Type: Chordophone > Lute > Spike > Fiddle > Bowed.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.7
Tuning: Often in C [Sa].
Region: South Asia.
Description: A ravanahatha [in Hindi: रावणहाथा raavanahaatha] whose variant names include: ravanhatta, rawanhattha, ravanastron, ravana hasta veena. It is a bowed instrument of ancient origins. It is played in Rajasthan India and Sri Lanka. In Indian and Sri Lankan tradition, the ravanahatha is believed to have originated among the Tamil and Hela people of Lanka during the time of the legendary king Ravana, after whom the instrument is supposedly named.
According to legend, Ravana used the ravanahatha in his devotions to the Hindu God Shiva. In the Hindu Ramayana epic, after the war between Rama and Ravana, Hanuman returned to North India with a ravanahatha. The ravanahatha is particularly popular among street musicians in Rajasthan, North India.
Citations: Bibliography: Choudhary S. Dhar 2010. The Origin and Evolution of Violin as a Musical Instrument and Its Contribution to the Progressive Flow of Indian Classical Music: In search of the historical roots of violin – Ramakrisna Vedanta Math – ISBN 9380568061 ; Balachandran, PK 7 February 2011. A musical instrument played by Ravana Himself! ; New Indian Express. Retrieved 1 May 2013 ; The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, 8 March 2015 ; Dinesh records highest sale for an instrumental. Retrieved 16 July 2015 ;