‘If music be the food of love, play on…’ (Twelfth Night)
Ravanahatha can be called as a precursor of the violin. Legend has it that, Ravana the mighty asura king used to play this instrument to please Lord Shiva. The instrument got its name from him ( hath or hasta mean hand). Ravana Hasta Veena another term being given to this stringed, bowed instrument is believed to have brought to India from Lanka by Hanuman after the great battle of Ramayana. The instrument is popular among the wandering minstrels and folk musicians of Rajasthan. This photogaph is taken at a small village atop a hill, facing the magnificent Sonar Quila in Jaisalmer
Ravanahatha is made of bamboo attached to a coconut shell and covered with goatskin, the string is made from horse hair and played with a wooden bow.