Rudra Veena is one of the oldest instruments of Indian sub-continent. According to mythology, Rudra Veena was created by Lord Shiva or Rudra. It falls into the category of tata vadya meaning string instrument. In north India it is also called bin. The structure of the Rudra Veena can simply be defined as a fret board or stem made from bamboo mounted on two large gourds. It is held in slanting position. The upper gourd rests upon the left shoulder and the lower gourd on the right knee. The strings are plucked with the fingers of the right hand, the left hand passing round the stem and stopping the strings over the frets.
Rudra Veena was very popular during the Mughal period. Thereafter the art of playing was preserved and nourished by beenkars who were descendants of the famous musician Tansen. The royal families of north India have since then patronised many great masters of this instrument.
Made by Kanailal of Calcutta.
Gift from Dr. Kalpana Desai.
Indian Decorative Art
Teak wood, metal, pumpkin, and bamboo.
19th Century CE
L. 157 cm, W. of gourd 43 cm.