main sanctuary the statue of goddess Chāmunḍi is established.
  • It is said that the statue is made of pure gold. It is a seven-storied tall building. The huge statue of Mahiṣhāsura is also set up near the temple which is the finest examples of art .
  • On the way to the temple statue of Nandhi Bull appears made of black granite. The temple has a quadrangular structure.
  • The Gopura or pyramidal tower at the entrance is intricately decorated in the Dhravidian style and has a small statue of Lord Ganeśha on the doorway. The doorway is silver-plated and has the images of Goddess in different forms on it. Climb a few steps and there is a flagstaff, the footprints of the Goddess and a small statue of Nandhi, facing the sanctum sanctorum. 
  • In front of the sanctum sanctorum, there is a beautiful 6-foot statue of Mahārāja Kriṣhṇarāja Woḍeyar III. He is standing with his hands folded in his religious clothes, with his three wives; their names are carved on the pedestals.
  • At the temple are several images of Nandhi (the bull mount of Śhiva). There is a huge granite Nandhi on the 800th step on the hill in front of a small Śhiva temple a short distance away. This Nandhi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long and around its neck are exquisite bells.
  • The temple has a seven storey tall Gopura decorated with intricate carvings. The deity of the goddess is said to be made of gold and the temple doors of silver. Mahabaleśhwara Temple is a small temple situated behind the main Chāmunḍi Temple. There are also smaller temples for Viṣhṇu & others behind the main temple.

Special Reference to Fine Arts

  • During the 10 day long Dasarā festival special prayers are offered to the Goddess. The Vedhas are chanted in the temple and various music performances are held here.
  • After Dasarā, on the auspicious Aśhwayuja Pourṇime, a Rathothsava or car festival is conducted during the Jāthre or annual festival on top of the hill.
  • This is followed by Theppothsava (float festival) that is held in the night. All these festivities attract devotees by the thousands.

Other Spl. Features

  • This temple is situated at the top hill and is a symbol of Dhevi Dhurgā’s victory over the Rākṣhasa Mahiṣhāsura.
  • This depicts how Durgā Dhevi killed Mahiṣhāsura, the demon. In this context, there is a popular story where a demon named Mahiṣhāsura started to harass the gods of heaven. After that he started to create disaster on Earth also and had distressed all the three worlds. Once he suddenly attacked Swargaloka, defeated Indhra and drove out all the gods from there. All then gods went to Brahmā, Viṣhṇu and Śhiva for help and as per their instructions gathered again to defeat Mahiṣhāsura, but could not win.
  • When no other way could work, the gods then created Dhevi Dhurgā to destroy Mahiṣhāsura. She was a combined form of Śhakthi and Pārvathi. Dhevi Dhurgā attacked Mahiṣhāsura and fought for nine days. On the tenth day she killed the demon. To mark this event, Chāmunḍi Temple was established here.

Any Other/Remarks

  • Chāmunḍi Temple is a major religious site. The environment and beauty of the temple attracts everyone.
  • This temple is believed to have been made since ancient times. Hindhu devotees celebrate the nine days Dhurgā Pūjā festival and on the tenth day Vijayadaśhami is celebrated.

Special Reference to Performing Arts

  • King Kriṣhṇarāja Woḍeyār III was a trained musician, musicologist and composer of merit. Being a devotee of the Hindhu goddess Chāmunḍeśhwari, he wrote all his compositions under the pen name "'Chāmunḍi'" or "'Chāmunḍeśhwari'". He composed many philosophically themed jāvaḷis(light lyrics) and devotional songs in the Kannada language under the title Anubhava pancharathna. 
  • Chinniah was the eldest son of a family known as the "Tanjore quartet", a quartet of brothers who were singers and composers. Before his arrival in Mysore, Chinniah served at the court of the Tanjore kings Sarabhoji II and Śhivāji II. He had learnt music from  Muthuswāmi Dikṣhitar . At the court of the king of Mysore, Chinniah created several compositions in praise of his patron king and the local deity Chāmundeśhwari. Famous among these compositions are Ninnu koriyunna, Vanajalochana, Nivanti, Chakkani na mohanaguni, Manavigai konarada and several jāvaḷis.


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