Alankar (Figure of Speech)

Posted on 27. Mar, 2011 by in Hindi Language

Today, I would like to talk about an interesting topic in Hindi grammar.

अलंकार  (Alankaar) is a figure of speech which means ornaments or adornments. Just like the women use ornaments to enhance her beauty, Alankar in Hindi language are used essentially to enhance the beauty of a poem.

Alankar are broadly classified into two groups, these are:

1. शब्दालंकार (Shabdalankar, it came from two word Shabdh (Word) + Alankar (Ornaments)) – Certain specific words that create an ornamental effect in a verse/poem.

2. अर्थालंकार (Arthalankar it came from two word Artha (Meaning) + Alankar (Ornaments)) – The meaning of words that creates the required enhancement.

Most common शब्दालंकार (Shabdalankar) that you might find in the Hindi poetry are:

1. अनुप्रास (Anupras) (Alliteration) – When a consonant word repeats serially more than once.
Example: घेर घेर घोर गगन।. Here, “घ ” is repeated three times.

2. यमक (Yamak) (Homonym) – when same word repeats more than once but each time its meaning is different.
Example: सजना है मुझे सजना के लिए। Here, “सजना” means to make up/lover.

3. श्लेष (Shlesh) (Pun) – when a word is used once but it gives more than one meaning.
Example: मधुबन की छाती को देखो, सूखी इसकी कितनी कलियाँ। Here, “कलियाँ” means the flower that is not fully blossomed/Young children. Poet wants to describe a scene where a “मधुबन” (garden) is lacking, both in blossoming flowers and young children.

Most common अर्थालंकार (Arthalankar) that you might find in the Hindi poetry are:

1. उपमा (Upma) (Simile) – when a person or thing is compared in words with a similar but famous/well known person or thing.
Example: ताज महल सा घर। House like the Taj Mahal. Here, “घर” (house) is compared with a building which is famous for its beauty.

2. रूपक (Rupak) (Metaphor) – when a word is used for something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.
Example: पायो जी मैंने राम-रतन धन पायो। Here, “राम” (Ram, Hindu god) is suggested metaphorically as “रतन” (precious stones) and “धन” (money) .

3. अतिश्योक्ति (Atishyokti) (Hyperbole) – when a word is used of exaggerate something or someone, to evoke a strong feelings or to create a strong impression.
Example: दिल बादल बने, आँखें बहेने लगी। Here, “दिल” (heart) is exaggerated to “बादल” (cloud). The dramatic effect of this exaggeration would be, आँखें (eyes) that can tear as rain because the heart has turned into clouds (in pain).

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About Nitin Kumar

Nitin Kumar is a native Hindi speaker from New Delhi, India. His education qualification include Masters in Robotics and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, he is working in the Research and Development in Robotics in Germany. He is avid language learner with varied level of proficiency in English, German, Spanish, and Japanese. He wish to learn French one day. His passion for languages motivated him to share his mother tongue, Hindi, and culture and traditions associated with its speakers. He has been working with Transparent Language since 2010 and has written over 385 blogs on various topics on Hindi language and India, its culture and traditions. He is also the Administrator for Hindi Facebook page which has a community of over 330,000 members.

78 Responses to “Alankar (Figure of Speech)”

  1. Vardhman Sidhu 28 January 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Wow!!!!!!!!! nice1 bro this is amazing.

  2. maya 4 February 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    G8……. Its really amazing….

  3. Anonymous 17 February 2015 at 6:35 am #

    Really good and simple explanation! Continue this forever. May Krishna Bless You!

  4. ayah 9 March 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    Thanks so much! This is very helpful to Hindi learners :)

  5. Sandy 11 March 2015 at 9:14 am #


    I like it….

  6. sumiran sharan 11 March 2015 at 11:38 am #

    very good bhai
    ThAnK yOu

  7. Abhishek jha 13 March 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Explained very well in brief….
    Comparing with english terms makes it easy to understand…

  8. sonam 19 March 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Simply fab….!!loved it !!♡

  9. archit 19 March 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    very easy and simple examples

  10. Abhishek 24 March 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Great job man!!
    U made our job really easy.
    thank u….

  11. ankit balodia 21 April 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    Nice bro…

  12. Yash 5 May 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Wow. Really simple and understandable explanation! Great work:D thanks a lot!

  13. ayush 12 May 2015 at 4:53 am #

    very fine explanation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. sunil gupta 14 June 2015 at 7:37 am #

    nice work done nitin. i appreciate your efforts…& very much fond of your love with languages. i also like to know more about the languages.presently working in indian railways. lived in many parts of india…..i can understand various local indian languages……good luck

  15. Aniket 17 June 2015 at 12:18 am #

    really gud will help me in exams. thnx!!!

  16. Amaya patel 20 July 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Really nice I like it

  17. Amaya patel 20 July 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Very easy to lean and it help in exam

  18. Shobhit 26 July 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Awsm…bro it really helped me!!!

  19. JIYA 13 August 2015 at 3:25 pm #


  20. Rhitwik 20 August 2015 at 6:27 am #

    Thanx for ur help….

  21. Kartik 23 August 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Helped me with examples

  22. Arun 10 September 2015 at 4:42 am #

    Great work, plz add more examples to clearify more :)

  23. 9128794035 15 September 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    wow!! it’s simply fantastic…. keep it up!!

  24. arohi 17 September 2015 at 5:27 am #

    really simple , i racked my brains for hours and i finally read this and understood it well. keep it up bro

  25. Ashita 23 September 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Its really simple and nice. Thanks for your explanation. Good work.

  26. anju 24 September 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    it is also helpful for English learns

  27. shristhi 25 September 2015 at 1:13 am #

    I loved it…simply awsme..I was cnfused when tought in my class but now i m gonna gt full mrks…

  28. Swasti 29 September 2015 at 5:38 pm #…yes…whatever i have no words to say it was so much helpful to me especially a day before of my xam. <3 <3 love this page and again thank u a lot :}

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