Ravanahatha artist sets the tune in Tribal Arts Exhibition at MSU Fine Arts

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Ravanahatha the traditional musical instrument has its origin from the times of Ravana. As per the beliefs Ravana invented it and played during worship of Lord Shiva. Ravanahatha is now playing by some artists of Rajasthan who claimed that the art is now searching for survival.

Bishna Ram is one such artist from Rajasthan playing the instrument for years and the melody he produces is something mesmerising you from inside. The music of such an ancient instrument directly reaches to the heart and gives you peace of mind. The family of Bishna Ram is making the instrument for generations and kept the tradition alive. However now they are worried about its survival as fewer artists left who plays it.

“The name Ravanahatha itself gives the hint about the instrument which was invented by Ravana. If our ancestors to be believed they get the instrument from Ravana and since then generations after generations we manufacture it in Rajasthan. We are a tribe called Bhopa Bhil and we manufacture it for generations. However now this ancient art is on the verge of extinction as only 20% of the artists left to play it,” said Ram.

He said the ancient instrument is made mainly from Bamboo along with strings, white plastic, coconut shell covered with membrane of stretched goat, piece of Buffalo horn locally called ‘Ghovadi’, half meter of iron nail and others. It took them about a week to make the instrument as per the orders. However Vishnu Ram is worried about its survival as artists like him are uninvited to programmes even in their state.

“Now few artists were left playing this ancient instrument. We want the people to invite us in programmes and functions where we can play the soulful music of Ravanahatha. I am very grateful to the Bhasha Research Centre to give an opportunity to show the ancient art of Rajasthan and help people get to know about it. We need more such chance in future to survive,” said Ram.

Ram plays the Ravanahatha during the exhibition of Tribal arts in MSU Fine Arts Faculty and much to his happiness the students and visitors record the music in their mobile phones.

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