The Panche baja' (Nepali: पञ्चे बाजा, 'five musical instruments') is a set of five traditional Nepali musical instruments that are played during holy ceremonies, especially marriages. Panche bajas are usually played by the Damai and the Gaine cates in the Hindu tradition.[1] They are played using the rhythm of folk Nepali songs.It is named as Panchje Baja because in Nepali panch ( ५ ) means 5 and the set includes five different types of instruments and baaja means musical instruments.

A set of panche baja commonly used in the hilly region of Nepal

The first part of the term is also transliterated panche, panchai, or pancai; the latter also as baaja.


The panche baja includes the jhyali (cymbals), or dholak (drums), damaha (large kettledrum), narsinga (a long, C-shaped trumpet), shehnai (a folk oboe),[2] and karnal (a wide-mouthed, straight trumpet with a bell that resembles the datura flower).[2] Other renderings give the ensemble as: shehnai, jhyali, dholki, tyamko, and damaha.[3] These are very important components of panche baja.[citation needed] Other than that, there is not a fixed rule on how many instruments panche baja should contain.


  1. ^ Hao Huang (1999). Music in the 20th century. M.E. Sharp. p. 598. ISBN 978-0-7656-8012-9. Retrieved 24 March 2012.. In Nepal, musicians belong to two untouchable castes (groups of the lowest class in India, whom members of the four main castes were once forbidden to touch), the Damai and the Gaine. The ensembles are known as panche baja
  2. ^ a b "Instruments used in Panche baja". 9 October 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  3. ^ Tanka, Khadka C. (2004). The Culture, Tourism & Nature of Nepal. Nepal: Folk Music Art Academy. ISBN 9789993388142. Panche baja comprises Sanahai, Jhyali, Tyamko, Damaha and Dholaki. Damais (a particular caste) traditionally from ancient time have used Panche baja in marriage, festivals and local fairs joyfully