Sanskrit alphabet is called वर्णमाला (Varṇamālā), meaning garland of letters.
The वर्णमाला (Varṇamālā) contains all the letters of Sanskrit alphabet in a systematic way. It is quite similar to the Maheshwari Sutras.
Varṇamālā is divided into two parts – स्वराः (Svarāḥ) / Vowels and व्यञ्जनानि (Vyañjanāni) / Consonants.
There are three types of vowels:
ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ) / Short vowels – These are the vowels from which all other vowels are made. They are five in number and are as given below.
The first four are used frequently i.e. अ, इ, उ, ऋ and ऌ is used rarely
दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) / Long vowels – These are four in number. The sounds of दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) are pronounced twice as long as that of ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ).
संयुक्त-स्वराः (Saṃyukta-Svarāḥ) / Compound Vowels – These are formed by combining the ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ) and the दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ). They are four in number.
The sound of the letter ऐ (ai) is pronounced twice as long as that of the letter ए (e). The sound of the letter औ (Au) is pronounced twice as long as that of the letter ओ (O).
व्यञ्जनानि / Consonants –