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Amazing rare Indian Musical Instruments…

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Music is an art form and cultural activity which makes people feel free and happy. It has a unique link to our emotions, connects people through its vibes. Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies.

A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical instruments. There are so many musical instruments which produce different sounds with its own way. Musical instruments developed independently in many populated regions of the world. India has a rich musical history with diversity in terms of forms, styles, kinds of instruments used, the way they are played, and more.

Early musical instruments may have been used as a signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. The modern music has changed the outlook of music.  As the time passed some of the instruments have become so rare to see that people are totally unaware of their names.


This is the Kinnari, the oldest stringed instrument of India, created by Kinnara, of the Hindu Mythology. This has 12 frets, strings for playing music and strings used for drone.


Mayuri is a peacock-shaped, bowed instrument that was popular in the Indian courts of the 19th century. Movable, arched metal frets. Wood body carved and decorated to represent a peacock, including an actual peacock bill and feathers. The Mayuri, or peacock, is a symbol of India, it is associated with Saraswati, the goddess of music and is also a symbol of courtship. Sixteen frets, four melody strings, and fifteen sympathetic strings.


A Morchang or Morsing is a wind percussion instrument, mainly used in Rajasthan, in the Carnatic music of south India and in Sindhi (Pakistan). It is a nice and tiny rhythmic musical instrument made of wrought iron. The instrument consists of a metal ring and metal tongue in the middle. It has a special capacity to make many patterns of rhythm and sounds when played using the mouth and left hand.


Nagfani is made of a brass tube with a serpent stylized head. It is commonly associated with the Sadhus or holy men because of the power harnessed by invoking the serpent which coil around the neck of Siva, Hindu god. Its name literally means “snake hood.” The beautiful instrument which was found around Gujarat and Rajasthan is now on the verge of extinction.

Narayana Veena:

This is called the Narayana Veena which was an experimental stringed instrument which was a mix of harp, Veena and Thambura, developed by Sangeetha Vadyalaya, inspired by the Koto of Japan.

Ravanhattha :

This is an instrument from the Violin family and is played by a bow. Its resonator belly consists of coconut shell which has a perpendicular long bamboo with pegs fixed on it. The belly of the instrument has membrane stretched over it like the Sarangi – but unlike Sarangi the membrane is not pasted, instead it is tied as on a Tabla or Dhole.

Ravanhattha’s main string is tuned to ‘Shahja’. The string is made of a long bunch of horse-tail hair. The bow also consists of the same hair, and consequently, the tonal quality of this

Samasti Veena :

This is the Samasti Veena. In front of it is the Kakkara. It is the tribal musical instrument of Savaras, Puliyans and Kanikars of Kerala.



The name almost sounds like a popular type of food in South India, but it is also a musical instrument from Western India and is a part of their folk music ensemble. The entire Sambal constitutes of 2 drums with different pitches and mostly different sizes, their respective sticks are also different at the mouth.


A Sarangi is a bowed stringed instrument with a skin-covered resonator. The typical Sarangi is made by hand, usually from a single block of tun wood. The playing strings are usually made of goat gut, but in this example the top two strings are metal. This small Sarangi is unusual in that it does not have sympathetic strings.

Suriya Pirai  and Chandra Pirai :

These 2 are called the Suriya Pirai (Sun shaped) and Chandra Pirai (Moon Shaped), which are drums used in the Mariamman temples of several villages.


Richly decorated musical instruments such as this Sursanga were often given as gifts and used for display or wall decorations. This instrument is painted in the Mysore style and the belly depicts both Ganesha and Sarasvati.



Yazh is an ancient Dravidian instrument. Yazh is used a lot in the ancient Tamil literature, however Thirumayam is the only place where it is shown in sculpture. This stringed instrument which resembles a bow was considered to be the sweetest of instruments. It is described in some of the ancient literature works. The instrument is played with both the hands by tuning the strings to a particular scale. It was also called as “Vil Yazh”.

naadleCredits: Nalinakshi M and Madhuri K

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