There are very few among us who doesn’t like music. Soothing to the ears, refreshing your
senses, classical music continues to enchant us from times immemorial. Several musical
instruments like Veena, Tabla, Tambura, Violin etc., have a long, cherished association with our
culture. While playing music is a great skill, creating musical instruments is no less complex.
It is not an activity which can be taken up by anyone. It is a form of penance and exquisite skill, owned by only a fortunate few. One such town known for its patronage of musical instruments, especially Bobbili Veena is Bobbili region in Andhra Pradesh. Bobbili Veena, in particular enjoys the status of a royal instrument. It was patronized by the kings of Bobbili, who were considered connoisseurs of music. They encouraged the creation of the famous Bobbili Veena. Made from pure jackfruit wood, a full-sized Bobbili Veena, also known as ‘Saraswati Veena’ is different from the ones which are made by craftsmen in Thanjavur, Mysore and other places in India. The frets of the Veena’s are made of bell metal featuring a lion’s head carved at one end. Bobbili Veenas are also called as ‘ekanda veena’ since these are made from a single piece of wood.
According to Sarvasidhi Achutanarayana, the descendent of Achanna who created the Bobbili Veena, these instruments are gifted as mementos and memorabilia, to encourage people in buying them and promote the legacy of these masterpieces More than twenty-five families of the Sarvasidhi family in Gollapalli village near Bobbili in Andhra Pradesh, are considered as the sole manufacturers of this instrument apart from a dozen other families of the same clan who have set up units in other places of India. The wood crafting tradition of Bobbili attained GI status in the year 2012. Attractive and elegant Tamburas, violins, Tablas are made by these artisans, featuring unique designs and innovative carvings. These are not only bought for their utility value in the world of music, but they adorn music galleries and living rooms as great ornamental pieces of display!