The 10 Popular Indian Musical Instruments Names With Pictures

India has a rich cultural heritage, and its music is an integral part of this vibrant tapestry. Traditional Indian music is a harmonious blend of diverse sounds, rhythms, and melodies, with each region contributing unique musical instruments. In this article, we will explore the ten popular Indian musical instruments, each accompanied by a picture to visually enhance the reader’s understanding. Let’s explore the 10 popular indian musical instruments names with pictures.

Musical Instruments Names and Sounds

Engaging kids in the exploration of musical sounds is an exciting educational adventure. Through a variety of instruments like the flute, harmonium, or shehnai, children can discover the magic of different tones and rhythms. This hands-on experience fosters a sensory connection to music, nurturing their curiosity and creativity.

The above YouTube video showcases these instruments and their sounds becomes a delightful learning tool, making the world of music both educational and entertaining for our young enthusiasts.

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Top 10 Popular Indian Musical Instruments

Let’s know about the 10 popular indian musical instruments names with pictures and some important details.

1. Sitar

The sitar is a stringed instrument with a long neck and a gourd-shaped body. It is widely recognized for its use in classical Indian music and is played with a combination of plucking and fretting.

The sitar has roots dating back to the 13th century and has evolved from the Persian “setar.” It gained prominence in Indian classical music during the Mughal era.

The 5 famous masters of Sitars:

  • Ravi Shankar
  • Vilayat Khan
  • Anoushka Shankar
  • Pandit Ravi Chary
  • Nikhil Banerjee
"The sitar, with its enchanting strings, weaves a musical tapestry that transcends time and tradition."

2. Tabla

Tabla is a pair of hand-played drums, comprising a smaller drum (dayan) and a larger drum (bayan). This percussion instrument is central to various Indian music genres, including classical, folk, and popular music.

The tabla originated from the pair of drums known as the puskara during the 18th century. It has since become a fundamental element in classical and contemporary Indian music.

The 5 famous masters of Tabla:

  • Zakir Hussain
  • Alla Rakha
  • Anindo Chatterjee
  • Ustad Zakir Hussain
  • Pandit Kishan Maharaj
"The tabla's rhythmic heartbeat echoes through the soul, bringing alive the spirit of Indian percussion."

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3. Flute (Bansuri)

The bansuri, a bamboo flute, is a key instrument in Indian classical music. It produces melodious tunes and is played by controlling the breath through finger holes along its length.

The bansuri has ancient origins and is associated with Lord Krishna, who is often depicted playing it. It has been a part of Indian classical music for centuries.

The 5 famous masters of Flute:

  • Hariprasad Chaurasia
  • Pannalal Ghosh
  • Ronu Majumdar
  • Rupak Kulkarni
  • Nityanand Haldipur
"In the hands of a maestro, bansuri whispers tales of ancient mystique, harmonizing nature and melody."

4. Veena

The veena is a traditional Indian string instrument with a resonator, neck, and strings. It is played by plucking the strings and is considered one of the oldest musical instruments in India.

The veena’s history can be traced back to ancient texts and sculptures. It has been mentioned in the Vedas and is considered one of the oldest string instruments.

The 5 famous masters of Veena:

  • E. Gayathri
  • Jayanthi Kumaresh
  • R. K. Suryaprakash
  • Doraiswamy Iyengar
  • Kalpakam Swaminathan
"The veena, an ancient muse, resonates with timeless elegance, echoing the cultural roots of classical India."

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5. Dholak

The dholak is a double-headed hand drum, widely used in Indian folk music and popular genres. It has a distinctive sound and we play it by striking both ends with hands.

The dholak has its roots in folk music and has been a popular accompaniment in traditional celebrations and festivals for centuries.

The 5 famous masters of Dholak:

  • Bhawani Shankar
  • Pankaj Kumar
  • Pandit Bhola Nath
  • Aslam Bhai
  • Madan Gopal
"The vibrant beats of the dholak, a rhythmic dance, celebrate the joyous spirit of traditional Indian festivities."

6. Harmonium

The harmonium is a keyboard instrument with bellows that produce sound when keys are pressed. It is commonly used in various Indian music styles and provides a harmonious accompaniment to vocal performances.

The harmonium was introduced to India during the British colonial era. It quickly adapted to Indian classical music and has become a staple in various genres.

The 5 famous masters of Harmonium

  • Pandit Tulsidas Borkar
  • Pandit Bhajan Sopori
  • Sudhir Nayak
  • Ronu Majumdar
  • Gyan Prakash Ghosh
"The harmonium's melodious breath harmonizes with the human voice, creating a soul-stirring symphony."

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7. Tanpura

The tanpura is a long-necked string instrument that produces a continuous drone, providing a harmonic base for classical Indian music. It is often played alongside other instruments and vocal performances.

The tanpura has ancient roots and is mentioned in various Indian scriptures. It has been a crucial accompaniment in classical music for centuries.

The 5 famous masters of Tanpura:

  • Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
  • Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya
  • Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
  • Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
  • Pandit Ravi Shankar
"The tanpura, a constant companion, weaves an intricate sonic canvas, supporting the melody of Indian classical music."

8. Sarod

The sarod is a fretless string instrument known for its deep, resonant tones. It is played with a pick and is prominent in North Indian classical music.

The sarod’s history dates back to the 19th century and people give credit to Allauddin Khan, who modified the Afghan rabab to create this unique instrument.

The 5 famous masters of Sarod:

  • Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
  • Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
  • Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta
  • Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra
  • Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar
"The sarod, with its resonant strings, narrates musical sagas that echo the soul of Indian classical traditions."

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9. Mridangam

The mridangam is a South Indian percussion instrument, similar to the tabla. It has a unique shape and we play this with hands, producing a rhythmic and dynamic sound.

The mridangam has ancient origins and is mentioned in classical texts like the Natya Shastra. It plays a significant role in South Indian classical music.

The 5 famous masters of Mridangam:

  • Palghat Mani Iyer
  • Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman
  • T. K. Murthy
  • Guruvayur Dorai
  • R. Raghava Iyengar
"The mridangam's percussive heartbeat, deeply rooted in tradition, is the rhythmic pulse of South Indian classical music."

10. Shehnai

The shehnai is a double-reed wind instrument, often played in North Indian classical music and during celebratory occasions. Its soulful and festive tunes make it a popular choice for weddings and religious events.

The shehnai has a long history and is believed to have been introduced to Indian classical music by Ustad Bismillah Khan in the 20th century.


  • Ustad Bismillah Khan
  • Anant Lal
  • Daya Shankar
  • Ali Ahmed Hussain
  • Rajendra Prasanna
"The shehnai, a celestial serenade, dances through the air, invoking joy and celebration in its jubilant tunes."

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Final Thought

India’s musical landscape is as diverse as its culture, and these ten instruments represent just a glimpse of the nation’s rich musical heritage. Whether it’s the soul-stirring melodies of the sitar or the rhythmic beats of the tabla, each instrument plays a vital role in creating the symphony that is Indian music. Embracing tradition while evolving with the times, these instruments continue to captivate audiences around the world. The contributions of legendary musicians further enrich the cultural significance of these instruments, ensuring their legacy for generations to come.

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