Devanāgarī (देवनागरि) is a script used to write many Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, as well as Nepali. It is a close descendant of the Brāhmī script that has been traced back to 500 BC. The Brahmi script, in turn, is derived from the Eastern Aramaic alphabet.
Deva is the Sanskrit for "god", and Nagari is "a city"; together they mean, literally, "City of the Gods" (the humanbody) (when the compound is read as a shashtitatpurusha). This refers to the legend that the script was one used in such a city. The philosophy behind it being that when one meditates on the specific sounds of the Devanagari alphabet, the written forms appear spontaneously in the mind. The compound really functions as a bahuvrihi. An often-used transcription variant is "Devnagri".
Devanagari is written from left to right. Words are written together without spaces, so that the top bar is unbroken (there are some exceptions to this rule). The break of the top line primarily marks breath groups. Devanagari knows no distinction of case, i.e. no majuscule and minuscule letters.
The spelling of languages written in Devanagari is partly phonetic in the sense that a word written in it can only be pronounced in one way, but not all possible pronunciations can be written perfectly. Devanagari has 34 consonants (vyanjan), and 12 vowels (svar). A syllable (akshar) is formed by the combination of zero or one consonants and one vowel.
The transliterations below follow the popular National Library at Calcutta romanization.
When no vowel is written, 'a' is assumed. To specifically denote the absence of a vowel, a halant (also called virama) is used.
The letters above are pronounced as in English, with the exceptions of:
Among these, ळ is not used in Hindi. The entire set is used in Marathi.
Devanagari digits are written as follows:
The ITRANS notation  is a lossless transliteration scheme of Devanagari into English. The letters used to represent Devanagari alphabets in this notation have approximately the same pronunciation in English. It is widely used on Usenet. In ITRANS, the word Devanagari is written as "devanaagarii".
Note: "Devanagari" is the most common transliteration. Others are "Devnagri", "Devanagri", "Deonagri" (rare).