Musical instrument similar to the oboe, common in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh

A Shehnai is a South Asian music instrument which is normally played at marriages and other ceremonies, rites and rituals. The word itself is of Muslim/Turkish origin, combining 'Sheh' (or 'Shah') 'Royal' and '-Nai' or 'Ney', a type of Flute. A version of the Shehnai, the Surnai, is also played in the Northern and North-western areas of India and Pakistan, in particular at traditional Polo matches.[1]

Also referred as Nadasvaram in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is usually made of wood and it has to be blown like a flute to play it.

Ustaad Bismillah Khan is considered as the maestro of Shehnai.



  1. HW McNeil, A Journey up the Karakoram Highway, London, 1992, pp.134-135