The land of Rajasthan still cultivates and nurtures its old traditions and there is no dearth of ancient musical instruments in the state. Ravanahatha, being one of the oldest, is largely used by local and street musicians. It is an ancient bowed, stringed instrument and has been suggested as the ancestor of the violin. In fact, even the method of playing is almost identical to that of the violin.

Ravanhatha has a haunting yet incredibly moving sound, similar to the violin, that will instantly transport you to an era long gone, when the maharajas and maharanis basked in the glow of the evening sun, with the soft tune creating an atmosphere of utmost tranquility and peace.

This instrument can be traced to the Tamil and Hela people of Sri Lanka, who lived during the time of Ravana, after whom the instrument is supposedly named. History suggests that Ravana used the Ravanahatha to worship Lord Shiva.

Given its primitive nature, Ravanhatha traditionally uses locally available materials like bamboo, metal pipes, coconut shells, leather, and even horses� hair. The classic design of the instrument comprises of a long bamboo stem, at the end of which the half shell of a coconut is attached.

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