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  • Context (IE): The Election Commission has allotted the election symbol “Man Blowing Turha” to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction led by Sharad Pawar.


  • The turha is also pronounced and written as turhi, turahi, or turturi.
  • The instrument used to be made of bullock horns before metal became common.
  • It is usually played almost exclusively by men, the majority of whom have learnt the art over generations.

Historical significance of blowing of Turha

  • In an earlier age, the ceremonial blowing of the turha heralded the arrival of kings, nobles, and other high dignitaries.
  • In Maharashtra, the turha was a popular instrument in the court of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • The tutari was played as a salute during the reign of the Adilshahi kings of Bijapur (1490-1686).
  • The blowing of the turha heralded the beginning of preparations for a significant journey or work, as well as of battle.
  • It was also blown to signal the beginning and the end of combat.

Turha in modern times

  • Today, the instrument is often used at weddings or other happy occasions, and at political rallies in Maharashtra.
  • The turha was blown as a rallying call at the farmers’ protest of 2020-21.
  • The instrument has featured on the Chhattisgarh float at the Republic Day parade and is played as a ritual musical instrument in Nepal and Sri Lanka as well.
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