Gha (Indic)

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Gha is the fourth consonant of Indic abugidas. In modern Indic scripts, gha is derived from the Brahmi letter gha, which is probably derived from the Aramaic Heth.svg ("H/X") after having gone through the Gupta letter Gupta allahabad gh.svg.

Devanagari Bengali Gurmukhi Gujarati Oriya
Gha Gha Gha
Tamil Telugu Kannada Malayalam Sinhala
Thai Lao Tibetan Burmese Khmer
Baybayin Hanunoo Buhid Tagbanwa Lontara
- - - - -
Balinese Sundanese Limbu Tai Le New Tai Lue
- - -
Lepcha Saurashtra Rejang Javanese Cham
- -
Tai Tham Tai Viet Kayah Li Phags-pa Siddhaṃ
-- - - Siddhaṃ 'Gha'
Mahajani Khojki Khudabadi Syloti Meitei
𑅘 𑈌 𑊾
Modi Tirhuta Kaithi Sora Grantha
𑘑 𑒒 𑂐 - 𑌘
Chakma Sharada Takri Kharoshthi Brahmi
𑄊 𑆔 𑚍 𐨓 Brahmi 'Gha'
Phonemic representation: /gʱ/
IAST transliteration: gha
ISCII code point: B6 (182)

Āryabhaṭa numerationEdit

Aryabhata used Devanagari letters for numbers, very similar to the Greek numerals, even after the invention of Indian numerals. The values of the different forms of घ are:[1]

  • [gʱə] = 4 (४)
  • घि [gʱɪ] = 400 (४००)
  • घु [gʱʊ] = 40,000 (४० ०००)
  • घृ [gʱri] = 4,000,000 (४० ०० ०००)
  • घॢ [gʱlə] = 4×108 (४०)
  • घे [gʱe] = 4×1010 (४०१०)
  • घै [gʱɛː] = 4×1012 (४०१२)
  • घो [gʱoː] = 4×1014 (४०१४)
  • घौ [gʱɔː] = 4×1016 (४०१६)


The original Indic letter Gha is attested in three different forms. The first is in standard Brahmi,  , the second in the Brahmi variant Tocharian, also known as slanting Brahmi. The third form of Gha, in Kharoshthi (𐨓) was probably derived from Aramaic separately from the Brahmi letter.

Brahmi GhaEdit

The Brahmi letter  , gha, is derived from the Aramaic  , Ḥ, and is related to the modern Latin H and archaic Greek Eta.

Tocharian GhaEdit

The Tocharian, also called slanting Brahmi, letter   is a variant of the Brahmi  .

Tocharian Gha with vowel marks
Gha Ghā Ghi Ghī Ghu Ghū Ghr Ghr̄ Ghe Ghai Gho Ghau Ghä

Kharoshthi GhaEdit

Unlike its Brahmi counterpart, the Kharoshthi letter 𐨓 is derived from the Aramaic  , and is thus related to G and Gamma, as well as the Brahmi and Kharoshthi ga.

Devanagari scriptEdit

Gha () is the fourth consonant of the Devanagari abugida. In all languages, घ is pronounced as [gʱə] or [] when appropriate. Letters that derive from it are the Gujarati letter ઘ and the Modi letter 𑘑.

Bengali scriptEdit

ঘ is used as a basic consonant character in all of the major Bengali script orthographies, including Bengali and Assamese.

Gurmukhi scriptEdit

Kagaa [kə̀gːɑ] () is the ninth letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet. Its name is [kʰəkʰːɑ] and pronounced as /kə̀/. To differentiate between consonants, the Punjabi tonal consonant kà is often transliterated in the way of the Hindi voiced aspirate consonants gha although Punjabi does not have this sound. It is derived from the Laṇḍā letter gha, and ultimately from the Brahmi ga. Gurmukhi kagaa does not have a special pairin or addha (reduced) form for making conjuncts, and in modern Punjabi texts do not take a half form or halant to indicate the bare consonant /k/, although Gurmukhi Sanskrit texts may use an explicit halant.

Gujarati scriptEdit

Gha () is the fourth consonant of the Gujarati script. It is derived from 16th century Devanagari letter gha (घ) with the top bar (shiro rekha) removed. Like most Gujarati letters, it forms conjunct clusters with a half-form, where the vertical stem on the right is dropped and the remaining letter body appended to the following letter. ઘ (gha) is similar in appearance to ધ (dha).

Thai scriptEdit

Kho ra-khang () is the sixth letter of the Thai alphabet. It falls under the low class of Thai consonants. In IPA, kho ra-khang is pronounced as [kʰ] at the beginning of a syllable and is pronounced as [k̚] at the end of a syllable. The second and third letters of the alphabet, kho khai (ข) and kho khuat (ฃ), are also named kho, however, they all fall under the high class of Thai consonants. The fourth and the fifth letters of the alphabet, kho khwai (ค), kho khon (ฅ), and kho ra-khang (ฆ), are also named kho and fall under the low class of Thai consonants. Unlike many Indic scripts, Thai consonants do not form conjunct ligatures, and use the pinthuan explicit virama with a dot shape—to indicate bare consonants. In the acrophony of the Thai script, ra-khang (ระฆัง) means ‘bell’. Kho ra-khang corresponds to the Sanskrit character ‘घ’.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000). The Universal History of Numbers. From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 447–450. ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
  • Kurt Elfering: Die Mathematik des Aryabhata I. Text, Übersetzung aus dem Sanskrit und Kommentar. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München, 1975, ISBN 3-7705-1326-6
  • Georges Ifrah: The Universal History of Numbers. From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000, ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
  • B. L. van der Waerden: Erwachende Wissenschaft. Ägyptische, babylonische und griechische Mathematik. Birkhäuser-Verlag, Basel Stuttgart, 1966, ISBN 3-7643-0399-9
  • Fleet, J. F. (January 1911). "Aryabhata's System of Expressing Numbers". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: 109–126. ISSN 0035-869X. JSTOR 25189823.
  • Fleet, J. F. (1911). "Aryabhata's System of Expressing Numbers". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 43: 109–126. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00040995. JSTOR 25189823.