Photographer's Note

Took this photo at Mehrangarh Fort, in Jodhpur Rajasthan. The couple (I believe married) is sitting inside the Mehrangarh Fort and playing Satara, which is one of many amazing Musical instruments of Rajasthan.0


So, as I am working on a small project to gather more details on the musical instruments of Rajasthan, I thought I should share the details I have gathered, on some of the best Rajasthan musical instruments. These are:

1. Morchang

Morchang is a percussion instrument, which is played through the mouth. It is small enough to fit the mouth of a person, so that he can play it.

Morchang has two metal rings in the shape of a horseshoe, and there is a metal tongue in between these two rings, which is fixed at one end and bent at the other. The musician holds the Morchang in between his front teeth, and then plucks the loose end of the tongue of Morchang with his hands, so that the vibrations emit a musical sound.

1.1 Origin of Morchang

Morchang is widely believed to have originated in India, but its exact date and year is not very clear. However, it is thought to have been made around 1500 years back. It became popular through the gurukul system of ancient India, where a guru, or learned sage taught his students on various things like music, arts etc.

1.2 Where is Morchang mostly seen?

The Thar Desert in Western Rajasthan is where you will see local folk musicians playing the Morchang. Jaisalmer and Barmer are the two best places to see a Morchang performance.

2.0 Bhapang

Bhapang is a single stringed musical instrument used by the folk musicians of India. Bhapang is used for solo performances, and also as an accompanying instrument for bhajans, spiritual songs, poetic songs, and folk songs.

Bhapang is made of dried and hollow gourd shells. After cutting off the top and bottom parts of the gourd shells, the bottom part of the shell is fixed with a flexible piece of leather. A string is then passed through the leather to the other end, where a small piece of bamboo is attached to the string.

The Bhapang is held below the armpits of one hand, and the string is plucked by the bamboo piece on the other hand. By stretching and relaxing the string, the musician is able to bring variations in sound. The string is plucked with rapid finger movements to bring rhythm into the music.

2.1 Origin of Bhapang

It is very unclear when the Bhapang was first made. But according to popular folk history, wandering saints used it to sing folk songs.

2.2 Where is Bhapang mostly seen?

If you want to see a performance of Bhapang, then Alwar district of Rajasthan is the best place to visit. Here local folk musicians from Mewati community still play the Bhapang in cultural festivals and tourist places.

3.1 Ravanahatha

Ravanahatha is a bowed stringed musical instrument which is similar to the violin, and is played very much like the violin. It is used by local folk musicians of Rajasthan in many prominent tourist places to entertain the tourists.

Ravanahatha is made of bamboo, coconut or gourd shells, horse hair, and leather. A coconut or gourd shell is covered in goat skin and attached to a long bamboo stem. The bamboo stem is punctured with holes at equal spaces and fitted with knobs which are used for fine tuning the instrument.

The strings used for Ravanahatha are made from horse hair and metal wires. These strings are bound to the knobs and the knobs are wound to create tension in the strings.

A bow is used to produce different musical notes when it is moved on the strings. The dexterity of the fingers is very important in the performance of Ravanahatha. Small bells are strung on the bow to produce jingle sounds.

3.2 Origin of Ravanahatha

The history of Ravanahatha is very interesting. Ravana the great demon king of Sri Lanka is said to have created Ravanahatha. He was a great devotee of God Shiva and used Ravanahatha to sing songs in his devotion. After the epic battle of Lord Rama and Demon King Ravana, Hanuman is said to have brought Ravanahatha to western parts of India.

3.3 Ravanahatha is mostly seen in?

Local folk musicians still can be seen playing Ravanahatha to entertain tourists in major tourist places of Rajasthan. The famous forts like Mehrangarh Fort, Amer Fort, Jaisalmer Golden Fort are popular places to see a Ravanahatha performance. Popular tourist places in Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur too are best to see folk singers playing Ravanahatha.

4.1 Alghoza

Alghoza is a wind instrument that is played with a pair of flutes. The two wooden flute pipes are played together, and have different lengths. One is played for melody and the other is used to play drone. They are either loosely tied or kept separate.
Though there are no historical records to show when Alghoza was first made, it is generally used during folk dances.

You will be able to see musicians playing Alghoza in the Ajmer and Tonk areas of Rajasthan. You can also see folk musicians play Alghoza in the desert areas of Jaisalmer.

Note: If you want to visit all the above mentioned cities in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur etc, then you can contact Rajputana Cabs for their Rajasthan Car Rental package. And for more information on Rajasthan tourism, kindly view site.

5.1 Sindhi Sarangi

Sindhi Sarangi is a bowed musical string instrument which is very rare to find today. It is made of Sheesham wood and has three main strings and 23 smaller strings. A bow is moved over the three main strings to produce music. Pegs are used to wound the strings and the tension in the strings is what creates different melodies and notes.

There are no exact details available as to the origins of Sindhi Sarangi. But years of training is given to a student by his master so that he becomes perfect in the art of playing Sindhi Sarangi. The dexterity of hands and the ease with which they press the strings to produce the desired note is a skill which is difficult to master.

Tribal communities like Langa and Manganiyar who live in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur have achieved total mastery over the Sindhi Sarangi. They play Sindhi Sarangi usually at the time of weddings, cultural festivals and celebrations. Tourists can watch a performance of Sindhi Sarangi at the times of cultural festivals in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Jatin Chhabra (jatinchhabra) (18)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2017-08-10
  • Categories: Castles
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2020-02-07 1:14
Viewed: 0
Points: 6
Additional Photos by Jatin Chhabra (jatinchhabra) (18)
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