The Nāgarī or Devanāgarī alphabet developed from eastern variants of the Gupta script called Nāgarī, which first emerged during the 8th century. This script was starting to resemble the modern Devanāgarī alphabet by the 10th century, and started to replace Siddham from about 1200.
The name Devanāgarī is made up of two Sanskrit words: deva, which means god, brahman or celestial, and nāgarī, which means city. The name is variously translated as "script of the city", "heavenly/sacred script of the city" or "[script of the] city of the Gods or priests".
Awadhi, Bodo, Bhojpuri, Garhwali, Hindi, Jarawa, Kashmiri, Konkani, Kurukh, Magahi, Maithili, Marathi, Marwari, Mundari, Nepal Bhasa / Newari, Nepali, Pali, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Saraiki, Shina, Sindhi, Sunuwar, Sylheti
and many other languages.
Some letters are two forms: the Classical, Northern or Kalikata (Calcutta) form is used in the north of India; while the Modern, Southern or Mumbai (Bombay) form is used in the south India and has become the standard form.
There are about a thousand conjunct consonants, most of which combine two or three consonants. There are also some with four-consonant conjuncts and at least one well-known conjunct with five consonants.
Download the chart (Excel, 39K)
An archive of Sanskrit dictionaries, readers & grammars in German, English & Russian. (circa 4000 Mb Book Scans, devanagari fonts): http://groups.google.com/group/Nagari
Devanagari script tutor
Download free devanagari fonts & transliteration macros. History and hi-res scans of Indian typography: http://nagari.southindia.ru
ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical & medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic, Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham, Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic, Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform: http://guindo.pntic.mec.es/~jmag0042/alphabet.html
If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.