A Handful of Sanskrit Tools


संस्कृतोपकरणमुष्टिःPalm Leaves

There are many online and offline digital tools available to help those interested in reading Sanskrit. Here are some of the best.  It is advisable to study Sanskrit with a teacher, so the resources below are not meant to teach Sanskrit per se. They are simply a handful of recommended tools useful to have at your fingertips to help along the way.  Pāṇini tools will be posted separately.

Some of these are in DJVU format which is a lighter-weight alternative to PDF.  DJVU format makes scrolling through the larger texts such as dictionaries much more pleasant.  Download DJVU readers here.

Declension & Conjugation
Devanāgarī Input


 For IOS  (iPhone / iPad):  


  • Purchase and Download Dictionary Universal app  (USD $5.99) from the app store
  • Download “All Dictionaries” from Arsha Drishti
  • Unzip and move folders containing the dictionaries via  iTunes -> iPhone/iPad->Apps -> File Sharing -> Dictionary
  • Start up the Dictionary Universal app (simply called Dictionary”.  You can confirm the files are available in Settings -> Dictionaries.
  • सुखी भव – Be happy।


For Integrating into the Native Mac OSX Dictionary:

Integrate Sanskrit dictionaries into the built-in Mac Dictionary so you can look up a Sanskrit word in Devanagari or transliteration by the standard OS X mechanisms of simply highlighting the word or multi-finger double-tapping.


  • Download  “OSX Sanskrit Dictionaries.zip” which are in Mac OS X format from Arsha Drishti
    • Note:  These are in a different format than those used in GoldenDict or IOS
  • Unzip them and move them to ~/Library/Dictionaries
    • Note: This is a hidden folder, so you must use Finder Meu -> Go -> Go to Folder … to get there.
  • Open the Dictionary application and enable the new dictionaries in Dictionary -> Preferences


For OSX (Mac), Windows, Android: Golden Dictionary

Golden Dictionary is a wonderful free program that gives searchable offline access to Apte and Monier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionaries as well as English-Sanskrit lookups and Pāṇini Sūtra-s, commentaries, Dhātupāṭha etc.  You can also set it up to query online sources such as the spoken Sanskrit online dictionary    It is much easier than other dictionary alternatives and a joy to use, though occasionally unstable and some entries seem to be truncated.


  • Download the program – MacPCAndroid
  • Download Dictionaries.zip from Arsha Drishti.
  • Dictionaries available zipped for download:
    • Apte: The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary – A Must-Have: 
      • Apte-bi: Allows for Sanskrit -> English and English -> Sanskrit look-ups
      • Apte-prAtipadikam-sa: Allows for searching for undeclined forms
      • Apt-sa: Allows for searching in Devanāgarī
    • MW: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary:
      • MW-bi-itrans-dev: Allows for Sanskrit -> English and English -> Sanskrit look-ups
      • mw-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: Nicer formatting, some redundancies removed
      • mw-itrans-rom: No Devanāgarī
      • mw-sa: Allows for searching in Devanāgarī
    • Grammar: Grammatical form look-up – A Must-Have:
      • Declension-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: All declined nominal forms from THIS site.  Wonderful.
      • Grammar-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: All conjugated verbal forms from the same site.  Wonderful as well.
      • jnu-tiNanta: Another verbal conjugation source
    • Panini: Various Grammatical texts, mostly referencing Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī:
      • Dhātupāṭha, Lahgu Siddhānta Kaumudi, Bālamanoramā, Nyāsa, Kāśikā, Tattvabodhinī, Dhātupradīpa, Gaṇapāṭha
    • Sanskrit-Sanskrit: Several Sanskrit to Sanskrit dictionaries
      • वाचस्पत्यम्, शब्दकल्पदुम, अमरकोश, शब्दसागर etc
    • Other: Sanskrit computer terms, Purāṇa, Veda, etc
    • All: All of the above in one zip file
  • Setup – Add & process dictionaries (OS X):
    • Unzip dictionaries
    • In Golden Dictionary: Edit->Dictionaries->Sources
    • Point to folder with dictionaries
    • Check Recursive box
    • Click Apply button
  • Usage Notes:
    • Devanāgarī input is not accepted, nor are diacritical marks
    • Long vowels are doubled e.g. आ/ā = aa;
    • क्ष्  (kṣ) = x;
    • ज्ञ्  (jñ) = gy;
    • ट्/त्  (ṭ/t) = t;
    • ड्/द्  (ḍ/d) = d;
    • ङ्/ञ/ण/न  (ṇ/ñ/ṇ/n) = n
    • श्/ष ś/ṣ =sh;
    • Apte often presents nominal entries in declined form (e.g. ज्ञानम् / gyaanam) , but Monier in undeclined form (e.g. ज्ञान / gyaana);  Best to search for both.  The Prātipadikam version of Apte allows for searching in the undeclined form
    • You can turn individual dictionaries on and off, or set up groups in Golden Dictionary to reduce clutter / redundancy

Scanned Dictionaries

Monier Williams – Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Individual Pages – The Next Best Thing

Nicely scanned and individually named pages.  Find the page containing the word you want and open it up.  Can work on mobile platforms too with the right reader.


PDF format

Apte – The Practical Sanskrit-Enlish Dictionary – Book

Online Dictionaries

And . . .

More soft-copy dictionaries are in the Arsha Drishti Library.

Declension and Conjugation


Kale Higher Sanskrit Grammar – A thorough and authoritative resource with Pāṇini references

Devanāgarī Input

Learn to directly type directly in देवनागरी and love life forever.


DevUni (Devanāgarī Unicode) is the best keyboard layout I’ve found for OS X.  It allows you to easily and directly enter both Devanāgarī and diacritical marks.  Free.  I’m sure there are others. Works in every application I’ve tried except for MS Word.

To setup:

        • Download the 2 files from Arsha Drishti
        • Drop them into ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts (~/Library is usually hidden, so use Finder->Go->Go to Folder)
        • In System Preferences check the box: Keyboard->Keyboard->Show Keyboard Viewer & Character Viewer in menu bar
        • In System Preferences check the box: Keyboard->Input Sources->Show Input menu in menu bar
        • Choose the DevUni keyboard map from the Input Menu pulldown that now shows in your top menu bar.
        • Also choose “Show Keyboard Viewer” from the same dropdown menu so you can see what is going on.

To use:

        • To type in Devanāgarī hit the Caps Lock key.  Look at the Keyboard Viewer to understand the keyboard layout.
        • Important Keys:
          • Key Caps – shifts you in an out of Devanāgarī mode
          • Shift
          • Option
          • Option-Shift
          • “f” key gives you the virāma allowing creation of conjunct consonants
        • Characters with diacritical marks are accessed through the Option key and Shift-Option key combo with the Caps lock unengaged.  Watch the Keyboard Viewer and you’ll easily see what’s up.


Both Android and iPhone have Devanāgarī keyboard layouts you can enable or download.


Windows, ITRANS, Ubuntu, Etch-A-Sketch etc.

Google is your friend.


Roots, Verb Forms and Primary Derivatives  by Whitney – A quick and easy reference for verbs and verbals

Many more Western and Pāṇinīya Sanskrit grammars, primers, readers, dictionaries etc. will be available soon in the Arsha Drishti Virtual Library. Pāṇini tools coming soon.

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