The veena is a plucked string instrument with origins in ancient India. It’s used primarily in Carnatic classical music (South Indian) and Hindustani classical music (North Indian). The earliest veenas were referenced as far back as 15th century BC, and were similar to harps.
There are several types of veenas–some with frets and some without. Saraswati and chitra veenas used in Carnatic music are in the lute family. Rudra and vichitra veenas used in Hindustani music are technically zithers.
Depending on one’s playing technique and use of amplification devices, the instrument has a wonderful sound for both traditional and contemporary music.
More Veena Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a vainika.
Notable vainikas include Veenai Dhanammal, Veenai Gayathri, Rugmini Gopalakrishnan, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Nirmala Rajasekar, Veene Sheshanna, Veena Subbanna, Prince Rama Varma, and Tirupati Srivani Yalla.
Indian Handicraft Cotton Tapestry
Listen to the Veena
Performed by Nirmala Rajasekar
Often called a “Carnatic Ambassador,” Nirmala Rajasekar is an internationally renowned veena virtuoso. She has performed south Indian classical music throughout the world, earning many awards along the way. Nirmala also enjoys collaborative projects with other music traditions including western classical and jazz.
Best Gifts for Music Lovers
We’ve created more than 2,000 products for string instrument players and music lovers. Find a unique gift for your favorite veena player or enthusiast. Beware of inferior copycats! Our original designs are available here and in our String Kings Music Veena collection.
Find a Veena Online
Indian Handmade Plain Saraswati Veena
- Handmade in India
- Natural color, polished finish
- Veena is made from a single piece of special jack fruit wood
- Some variation in dimension, design, or color is natural
Veena Gift Ideas
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Ellora Saraswati Veena Strings – Professional Quality – Direct From Makers – Checked and Tested – Complete Set of StringsVadyam Saraswati Veena Bridge – Brass Plate on Teak Wood – Professional Quality – 7.5 x 2.5 x 5 cm (Length-Width-Height)eSplanade Musical Instruments Miniature Set in Brass – Veena, Sitar, Tabla, Harmonium – Handmade Home DecorHindu Goddess Saraswati Idol Figurine – Hand-Painted Poly Stone – Intricate Craftsmanship – Gift Boxed