The Kendara is a wooden string instrument. The kendara has one string and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its string.[1] They are mostly played traditionally by jogis, people who would go from door to door with a dried gourd container to keep rice, and a kendara to play while singing, and accept food as alms.[2] They are rarely used in genres of folk including country music. The folk genre of music played in a kendara is known as kendara gita.[3][4][5][6] The instrument rose to popularity during 12th century when Sanskrit was made the official language of the then Utkala Kingdom but the common people did not understand, but the jogis were performing folk songs.[7] Kendara is often tied to Natha, a particular sect of the jogis that play the most popular variation of kendara. The other variation is known as "majhi kendara" and is played by the Santhal people in Odisha.[8][9]

Sn old Kendara in display at Odisha State Museum, Bhubaneswar.
String instrument
Other namesKendera
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.322-71
(Composite chordophone sounded by a bow)
Related instruments


  1. Bruno Nettl; James Porter; Timothy Rice (1998). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia : the Indian subcontinent. Taylor & Francis. pp. 983–. ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1.
  2. Mohan Behera; Tribal and Harijan Research-cum-Training Institute (Bhubaneswar, India) (1991). The Jayantira Pano: a scheduled caste community of Orissa. Tribal and Harijan Research-cum-Training Institute.
  3. Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi; Ahalya Hejmadi Patnaik (1 January 2007). Odissi, an Indian classical dance form. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-324-5.
  4. Jyoshnarani Behera (1997). Political Socialization of Women: A Study of Teenager Girls. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 82–. ISBN 978-81-85495-21-7.
  5. Orissa (India). Orissa District Gazetteers: Sambalpur. Superintendent, Orissa Government Press.
  6. Praharaj, Gopal Chandra (1931). Purnachandra Ordiya Bhashakosha. Vuttack: Utkal Sahitya Press. ଭିକମଗା ଉତ୍କଳୀଯ ୟୋଗୀଙ୍କ ବୀଣା—1. A one-stringed fiddle (horse-hair-stringed instrument) used by J̄ogī-beggars of Orissa.
  7. B. B. Jena (1980). Orissa, people, culture, and polity. Kalyani Publishers.
  8. Folk Culture: Folk music & dance. Institute of Oriental and Orissan Studies. 1983.
  9. Indu Bhusan Kar; Durga Charan Panda (1997). Art Heritage of Orissa. Advanced Centre for Indological Studies.
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