Extinct Hindi Letters

Things change as time passes by; Nothing is permanent in our world.Not so long ago a lot of Hindi letters were written very differently , there were mainly 'two different ways' of writing some of the letters.As time went by some forms got more popular than others and well.... the other ones just lost their fame- like a retired actor- and fell out of use.The old form of writing letters disappeared from textbooks about 60ish years ago and they haven't been used in books ever since.The old form of writing Devanagari letters is called 'Amanak Roop' (अमानक रूप ) literally meaning "Non-standard form" & the new form is called (you guessed it) 'Manak Roop' (मानक रूप ) literally meaning "Standard Form". The 'अमानक रूप' of writing devanagari has lost it's fame so much that people now don't even know that it exists ! Even native speakers don't know that such a form exists let alone writing using it ! Some grandparents and Most degree holders in Hindi know how to write a few letters in the old form but very rarely in all of them! My high school Hindi teacher (he is a Ph.D and a celebrated one) was unaware of the old way of writing Some of these letters.It is Astonishing that in such a short amount of time Native Hindi Speakers would just 'forget' a certain way to write a language!! अमानक रूप की मान्यता इतनी कम हो गयी कि लोग उसे मन्ना ही भूल गए ! is the अमानक रूप ! *Drum Rolls......................

[The blue arrows point from the old form to the new form] Alt text

*If anyone knows more ways of 'writing hindi letters' please share them in the comments below & please feel free to correct me If I have made any errors.

January 18, 2017


I thought ळ was another way of writing ल used in some areas.

January 19, 2017

Yes it is , but it's amanak form of writing it 'in Hindi'(non-standard) not used anymore -like I said you can find it in old books(no major hindi publishers use them now). (I'm assuming by areas you mean book,literature etc. If by areas you mean 'regional locations' read shrikrishna1's comment)

January 19, 2017

Yes. it is different from ल. ' ळ ' is a retroflex consonant. As pointed by ShirishSri the letter ळ is a prominent consonant in Marathi. It is also a prominent consonant in all South Indian Languages. The meaning of word changes if you use one for other. It is not used in Hindi, but it exists in Rajasthani./ Marwadi. You may have come across a ladies platform called राजस्थानी / मारवाडी महिला मंडळ.

January 19, 2017
Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.