Tamil script evolved from the Brahmic script. The earliest Tamil writing date back to the Ashokan period which was commonly known as the Tamil-Brahmi. The modern Tamil script evolved from the new script created by the Pallava dynasty in the 4th century.

At present, Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and it is also spoken in Kerala, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Island.

Tamil alphabets have 247 letter. In which there are 12 Vowels, 18 Consonants, 216 Vowel and Consonants combination, and 1 Aayuthu ezuthu (ஃ).

Tamil Vowel Letters

Vowels in Tami are also called உயிர் எழுத்துக்கள் (u-yi-r e-zhu-th-thu-k-kaL) which means the `life` (uyir) or `soul` letters.

There are 12 pure vowel letters in Tamil script. Vowels can be pronounced on its own, and it can be further classified into independent and dependent vowels.

Independent Vowels:


Dependent Vowels:


Two Part Dependent Vowels:


Tamil Consonant Letters

Consonant in Tamil are also called `மெய்யெழுத்து (meyyeḻuttu)` which means `body letters`.

There are 18 pure consonant letters in Tamil script. Consonants in Tamil cannot be pronounced independently by themselves. They have to be combined with a vowels to make a final sound.


Tamil Digits

Tamil has its own numeric digits to denote numbers and fractions


Tamil Numerics


Tamil Special Character Letters


Frequently Asked Questions

How many letters are in Tamil?

There are 247 letters in Tamil script. Out of them, 12 letters are vowels, 18 are consonant letters, 216 letters are the combination of vowel and consonants, and 1 is Aayuthu Ezuthu (ஃ) letter.

Besides, Tamil script has its own digits and numeric letter to denote numbers, and many other special characters.

How many vowel and consonant letters are there in Tamil Varnamala?

In Tamil, there are 12 pure vowel and 18 pure consonant letters.

The consonant letter are often combined with vowel letter to make a final sound. So there are additional 216 letters that are made by combining consonant and vowel letters.

Where is Tamil spoken?

Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and the union territory of Puducherry (Pondicherry).

Tamil is also an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore. Besides, it is also spoken by significant number of people in Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius, and South Africa.

How many people speak Tamil?

Tamil is spoken by over 77 million people around the world. In the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, it is spoken by 69 million native speakers as a first language and another 8 million use it as a second language.

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