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Mr.Rajesh Vaiddiyah on veena.

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Raji Ram

Active member
The speed and precision with which Sri. Rajesh plays always leaves the audience awestruck!!


I introduce myself in the forum under the name as Dhikshita. I was told by my father as well as one the astrologers Mr.Nanganallur Venkataraman in one of my meetings with him told that your ancestors have designed the Veena and called it as Raghunatha Veena (Tanjore) as my forefather Sri Sri Govinda Dhikshitar served to three naicka kings as their chief minister. Subsequently the veena was christined as Raghnatha Veena. This is an hearsy. As I have completed my 67th year I knew this much alone and I don't know the veracity. Is it so?

Raji Ram

Active member
Dear Dhikshita Sir,

Very happy to know about your ancestors. Here is an interesting news for you!

"The veena in South India, is formally called the Saraswati veena, in its modern outlook. With a fret board of

24 frets spanning three and a half octaves, its origins can be traced to the Raghunatha Mela Veena developed

by Govinda Dikshitar in the sixteenth century."

Daily Diffuse

I was playing Veena for All India Radio, Vizag station. After settling in Chennai, I am teaching carnatic music to students.


Rudra Veena

As Rudra is a name for the Hindu god Shiva, rudra vina literally means "the veena dear to Shiva".
The Veena of Ma Sri Saraswati
Earlier veenas, Vipanchi, Chitra and Ghoshvati:

A 1500 BC sculpture, "Roopur" shows a woman sitting cross-legged, holding an instrument horizontally at waist level. Scholars opine that this instrument is Vipanchi Veena in which three Vedic notes could be tuned. Thirteen centuries later around 150 BC (Bharhut)[SUP]2 [/SUP]there is a group of twelve musicians depicting women playing Mridang, Manjeera, Vipanchi Veena, marking beats and singing.

Another group of same period sculpted on west gate of Sanchi Stupa - 1 shows one playing on flute, another on Mridang of Bharat period and two playing Vipanchi Veena. Such resources indicate that from third, second BC to sixth, seventh century AD the Veena-s in prominence were Vipanchi, Chitra and Ghoshvati. While Vipanchi carried nine strings, Chitra had seven strings and Ghoshvati was single-stringed. Dr. Lalmani Misra says that on the basis of available sculpture and paintings, one may construe that Vipanchi was like modern Harp, Chitra resembles Sarod and Ghoshvati was built like Ektara.

Gandharva Chittorgarh Topkhana sculpture dating 200 BC to 600 AD show Chitra Veena, Huduk and Pinaki besides percussion. A panel from Nagarjun Konda, second century, shows a female playing Chitra Veena as others listen rapt. The same has also been depicted at Ajanta, Cave 4 (second BC - sixth century AD) but the instrument appears to have frets while no mention is found of fretted instruments prior to Matang's Kinnari Veena.

A fifth century panel from Pawaya of a dancer surrounded by musician gives clear depiction of instruments -- Mridang, Chitra and Vipanchi Veena. One can see the seven key-knobs in Chitra Veena. A female figure in Ellora Cave 21(seventh century) plays Alapini Veena, a variant of Ektantri.

A sixth century Nalanda bronze of Saraswati holding Vipanchi Veena shows figure playing flute on right and percussion on left flank. Veena-player from temple of Harsat Mata, Abnershows her holding a different kind of instrument not seen hitherto. By its shape, it may be Kachchapi Veena. Another figure from the same templeis the first clear depiction of frets. The Ghoshvati Veena here does not have resonators.

Twelfth century idol of Saraswati at Chennakesava temple, Belur is shown with a variation of Kinnari Veena. This is the instrument which initiated the form of Veena developed by craftsmen of Tanjore. Hoysaleshwar temple of the same period at Halebid shows the Goddess playing Ektantri Veena. It is only in seventeenth century (Rameshwaram temple) that Saraswati is depicted playing Rudra Veena, prompted perhaps due adoption of this instrument by the Seni musicians who called it Saraswati Veena. During the medieval period, specially in Ragmala paintings this is the instrument which appears time and again.
When in later half of nineteenth century the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma attracted west and became a source of inspiration for calendar art, it was Tanjori Veena that appeared in the hands of Saraswati.
Ravana’s Veena

According to legend, Ravana was an ardent devotee of the Hindu god Shiva, and served him using the soulful music emanating from the ravanahatha veena

The ravanahatha (variant names: ravanhatta, rawanhattha, ravanastron, ravana hasta veena) is an ancient bowed fiddle, once popular in Western India and Sri Lanka.

Chitra Veena

The chitravina (also known as chitra veena, chitraveena, chitra vina, hanumad vina, or mahanataka vina, is a 20 or 21-string fretless lute for Carnatic music. Around late 1800s and early 1900s, it started to be known by another name, Gotuvadyam (Tamil: often spelt as gottuvadyam, gottuvadhyam, kottuvadyam etc.), which was bestowed upon it by Sakha Rama Rao from Thanjavur, who was responsible for bringing it back to the concert scene. Today it is played mainly in South India, though its origins can be traced back to Bharata's Natya Shastra, where it is mentioned as a seven string fretless instrument

The vichitra veena

The Vichitra Veena is the modern form of ancient Ektantri Veena. It is similar to the Carnatic gottuvadhyam (chitra vina).

Omenad - Online Music Education
Ravanahatha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saraswati - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vichitra veena - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Dear Mr./Mrs.Raji Ram,
It gives me very great pleasure to get a response to my thread (Dhikshita) from a veteran like you. I am very happy to learn that you are imparting knowledge in carnatic music to young and talented people as your disciples in order to sustain the values of veena for ever. I do remember to say here that your efforts reflect the character by name Rajanna in the naval 'Moha Muzh' by Thi.Janakiraman. If time permits, please read that naval. A Sahita academy winner naval.
Thank you, Regards,


Dear P.J.Sir,
I do have the great pleasure of reading your thread on 'Rajesh Vaiddhiya on Veena' and enriched my little knowledge through the details given with veracity. Generaly, very few veterans are taking the pain and stain of furnishing details from erstwhile centuries. The details enlighten us and value the heritage of our culture, tradition besides music and dance. Regards, Dhikshita.


i think YAAZH is name of veena...very famous YAAZHPAANAM.....i heard that ravanan was the master of veena....he played saama

gaanam in veena to satisfy Lord Shiva.....IN YAAZH ISAI....
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