First row of Gurmukhi


Gurmukhi is arranged into eight rows, first seven of five letters each and the last of six letters. The first row (ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਵਰਗ) consists of

These letters are called urha, airhaa, eerhi, sussa and hahaa. The first three letters ੳ, ਅ and ੲ, the only letters of this kind, have no sounds of their own and act as matra (vowel) carriers. Let us first study ਹ.

Haha, the fifth letter of Gurmukhi, is pronounced the same as /h/ in English. For example, the word who will be written as ਹੂ in Gurmukhi. The matra attached with ਹ represents the /oo/ vowel as in boot. Thus we have

ਹੂ /hoo/ = who

Now have a look at another word how which will be written in Gurmukhi as

ਹਾ + ਉ = ਹਾਉ /hau/ = how

The matra attached with ਹ represents vowel /a/ as in /last/. The second letter of this example is

Urha, the first Gurmukhi letter, has no sound of its own and is used as a matra (vowel) carrier. In the above example the matra attached with ੳ represents vowel /u/ as in put. Now let us learn ਸ also

Sussa, the fourth Gurmukhi letter, is pronounced the same as /s/ in English. If we add ਸ to ਹਾਉ we get

ਹਾ + ਉ + ਸ = ਹਾਉਸ /haaus/ = house

The word eye when written in Gurmukhi illustrates the remaining two letters of the first row namely

Airha, the second letter of Gurmukhi script and

Irhi, the third letter of Gurmukhi script are both used as matra (vowel) carriers. See how eye is written in Gurmukhi

ਆ + ਇ = ਆਇ = eye

The matra attached with ਅ represents vowel /a/ as in last and the one attached with ੲ represents vowel /i/ as in list. Look at some more illustrations of the use of ਸ in transliteration of the words sigh and ice in Gurmukhi

ਸਾ + ਇ = ਸਾਇ /sai/ = sigh
ਆ + ਇ + ਸ = ਆਇਸ /aais/ = ice



1. Practice module, accessible from navigation menu above, has been provided to help you practice writing Gurmukhi letters. Use it to write the letters of the first row in your note book as many times as you may feel comfortable. You can click one of the letters below to go to see its animation.

2. Read these English words written in Gurmukhi

  1. ਹੂ
  2. ਆਇ
  3. ਹਾਉਸ
  4. ਆਇਸ
  1. Who
  2. Eye
  3. House
  4. Ice

3. Write the above listed words in Gurmukhi and English side by side

4. Write these English words in Gurmukhi

  1. Us
  2. How
  3. Sigh
  4. Hiss
  5. High
  1. ਅ + ਸ = ਅਸ
  2. ਹਾ + ਉ = ਹਾਉ
  3. ਸਾ + ਇ = ਸਾਇ
  4. ਹਿ + ਸ = ਹਿਸ
  5. ਹਾ + ਇ = ਹਾਇ



You have learnt ੳ, ਅ, ੲ, ਸ and ਹ, the five letters of the first row (ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਵਰਗ) of Gurmukhi script. We have specially selected examples familiar to an English knowing learner. Besides the above named letters you also encountered some of the matras (vowels) which we explained without naming them. In the next chapter you will learn the vowel sounds and the matras representing these vowels in Gurmukhi.