Painti Akhri

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Painti Akhri
'Gurmukhi alphabet'

Painti Akhri is a Punjabi term that refers to the Gurmukhi alphabet. The first word "painti" literally means "35" and the word "akhri" means "writing" - It not surprising that there are thirty-five letters in the Gurmukhi alphabet.

The word Gurmukhi literally means "from the mouth of the Guru". Gurmukhi is the name of the script used in writing primarily Punjabi and, secondarily, Sindhi language. It is exclusively used to write the Sikh holy scriptures, Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth.

Although the "Painti Akhri" was originally just used in Punjab, India, the alphabet has now crossed the frontiers of its homeland. Sikhs have settled in all parts of the world and Gurmukhi has accompanied them everywhere.

Structure of the alphabet

The first three characters of the alphabet Ura, Aara and Eere ੳ ਅ ੲ are vowels. Sassa is sibilant, Haha is aspirate. There are twenty-five mutes, which include five Gutturals: kakka, Khakkha, gagga, ghaggha and ngannga ਕ ਖ ਗ ਘ ਙ ; five Palatals: chachcha, chhachchha, jajja, jhajjha and nyanya ਚ ਛ ਜ ਝ ਞ ; five Cerebrals: tainka, thattha, dadda, chaddha and nana ਤ ਠ ਡ ਢ ਣ ; five Dentals: tatta, thattha, dadda, dhaddha and nanna ਤ ਥ ਦ ਧ ਨ and five Labials: pappa, phappha, babba, bhabbha and mamma ਪ ਫ ਬ ਭ ਮ

The last five letters are consonants like mutes, but they are also called semi-vowels. They are: yayya, rara, lalla, wawa and rara ਯ ਰ ਲ ਵ ੜ . The vowels, that is, the first three letters are made to represent ten vowel sounds with the aid of additional signs, which are known as laghan matran. These are the short a inherent in each consonant, aa, i, ee, u, oo, ey, ai, o and au. These laghan matran are: mukta, kanna, siari, biari, uankar, dulainkare, lan, dulaian, hora and kanaura ੦ ਾ ਿ ੀ ੝ ੂ ੇ ੈ ੋ ੌ respectively. When used with consonants, these signs represent the three vowels. There are three additional signs, viz., tippi, bindi and adhik ੰ ਂ ੱ .

Tippi is a nasal sound and is joined with mukta, siari, uankar and dulainkare ੦ ਿ ੝ ੂ . Bindi is also nasal and is joined with kanna, biari, lan, dulaian, hora and kanaura ਾ ੀ ੇ ੈ ੋ ੌ . Adhik is placed between two letters, indicating the reduplication of the second. The sha sound of Sanskrit and Persian are represented by putting a dot under khakkha, gagga, jajja and phappha ਗ਼ ਜ਼ ਫ਼ respectively. Compound letters are avoided in Gurmukhi, with the exception of haha and rara ਹ ਰ , which are joined with consonants at their foot with the signs.

See also

Banis in Gurmukhi

Setting up Gurmukhi facility on your Computer

External Links

Learning Tools

Unicode Gurmukhi

Conversion tool

  • Punjabi Font Converter This is an online utility which will allow the conversion of ASCII based Gurmukhi characters to Unicode. So for example the phrase : siqgur pRswid will be converted to ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰ ਪ੝ਰਸਾਦਿ


History of Script


Translation tools


  • 1. Singh , G.B., Gurmukh] Lipi da Janarn te Vikds. Chandigarh, 1972
  • 2. Teja Singh, Sahit Darshan. Paliala, 1951
  • 3. Bedi, Tarlochan Singh , Punjabi Vaiiak da Alochnatmak Adhyan. Delhi, n.d.
  • 4. Arun, V.B., Panjabi Bhasha da ftihds. Ludhiana, 1956
  • 5. Bedi, Kala Singh, Panjabi Bhashn da Vikds. Delhi, 1971
  • 6. Chatterji, Suniti Kumar, ed., The Cultural IIni/nge of India. Calculla, 1978
  • 7. Grierson, G.A., Linguistic Sumey of India. Calcutta, 1916
  • 8. Linguistic Survey of India,Vol IX, Part I, Delhi, 1968. &
  • 9. Singh, G.B., Gurmukhi Lippi da Janam te Vikas, Chandigarh, 1972.