Uniting Arts through Hearts

Instruments India

Explore the fascinating genre of Indian music through our archive of images, sounds and videos. Instruments India is a rich and varied resource, and you can discover the background of each instrument, how it is played, and the type of setting it is normally played in.

If you are a beginner, student, expert or music lover, you can now enjoy a preview to a performance, find out more about a concert you have just seen, or get some background information on instruments in different settings.

Instruments India is the result of a partnership between MILAPFEST and LIVERPOOL HOPE UNIVERSITY, and the archive of instruments is a dynamic resource, which will grow on an ongoing basis.



The violin used in Indian classical music is similar to the one used in Western classical traditions.


The veena is among the oldest of Indian musical instruments.


The udukkai is an hourglass shaped, membranous drum used in devotional and folk music throughout India. 


The thavil is a percussion instrument used for accompanying the nadaswaram

Tar Shenai

The Tar Shehnai is an esraj (bowed string instrument) with an added mechanical amplifier.


The tanpura is an instrument that acts as the reference chord in Indian classical music. 


The tabla is the percussion instrument most commonly used in north Indian classical music.


The swarmandal is a harp like instrument that is most commonly used as an accompaniment to Hindustani vocal music.


The sursringar is a rare string instrument that is used as a Hindustani solo instrument. 


The sitar, a stringed instrument played by plucking, is one of the most well known Indian musical instruments.


The sangu is a conch shell primarily used in religious music of Hinduism and Buddhism.


The sarod is a lute like instrument that has connections with the lute like instruments of the Christian era


The Sarangi is a fretless, bowed string instrument used in Hindustani classical music and folk traditions of north India.


The Santoor’s name comes from the name Shata- tantric, meaning a Veena of hundred strings.


The nadaswaram is a wind instrument made of wood and metal that is found in both classical and folk traditions in South India. 


The mridangam can be traced back to ancient Indian mythology.


The morsing is a Carnatic percussion instrument. It is a tiny instrument held in the left hand.


The kanjira is a small handheld drum that resembles a tambourine.


The harmonium is an instrument that has its origins in the period of British rule in India.


The ghatam is an ancient percussion instrument in used Carnatic classical music.


An e-tanpura are often used in concert by many performers as a substitute for tanpura performers.


The dilruba or Esraj is a string instrument found in certain northern and western states of India.


The bansuri is a flute made of a single hollow shaft of bamboo.


konnakol is the art of recitation of ‘solkattu’ which are the vocal syllables of the mridangam.

Hindustani Vocal (Male)

The voice, and singing, are very important in Indian classical music. 


Gunghroo comprises of several small metallic bells that are strung together and tied around the feet of dancers.

Carnatic Vocal (Female)

The voice, and singing, are very important in Indian classical music. 

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