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


Name of the Temple

  • Singaperumāḷkoil Temple


  • Kancheepuram district, 40 Km away from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
How to reach there?
  • By Air: The nearest airport is the Chennai Airport, 17 km. From the airport take the National Highway 32 north-east to reach Siṅgaperumāḷ.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station is Chennai Central, 4 km north of Siṅgaperumāḷ temple.
  • By Road: Chennai is connected by the National Highway 32 from Chennai to Nagapaṭṭinam, 4 from Chennai to Puṇe, 16 from Chennai to Vijayawāḍā and 716 from Ananthpur to Chennai.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • The 1500 year old temple near Chennai is believed to be one of the several cave temples built by the Pallavas. A rock carving at this temple refers to a donation given to this temple around 500 century AD. Hence, this temple can be said to be at least 1500 years old and can be called as a Purāṇa Sthalam. (Pallava King Mahendra Varma (580-630AD) had built about ten cave temples during his time.)


  • Pāthaladhri (Ugra) Narasimha Sitting Posture East Facing with Goddess Lakṣhmi in his chest

Architecture Style

  • The famous Lord Narasimha Temple is on top of the small hill. The Lord Narasimha (Fourth Avathāra) residing inside a cave in Yoga Posture. The entire temple and the idol was constructed from a single rock of the mountain. This is the specialty of the temple.
  • This is a beautiful rock cut temple. The temple and even the deity is carved out of a small hillock. In Sanskrit Pāthala adhri means a reddish hill. The original name of this place itself is Pāthalādhri puram. The main sanctum itself is a rock cut shrine on which the deity too is carved out of the hill itself. So, whoever wants to do circumambulation around the temple has to actually go around the small hillock as Giri Pradhakṣhiṇam. Hence, Giri Pradhakṣhiṇam is very popular here.
  • There are Bali Pīṭhams seen at certain directions, while going around the temple. The main deity is seen here as Ugra (fierce) mūrthi, holding Pānchajanya (conch) and Sudharśhana Chakra, showing Abhaya Hastha in one of His hands. Śhrī Narasimha Swāmi here has 3 eyes and the third eye is shown by the priest while performing Ārathi.
  • While walking around the temple, there is an Azhinjal tree in this temple, which is considered most sacred. It is said that this tree has mentions in the ‘Nāchiyār Thirumozhi’ composed by Sri Āndāḷ. People praying for marriage or children tie a small piece of thread from their clothes on the branches of this tree. By doing this with a wish, it is believed that their wishes are granted.
  • Śhrī Ānjaneyar (Hanumān) is seen on the pillar adjacent to Dwajasthambha, where many people light Ghee lamps for the God. While entering into the street of this temple, there are 4 pillars welcoming us, which look too ancient having beautiful sculptures. The Thīrtham in this temple is called Śhuddha Puṣhkaraṇi and Sthala Vrukṣham is Pārijātham.

Other Special Features

  • The temple was surrounded by a big forest where Sage Jābāli was doing penance praying to the Lord to appear before him. The legend has it that at the request of Sage Jābāli, Narasimha, Singaperumāḷ or the Lion God, manifested himself immediately after he packed off Hiranyakakṣhipu to the nether world. 
  • The Lord even now gives darśhana to the devotees in the same form with four hands, two of them holding Sudarśhana and Pānchajanya and the third in "Abaya Hastha" pose with the fourth pointing towards the earth.
  • Found in sitting posture the Lord has three eyes, and wears the Sālagrama and Sahasranāma garlands.
  • The Goddess here is known as Ahobilavaḷḷi. According to temple sources, this temple has been referred in Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇam.

Any Other/Remarks


  • Here he proves to the Universe that both Hari and Hara is one and the same and not separate.  Here the Lord has a Third Eye, like Rudhramūrthi and every time the temple priests perform the Ārathi or Dīpārādhana, theNāmam of Narasimhaswāmi is lifted up for the devotees to have a darśhana of the Third Eye. 
  • In the Narasimha Avathāra, Mahaviṣhṇu destroyed evil and it is believed by both the Vaiṣhṇavaites and the Śhaivites that if one gets the darśhana of the Third Eye, all misery in life would be removed.

Special Reference to Performing Arts:

  • “Narasimha Āgacchha” is a popular krithi by Muthuswāmi Dikṣhithar in the Rāga mohana on the God Narasimha.


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