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

Badami Caves

Name of the Temple

  • Bādāmi Cave Temples (4 caves)


  • Northern Karṇāṭaka
How to reach there?
  • By Air : Hubḷi airport is the nearest to Bādhāmi caves. It is around 100 km away. From the airport take the National Highway 218 north.
  • By Train : Bādhāmi railway station is 5 km north from the Bādhāmi caves.
  • By Road : Bādhāmi is well connected through the National Highway 218 from Bijāpur to Hubḷi and the State Highway 14 from Eraṭṭupeṭṭa to Paṭṭihanam junction.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • Chāḷukya - Pulakesin I, 6th century A.D.

Deities’ - Goddess

  • Cave 1 to Lord Śhiva
  • Cave 2 and 3 to Lord Viṣhṇu. Lord Vishnu depicted here as a dwarf or 'Thrivikrama' of awesome dimensions with one foot mastering the Earth and the other the sky, in the second cave is atop a sandstone hill.

Architecture Style

  • The Chalukyas are to be acknowledged with path-finding a new architectural style. This new style combined the best of two distinct styles - the North Indian, Indo-Aryan Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style. Known as the Chalukyan style, this style is manifested in many cave temples, dedicated to Brahmanical deities, as well as the many Buddhist and Jain monasteries in the region.
  • The first cave made of red sandstone, dates back to 578 A.D. and was probably the first to be carved. One has to climb up 40 odd steps to reach the colonnaded verandah, a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.
  • Still going higher up one comes across this cave antedating 578 A.D. The facade of the cave is nearly 70 feet wide, on the plinth one can see the carvings of gaṇas.
  • The sheer artistry and sculptural genius makes this cave the highlight of Deccan art.The only Jain cave, the construction of Cave four started in the 6th century and completed after nearly 100 years later then the earlier three caves.

Special Reference to Fine Arts

  • The cave temples also bear exquisite carvings, sculptures and beautiful murals.
  • The idol of Vāthāpi Gaṇapathi is now in Tiruchenkāṭankuḍi near  Thanjāvūr  of Tamilnāḍu . In 7th century, Vāthāpi Gaṇapathi idol was brought from Bādhāmi (Vāthāpi - Chālukya capital) by Siruthonḍar(General of Pallavas) who defeated  Chālukyas .
  • Important part of historical heritage at Bādhāmi cave temples are inscriptions in old Kannada script.

Other Special Features

  • There is also the fifth cave temple in Bādhāmi – Buddhist temple in natural cave which can be entered only on all fours.

Special Reference to Performing Arts

  • In Carnātic music, in Rāga Hamsadhhwani, the Vāthāpi Ganapathim Bhaje song, by the composer Mutthuswāmi Dīkṣhithar, is about this place and the deity here.


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