Tumbakhnari, a traditional Kashmiri drum still in vogue

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Srinagar, Oct 29 (ANI): Tumbakhnari, a traditional Kashmiri percussion instrument, is still very much in demand among the residents in Kashmir.

Made of clay and sheepskin, residents said that any ceremony especially a marriage is incomplete without Tumbakhnari (a sort of dholak).

"Tumbakhnari is usually played during marriages. It's been in use for a long time. Right now, the wedding season is on and the demand for Tumbakhnari is high and our business is also doing well," said Bashir Ahmed, a potter.

It takes a potter more than four to five days to make one Tumbakhnari.

Some say that the art of making Tumbakhnari came from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan where it is made out of wood rather than clay.

"Tumbakhnari was one of the many gifts brought from Iran and since then people out here have been using the instrument during weddings and other occasions. If we look at older days, not only Muslims but even Hindus used to use these Tumbakhnaris," said Asif Ahmed, a shopkeeper.

With more than 30,000 marriages taking place, each family is purchasing four to five Tumbakhnari for the celebration of mehndi raat.

"Elders say that without Tumbakhnari celebration of mehndi raat is incomplete. In the last two months, the demand of Tumbakhnari has gone up with more than 30,000 marriages taking place. I attended around 15 weddings. I saw that even big musicians prefer to play Tumbakhnari to other instruments," said Hidayat-Ulah, a customer.

Mostly played by women, the cost of one Tumbakhnari varies from rupees 50 to rupees 500 depending upon the quality.

The makers of Tumbakhnari, mostly belonging to poor families, make the instrument in bulk during summers due to the cold during winters, only to sell them later. (ANI)

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