Pungi (Snake Charmer, Been, Shapure Bansi)

The pungi is a simple folk instrument traditionally played by snake charmers. It is made of a small gourd with a blowing hole at the top and two attached pipes at the bottom. Its sharp, penetrating sound is produced by reeds for each pipe inside the gourd.

EU: 69 €
incl. VAT, plus 13.10 € shipping within Germany / 23.10 € within Europe
Non-EU: 57,98 €
plus 23.10 € shipping within Europe / overseas on request

The gourd functions as air-chamber for the reeds - the same principle is used in bagpipes. However, the gourd being rigid and relatively small, constant blowing with high pressure is required in order to produce the proper sound. Good intonation depends upon just the right air pressure and requires a certain practice. Continous playing with circular breathing is also possible with some practice. The pungi is thus a very exciting, expressive solo instrument, but tricky to use together with other melody or harmony instruments.


Two pipes (Jivala) made of bamboo, one melody pipe with seven fingerholes with a range of approximately one octave, one drone pipe with only one fingerhole for raising the note by a second, air-chamber made of gourd, single reeds.

General Info

Snake charmers have their grand entrance at the annual Hindu festival Naga Panchami, which is celebrated almost across the country on the occasion of the victory of Krishna over the giant serpent Kaliya. Snakes are a symbol of vitality and growth. In the temples, milk and rice is sacrificed in front of images of the cosmic serpent Vasuki.

Manufacturer / Supplier

Our pungis are supplied by our partner Paloma from Mumbai. He buys them from regional craftsmen there.

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.


Measure: length 41 cm, diameter of gourd 10 cm
Each instrument is individually hand-crafted and might differ from our description.