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

Udupi Sri Krishna Temple

Name of the Temple

  • Uḍupi Śhrī Kriṣhṇa


  • Located in the town of Uḍupi in Karnataka, South India
How to reach there?
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Mangaḷūru airport, which is nearly 60 km away. From the airport take the National Highway 66 north to reach Uḍupi.
  • By Train : Uḍupi railway station is about 4 km away from the temple.
  • By Road: Uḍupi is connected north and south by the National Highway 66 from Kanyakumari to Panvel and east by the State Highway 65 from Parappanaṅgaḍi to Puthalam.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • Śhrī Madhvāchārya installed the statue in the later part of 13th century. Estimated to be more than 800 years old.
  • The advent of Lord Kriṣhṇa to this divine land is dramatic. Once when Śhrī Madhvā was meditating near the Malpe beach (5 km from Uḍupi ), he saw a ship drifting away following a severe storm. He saved the ship by his yogic powers. As the swāmiji knew beforehand that the ship carried the idols of Lord Kriṣhṇa and Balarāma, he accepted the Gopi Chandhana pieces that the ship's captain offered. He installed the Balarāma idol in Vada Pandheśhwara village near the shores and the Lord Kriṣhṇa idol at Uḍupi near the Chandramaulīśhwara shrine.
  • In the 16th century, during Śhrī Vādhirāja's rule, Kanakadhāsa, an ardent believer of God, came to Uḍupi to worship Lord Kriṣhṇa. He was not allowed inside the temple since he was from a lower caste. Śhrī Kriṣhṇa, pleased by the worship of Kanakadhāsa created a small hole in the back wall of the temple and turned to face the hole so that Kanakadhāsa could see him. This hole came to be known as Kanakana Kinḍi.
  • Popular belief is that King Rāma Bhoja, an ardent follower of Paraśhurāma installed the statue of Anantheśhwara. Chandhreśhwara temple was built in the spot where Chandhra (the moon) performed a penance, to get rid of the curse of Dakṣha Prajāpathi. The place where Chandra meditated got to be called as Uḍupi. (Uḍu = a star and pa = follower)
  • The usual practice in Uḍupi is to visit the Chandhreśhwara, Anantheśhwara temples and then visit Śhrī Kriṣhṇa temple. There is many interesting stories behind the installation of statue of Śhrī Kriṣhṇa at Uḍupi.


  • Lord Kriṣhṇa

Architecture Style

  • Uḍupi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. The unique feature of Shree Kriṣhṇa Mutt temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kiṭaki. The window is exquisitely carved and silver - plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this window.
  • One has to look at the idol through this window, which is covered with artistically carved silver plates. In fact there was a door here. It was later on closed to control the crowd, as was the case with the eastern entrance.
  • The beautiful metal status of Jaya and Vijaya still stand on either side of this window. The window is decorated with the carvings depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Inside the window is seen the tiny idol of Kriṣhṇa as a small boy. There is a churning rod in the right hand and rope in the left. We can observe innocent look in the face. This is the only idol of this kind for the whole of India.

Spl. Ref. to Fine Arts in the temple

  • Bhūtha Kola, Āṭi kalenja, Karangolu, and Nāgāradhane are some of the cultural traditions of Uḍupi. The residents celebrate festivals such as Diwāli, Dasarā and Christmas also. Folk arts like Yakṣhagāna are popular.
  • Bhajana Sapthāha which is held in Śhrī Laxmi Venkatesh Temple. Sapthāha means one week. During this time Bhajans are sung continuously day and night for 7 days. This event takes place every year during August.

Other Special Features

  • Even the lamps burning by the side of Kriṣhṇa have a history of centuries. The lamp lighted by Śhrī Madhvacharya are kept burning even to this day and well protected. It was never allowed to get extinguished.
  • There is a tradition which records that when Chaithanya Maharṣhi came to Uḍupi he got a lamp lighted from this lamp and took it to Vrundhāvan and preserved it there. Thus the lamp lighted by Śhrī Madhvacharya sanctifies not only Uḍupi but also Vrundhāvan, which was once upon a time the field of Kriṣhṇa's sports

Any Other/Remarks

  • Once sage Vasiṣhṭa happened to pass that way. He advised Suśhīlā and her son to worship the God at Koṭeśhwara who would put an end to their troubles. They did likewise and as a result of this, Mayūravarma became the king of Thoulava land. Once sage Kaśhyapa advised king to get settle some worthy Brahmin Vedhic scholars in his country. King accepted the advice and invited Brahmin Vedhic scholars from North India and made them settle in his country. This Rūpya Pīṭha is also known as Śhivalli. The Brahmins who settled in Śhivalli Village are known as Śhivalli Brahmins. They are also known as Thoulava Brahmins because they settle down in Thoulava land.
  • The maṭha area resembles a living ashram, a holy place for daily devotion and living. Surrounding the Śhrī Kriṣhṇa Maṭha are several temples, the most ancient being made of basic wood and stone of 1,500 years origin.

Special Reference to Performing Arts

  • Kanakadhāsa is a poet among composers. He wrote about two hundred songs (kīrthans, padhas and munḍiges or philosophical songs) besides five major works.
  • The Haridhāsas have composed songs in praise of Lord Kriṣhṇa (incarnation of Viṣhṇu, one of the holy trinity). Right from 14th century to 19th, we find several Haridhāsas who wrote devotional compositions which could be set to music with simple instruments like Thānpura (a string instrument), and Thāḷa (cymbals). They wrote kīrthans, bhajans, prayers, lullabies, festival songs, and house-hold-chore songs. They were written in simple and spoken Kannada and had universal appeal. 
  • Purandaradhāsa and Kanakadhāsa are the foremost among Haridhāsas. Besides conveying "dualism" tenets, they preached kindness and equanimity in a world full of sorrows. They condemned superstitions, hollow rituals and upheld virtues of a pious life.
  • Śhrī Madhwāchārya founded the Dhwaitha system of philosophy and propagated it throughout the country. Śhrī Madhwacharya gave sanyāsa to eight of his disciples and commissioned them not only to carry on the worship of the idol of Shri Kriṣhṇa but also to propagate the Dhwaitha Philosophy. The pontiff of each of eight mutts carried on the worship of the idol for a period of two months by rotation. These Mutts are - 1) Śhrī Pālimār Mutt, 2) Śhrī Aḍmār Mutt, 3) Śhrī Kriṣhṇapur Mutt, 4) Śhrī Putthige Mutt, 5) Śhrī Śhirūr Mutt, 6) Śhrī Sodhe Mutt, 7) Śhrī Kaṇiyūr Mutt and 8) Śhrī Pejāvar Mutt.


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