The Musical Instruments in Himachal Pradesh

By | November 22, 2021

Wind Instruments


  • The Hindu God lord Krishna is traditionally considered a master of the bamboo flute. Two main varieties of Indian flutes are currently used; the first has six finger holes and one embouchure hole and is used predominantly in the Hindustani music of northern India.
  • The second, the Venu or Pullan Guzhal, has eight finger holes and is played predominantly in the carnatic music of Southern India; prior to this the south Indian flute had only seven finger holes, with the fingering standard developed by Sharaba Shastri. This instrument is quite popular among Gaddi tribes.


  • Shehnai or Mangal Vadya, common in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran made out of wood with a metal flare bell at the end. It usually has between six and nine
  • It is similar to south India’s ‘Nadaswaram’.

Been: It is played at marriages and on various auspicious occasions.

Kindari: It is played in the Mahasu area.

Granyang and Jamang: These can be heard in Lahaul Spiti.


  • It is also known as Kangling. It is made of the thigh bone of a human being extracted from the corpse.
  • Thigh bone is decorated with silver and bronze
  • Thigh bone of a woman, who dies in pregnancy, is more valued as the instrument made of it is believed to produce a sound that is more effective for conjuring the benevolent spirits.

Other wind instruments: Ranasingha, Karnal, Turhi (Bugle), Algoza (twin flutes) etc.

Stringed Instrument

  • Sarangi: It is a bowed, short necked string instrument from south Asia which is used in Hindustani classical music. It is said to resemble the sound of human voice and is the most able to imitate vocal ornaments such as Gamaks (shakes) and Meends (sliding movement) carved from single block of tun (red cedar) , the sarangi has a box like shape with three hollow chambers: Pet (stomach), Chhati (chest) and Magaj (brain).
  • Others are Ektara, Kindari Devatara, Gramyang, Robab, Jumang, Ruman and Rumals.

Percussion Instruments

  • Jhanjh (large cymbals), Manjira (small Cymbals), Chimta (tongs), Ghanta (gongs), Ghariyal (large gongs), Thali (platters).
  • Manjira: It is a traditional percussion instrument of Bharata. It is also known as Taal, Jalra, Khartal, Gini made of bronze, Brass, copper, zinc or bell.

Bells: Ghunghru, Kikatha Murchang, Wooden castanets (Khadtal).

Variety of Drums

  • Dhol, Dholku, Nagara, Dammama, Damanghat Nagrath, Gajju, Doru, Hudak and Dhaunsa. In the plains large drums are known as ‘Tamak’. Bharai community performs the ritual playing of drums at the fair.

Read also: 

  1. Folk Songs of Himachal Pradesh
  2. Folk Dances of Himachal Pradesh
  3. Folk Dramas of Himachal Pradesh
  4. Painting Styles of Himachal Pradesh
  5. Temple Styles or Architecture in Himachal Pradesh
  6. Fair and Festivals of Himachal Pradesh
  7. Fair and Festivals of District Lahaul-Spiti
  8. Marriage Types in District Lahaul-Spiti
  9. Fair and Festivals of District Kinnaur
  10. Marriage Types in District Kinnaur
  11. Chamba Rumal- A World Heritage
  12. Chamba Chappal – A Heritage of State

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