Ghanti (bell)

Date: last half 19th century

Geography: North, India

Culture: Indian

Medium: Brass

Dimensions: Height: 12 in. (30.5 cm)
Diameter: 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)

Classification: Idiophone-Struck-bell-clapper

Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

Accession Number: 89.4.154


The handle of this bell consists of a finely wrought figure of Hanuman, the famous monkey general who, in Hindu mythology, led the army that helped Rama rescue his wife, Sita, from Ravana. The body of the bell is richly engraved with additional figures and floral designs. Priests use ghanti of different sizes to worship and pay homage to a god. This worship may occur in a temple or privately at home before the household shrine.