Music Of The Deserts - A Musical Journey Through Rajasthan


Either it’s a wedding reception or birthday celebration – Rajasthani villagers can’t imagine a function without the music treat of Langas and Manganiars. They are the predecessors of Rajpuths. Originally they were Hindus. Yet, during 17th century a few of them got converted to other religions. Langas follow Islam while Manganiars are believers of either Hinduism or Islam. Word meaning of Langas – those who give music and Manganiars means those who deserve kindness. Let us go through an amazing musical journey through the sands of Rajasthan.

Langas are of two types, classified according to the musical instrument they use – Soniya Langa, who uses shehnai and Sarangia Langa who uses sarangi. Their music is folk based and being carried forward from one generation to the next. They are not formally trained. There will of course be a main singer, accompanied by instrument players and chorus. They have also developed certain ragas of high pitched character. Godh malhar, Suhaab, Morath, Kamachi and Dhaani are mong the popular ones.

Nimbooda Nimbooda

Like any other folktale stories and songs associated with them, folk songs of Rajasthan too, tell stories about their great warriors and kings. Adventure and romance are filled in their songs. They even include their daily activities in their songs. ‘Nimbooda Nimbooda’ – the popular song of Hum dil de chuke sanam is originally a folk song of Langas.

Nimbooda means lemon. According to Rajasthani traditions, a pregnant lady should eat lemon. Due to scarcity of water, lemon is not found in the rural areas.  So, in the lyrics of this beautiful folk song, a wife asks her husband to bring lemon from next city. Though they believe in Islam, small shades of Rajput Hindus are also found in their songs and culture. They even sing praising Hindu idols. They are active during Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali also. Thus their music concerts are best examples of communal harmony.

Do you know these people?

Once, folk songs of Langas and Manganiars were restricted only to Thar desert and surrounding areas. Komal Kothari and Rukma Devi are those two music lovers who popularized the music of deserts. Now world famous artists of Langas and Manganiars are there in Rajasthan.

A few music instruments to introduce

Sindhi Sarangi – Another copy of Hindustani sarangi, having more than 20 strings. It’s made from wood and used by langas most.

Kamaicha – An important musical instrument of Manganiars, made from mango tree. It has a circular shape attached to a lengthy stem (resembles a Thampuru or Veena). This instrument has 17 strings of which 3 are made from goat’s intestine.

Dholak – Used by both. It’s a hollow instrument covered by skin on both ends. It works similar to Mridangam and Madhalam of south.  

Kar taal – Made by joining two wooden pieces and fingers are used to make noice.

 Algos – Made by combining two bamboos and look similar to flute. Both are placed in lips at the same time to produce two distinct voices. 

Article Posted By : Sandhya RanilView All Articles

I love any kind of muisc related to our heart strings

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Keywords :
folk music of Rajasthan , Langas and Manganiars


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