Saraswati Veena


Saraswati Veena



The southern veena or the Saraswati veena is a tata vadya (string instrument). It consists of a large body hollowed out of a block of wood, generally jackwood.

The lower rounded part works as the resonator known as kudam. The stem of the instrument is also made of the same kind of wood and the bridge is placed on the flat top of the body. The neck is attached to the stem and is usually carved into some figure like the head of a dragon called yali. A gourd, smaller in size than the kudam, is called a sarrokai. It functions like an extra resonator. It is fixed underneath the neck and forms a kind of rest or support for the instrument. 24 metallic frets are fixed on the stem.

The Saraswati veena is named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati who has usually depicted holding or playing this instrument. It is also known as Raghunath veena after a Tanjavur Ruler Raghunath Naik who first created a veena with 24 frets. This type of veena is mostly used in Carnatic Indian classical music.

School of Art Collection.


Indian Decorative Art

Object Type

Musical Instrument


Jack wood, metal, and gourd




Wooden carvings


17th Century CE


South India