Swarmandal / Surmandal Paloma

Typical of the swarmandal (or surmandal) are its shimmering cascades of sound. It is very easy to play but difficult to tune.

EU: 519 €
incl. VAT, plus 19.10 € shipping within Germany / 34.10 € within Europe
Non-EU: 436,13 €
plus 34.10 € shipping within Europe / overseas on request

A particular playing technique or posture is not required simply move your fingers gently across the strings. This makes the swarmandal a great instrument for the accompaniment of story telling and meditations and for use in many forms of meditative, improvisational music and therapeutic practice. Our swarmandal Paloma has an excellent professional quality of sound and workmanship with a range of up to five octaves.


Body made of solid wood boards, noble brown waxed surfaces, 36 strings (12 wound bass strings 1.75 to 1.20 mm in diameter and 24 steel strings 0.55 to 0.30 mm in diameter), tonal range max. d2 - d6 (i.e. five octaves), protection panel above the string holding pins, all strings with fine tuners, matt brushed silver-colored fender under the fine tuners, steel tuning pins, four plastic feet at the bottom, including tuning key and sturdy wooden box.

General Info

Traditionally swarmandals are used by classical singers in India. They tune the instrument to the particular raga and use it to create an inspiring sound space during breathing or other breaks.

Manufacturer / Supplier

PALOMA is the international brand name for instruments made by Haribhau Vishwanath from Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Haribhau Vishwanath was founded in 1925 as a small repair business and developed into one of the leading Indian harmonium manufacturers in the course of decades. In addition, Haribhau Vishwanath makes shrutiboxes, santoors, swarmandals and some drums. Haribhau Vishwanath is also an active musical instrument trader and supplies us with some rarely demanded instruments where a direct purchase from the manufacturer is not profitable. Thanks to his good infrastructure and long experience with instrument manufacturing, trading and international shipping, Haribhau currently supplies all common harmonium models and many other instruments constantly in a high quality regarding workmanship. In addition, he excels through attractive innovations, like e.g. the harmonium Compactina or a particular silk-mat finish. Haribhau Vishwanath is a partner of India Instruments since 2005. Today the company is run by Ashish Diwane.


Tuning a swarmandal requires some understanding of music or a well-developed intuitive sense of the right sound - and usually also a chromatic tuner to simplify the process. There are no set standards for the size of the instrument and the number and types of strings - and therefore no general guidelines for tuning.

Usually several notes are touched together while playing, because the strings are so close together that it would be extremely difficult to pluck isolated individual strings separately. In order to get a pleasant and harmonic sound it is therefore advisable to avoid chromatic tuning or clusters of semitones. Recommended are tunings in 7 -, 6 - or 5-note scales, that are also the basis of the Indian raga system. The approximate pitch of the highest and lowest notes is predetermined by length, material and thickness of the strings.

The standard stringing of the swarmandal Paloma allows a pitch around d2 for the lowest note. The range can be from d2 to d6, thus comprising five octaves.

A possible tuning in D Major (Indian Bilaval-That) could be like this: d2 - e2 - f # 2 - g2 - a2 - a2 - b2 - c # 3 - d3 - d3 - e3 - f # 3 - g3 - a3 - b3 - c # 4 - d4 - d4 - e4 - f # 4 - f # 4 - g4 - a4 - a4 - b4 - c # 5 - d5 - d5 - e5 - f # 5 - f # 5 - g5 - a5 - b5 - c # 6 - d6. Tonic d, third f # and fifth a are duplicated in different octaves.

A possible pentatonic tuning in d (Indian raga Bhoopali) could be like this: d2 - e2 - f # 2 - f # 2 - a2 - a2 - b2 - b2 - d3 - d3 - e3 - f # 3 - F # 3 - a3 - a3 - b3 - d4 - d4 - e4 - e4 - f # 4 - f # 4 - a4 - a4 - b4 - b4 - d5 - d5 - e5 - e5 - f # 5 - f # 5 - a5 - a5 - b5 - d6.

The range of any swarmandal depends on stringing and tuning. With thinner strings it can be extended considerably in the higher register.


Measure: length 58 cm, width 38 cm, depth 7 cm, weight: 6,7 kg
Each instrument is individually hand-crafted and might differ from our description.