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Various Brands

Delhi Musical Stores (in short DMS) is quite a big harmonium manufacturer and instrument dealer in Delhi. The business was founded in 1970 and has been run in second generation by Inderpal Singh (alias Inni) since the 1990s. Inni Singh is an accomplished singer and tabla player himself. Additionally, he plays sitar and harmonium and runs a digital recording studio. Against this background he connects within DMS ancient craft tradition with modern quality management and technical innovations. DMS has been a partner of India Instruments since 2012.

HEMEN - Sarods, Sitars, Tanpuras
From Ali Akbar Khan to Amjad Ali Khan, Hemen & Co. was the first choice for top quality sarods. Apart from sarods, all sorts of other string instruments were manufactured as well. Especially their big tanpuras were of an excellent quality. Hemen & Co. has been the official supplier of the renowned Ali Akbar Colleges of Music in San Rafael / California and Basle / Switzerland for many years because of their absolute reliability, austere classical design and a high professional standard. Hemen Chandra Sen started the business in 1946 in Calcutta, running it until his death in 2010. Together with Ali Akbar Khan and his father Allauddin Khan, Hemen gave significant impetus to develop the sarod in modern Mahair style. In the course of decades, Hemen achieved an excellent worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of sarods of unique sonority and sustain and with an austere classical design. Virtually all good current sarod manufacturers have - directly or indirectly - learned from Hemen. In 2003, former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee awarded the Hafiz Ali Khan Price to Hemen for his achievements. After Hemen’s death, his two sons Ratan and Tapan took over the business. Since then their qualitystandard has unfortunately subsided rapidly. India Instruments has therefore stopped offering new Hemen & Co. instruments since 2015.

HIREN ROY & SONS - Sitars, Surbahars, Tanpuras

Hiren Roy & Sons has been founded in 1942 in Calcutta and is, apart from Rikhi Ram in Delhi, the leading sitar manufacturer since the 1960s. The unique combination of unequalled sound, meticulous craftsmanship, constantly high quality and elegant design makes Hiren Roy sitars unmatched - and the choice of legendary masters like Nikhil Banerjee or Vilayat Khan. Hiren Roy is a small, highly specialised  family business with limited capacities and makes not only sitars, but also highly esteemed surbahars and tanpuras. After the death of founder Hiren Roy, the company was led by his eldest son Himangshu from 1992 - 1997. After Himangshu's premature death, Hiren Roy's youngest son Barun continued the tradition successfully in 2nd generation. The original shop at Rashbehari Avenue was closed in 2007 due to demolition of the building. Since then Barun Roy has continued to work in his private premises and in 2008 he introduced the label "Barun Ray - Hiren Roy's Son" for his instruments. He has reduced the number of instruments built each year and has concentrated entirely on the highest quality sitars and surbahars. For private and new customers it had become much more difficult to get Hiren Roy instruments directly. However, the close cooperation with India Instruments established since 1995 continued unchanged. In 2019 Barun Roy has largely retired and no longer supplies dealers. He has not trained a successor, but his sound philosophy is carried on by Suman Karmakar's workshop P. Brothers, among others.

N.MONDAL - Bowed Instruments
In the historic city centre of Calcutta, near Lal Bazar, several traditional instrument businesses can be found. One of them is N. Mondal. India Instruments occasionally buys esrajs and dilrubas there. The quality of workmanship is rather simple, however, as an inexpensive alternative to the fine pieces of Monoj Kumar Sardar these instruments are definitely interesting for beginners.

NASKAR  & CO - String Instruments
Kishori Mohan Naskar (1923-1988) is ranked among the finest makers of Indian string instruments (sitar, sarod, surbahar, tanpura) of his generation. He moved to Bhowanipore (Calcutta) at the age of 15 to learn the art of sitar making. There, he took a job in the instrument shop of Makhanlal & Sons, where he stayed until opening his own business in 1941. The shop is now (2015) run by his son, Arabinda Roy (Naskar) who was groomed by his father to carry on the family tradition. Like his father, Arabinda is a musician as well as an instrument maker and, like his father, continues to produce excellent instruments with a focus on playability and beauty of sound. Arabinda’s son Krishnendu Roy represents the next generation continuing this illustrious family tradition.

Oriental Musikkraft was founded in a suburb of Calcutta by Dulal Chandra Kanji, a former assistant of Hemen & Co. Dulal specialized in fine sarods in Hemen's style. Generally, his instruments do not quite achieve the high standards of Hemen. They are more economical though and are perfectly convincing for advanced requirements. Dulal’s son Naba Kumar Kanji is running the business today. Since the turn of the millennium, he is putting much effort in further improving his quality standards by co-operating with professional musicians. Sarods made by Oriental Musikraft are played e.g. by Buddhadev Dasgupta.

PAUL & CO. - Harmoniums
Paul & Co used to be one of the best harmonium makers in India. Great care for detail, smoothly working mechanisms and a particularly well balanced sound had made Paul the absolute market leader in terms of quality. India Instrumemnts used to sell Paul harmoniums successfully for many years. However, we have stopped dealing in them in 2005 because of ongoing quality problems.

RADHA KRISHNA SHARMA - String Intruments
Radha Krishna Sharma is quite a renowned larger family business with branches in Calcutta and Varanasi, which was founded in 1948. Until the 1970s, Radha Krishna Sharma made carefully crafted string instruments for higher demands with a particularly fine high-gloss finish. After the founder’s death, the company changed to larger quantities and a lower standards. Due to ongoing quality problems, we stopped selling Radha Krishna Sharma instruments around the turn of the millennium.

RIKHI RAM - Sitars, Tanpuras, String Intruments
Rikhi Ram at the Connaught Place in New Delhi is one of the leading sitar manufacturers and simultaneously one of the most innovative musical instrument workshops in India. The business was founded in the 1920s and is presently run in the third generation. The secret of Rikhi Ram's success is the intense musical training of their owners and the close co-operation with numerous leading musicians, the feedback and preferences of whom help to constantly develop instrument construction further. Sitars made by Rikhi Ram are today top instruments appreciated around the globe. Detailed information on history and range of products is provided on the company website at We do not carry sitars made by Rikhi Ram regularly because they are rather expensive. Moreover, we prefer the sound characteristics of Hiren Roy sitars as far as top class sitars are concerned.

SUR-O-JHANKAR - male Tanpuras
Sur-O-Jhankar is a traditional, little known small tanpura maker from Calcutta with whom India Instruments got into contact only in the year 2000 via a student of Pandit Jasraj. His male tanpuras are exceptionally big and have an especially full, dark and earthy sound. Their plainly decorated, relatively dark appearance has a very traditional and slightly archaic look compared to instruments in a more modern design.