February 23, 2015

Kendara Badya, rare musical instrument from Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha

Kendara Badya, is a rare stringed musical instrument from Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha. It was one among many rare and dying musical instruments played at recently concluded Luptapraya Loka Kala Utsav [Festival showcasing Dying Regional Arts].

'Music Tree': Innovative concept having 32 rare instruments on it

About the Luptapraya Loka Kala Utsav:

This festival was organised by Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy and Department of Culture, Govt. of Odisha from 18-19 Feb 2015 at Bhanja Kala Mandap, Bhubaneswar. Here, rare musical instruments were played and dying dances performed. For more information, visit here.

About Kendara Badya:

Kendara Badya is a beautiful stringed instrument. It was played by wandering sages while begging door to door since ancient times. In the Luptapraya Utsav, this almost extinct instrument was played by Sri Dhulamani Nayak and group of Manijanga, Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha. Its music has a soulful, hauntingly beautiful feel to it, with the voices accompanying it portraying sorrow at why Lord Jagannath is not listening to prayers of the singers.

This was earlier commonly played in Odisha's villages in Jagatsinghpur and nearby districts. But with time, it has declined in popularity as people came to look down upon beggary and associated the instrument as beggar's manifestation, which is very unfortunate. New age youth are not learning it from the masters, due to which it is slowly dying out.

'Kendara' means Centre. 'Badya' means instrument. It always held the centre of attention when it was played anywhere. Indeed, it was central among all instruments. So also on 19 February 2015, it captured the audience's attention.

My Experience listening to Kendara Badya:

I listened to this instrument being played for the first time in my life. The touching rendition really moved me to tears...the tune has been haunting me ever since. The frail artist beside Sri Dhulamani was old, looked weak and helpless as he was playing. Tears came to my eyes with the overall effect- the music was so touching, and on other hand was the feeling of helplessness- that such a soulful musical form is dying out with the masters. I prayed that may these artists have followers to carry this soul-haunting music on forever.

Experiencing the performance, I actually realised the meaning of this sentence, which the host of the evening also reminded:  'The sweetest songs are those which tell the saddest thoughts'..... 

So, just immerse yourself in this soulful rendition for a minute...and feel closer to the Lord.......


  1. Great to know about this ingenious instrument.

  2. Our India has so many music instruments! Amazing :)
    So proud.
    Thanks for the info, pics & video, Amrita.

    1. Pleasure is mine Anita! These instruments & their masters are slowly becoming extinct & must be revived...

  3. Absolutely new to me and you say it is old and rare!
    Thanks for the knowledge on this.

    1. Yes Indrani U r right! It was totally new for me too! Such a b'ful instrument...this is my small way to keep this soulful music alive from the heartland of Odisha...

  4. so much of hidden things from my eye .. Thanks for increasing my knowledge :)

    1. Most welcome! U wanna increase Ur knowledge further then visit Bhanja Kala Mandap 2moro & day after from 6:30 pm onwards!


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