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Alankar (Figure of Speech) Posted by on Mar 27, 2011 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 the Author: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 430 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.

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  4. ayah:

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

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  6. sumiran sharan:

    very good bhai ThAnK yOu

  7. Abhishek jha:

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

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  19. JIYA:


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  30. Drishti:

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  32. dipali sonpure:

    `Jal jayega pasha purana' Pankti me alankar he

  33. RK:

    Concise,compact,lucid and awesome explanation of Alankar, thank you very much for such an awesome blog.


    thank u soooooooo very much !!!!!! it immensely helped me in exams!

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    THANKU SOOOOOO MUCH ! love this page ! I have my hindi exams tomorrow and I had no frikin idea wat alankar was..... the english explanation makes it bettr that the other websites cuz this is soo easy to understand the basic concept ! THANKFULLY, Anonymous American-Indian from Washington DC, U.S.

  39. Anunay:

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  47. Kuldeep singh:

    Very nice usefulin hindi as well as in english...!!!!

  48. Sachchidanand Gupta:

    Thank you for uploading such a valuable knowledge about Hindi Grammar as ALANKAAR.

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