One District One Product (Bobbili Veena) – Vizianagaram District

One District One Product (ODOP) Initiative and Action plan:

The ODOP initiative is aimed at manifesting the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to foster balanced regional development across all districts of the country.

The Government of India have identified Bobbili Veena as One District One Product fromVizianagaram District.

The idea is to select, brand, and promote One Product from each District of the country.

    • For enabling holistic socioeconomic growth across all regions.
    • To attract investment in the district to boost manufacturing and exports.
    • To generate employment in the district.
    • To provide ecosystem for Innovation/ use of Technology at District level to make them competitive with domestic as well as international market.

History and Significance

Bobbili Veena

The bobbili veena came into existence in the 19th century. It was the result of Vizianagaram-Bobbili rivalry! A craftsman named MusannaChinayya from Vizianagaram urged and challenged artisans of Bobbili to make veena showing their best craftsmanship. The zamindar of Bobbili RajaRavuVankata Kumar krishna Ranga Rao, who was also a musician, accepted the challenge. He asked SarvasiddhiAcchanna (of Viswa Brahmin community) to make an exceptional veena and he did so in a span of two months.

The potti veena which preceded the bobbili veena was comparatively smaller (about 42 inches long). The bobbili veena is 54 inches long, with diameter 14.5 inches and are very durable. Frets in other veenas are made of brass and not bell metal as in the case of bobbili veena.The ruler of Bobbili played the veena and even provided training for other musicians. He set up veena making workshops for training the craftsmen in this art. The Bobbili veena has superior quality of sound with a fullness in tone. The veena comes in immaculate designs and was used by music maestros at one time.

It is made from single piece of wood from jackfruit tree unlike other veena which are made by joining two pieces of wood. This is why it is also referred to as ‘ekanda veena’. The central part has a lion’s head carved at the tapering end. The veena is decorated using inlay technique. However, today, plastic is used in place of ivory and stag horn. The frets of this veena are made of bell metal.

Tools used for making Bobbili veena include axe, hand drill callipers, saw, chisels, pliers, compass, hand lathe etc. You can differentiate a bobbili veena from the one made in Thanjavur, Mysore etc.

State of Bobbili Veena Today:

There are many reasons for bobbili veena not being in great demand in the market today:

  • Lack of raw material – Good quality jackfruit wood is scarcely available today. Jackfruit wood is procured from local farmers or timber depots. Strings and colours for veena are brought from Mumbai.
  • Lack of patronage – Due to increased use of electronic musical instrument, Bobbili Veena is no longer in demand. For instance, the synthesizer can replicate the sound of nearly all musical instruments.
  • Less Supply – The modern generation is well educated and does not want to get into this trade as it is not very lucrative.
  • No Patronage – Earlier zamindars would pay craftsmen a monthly salary for making these veenas. No feudal patronage today.
  • No Quality Teachers – Less takers for the instrument due to dwindling interest to learn this difficult instrument and lack of interest to learn classical music in general.


There are about 40 families which belong to the Sarvasidhi family in Gollapalli village near Bobbili. A few other families have set shops across the country. Since there are not many takers for bobbili veena, craftsmen have started making miniature veena which takes less time and can be gifted as mementos/memorabilia.

It takes around 20 days for making a professional veena while in the same duration, a craftsman can make 10-15 miniature veenas. That is why professional veenas are made only on order today. The cost of bobbili veena is around INR 16,000.

Steps taken to Save the Traditional Art:

In 1959, the Sarvasidhi veena makers formed a co-operative society known as ‘Sharada Veena Society’. The State Government made the Craft Development Centre (CDC) in Gollapalli village. The marketing of the product is done by Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation . The Madras Telugu Academy has helped by presenting miniature veenas as mementos during various cultural events.

Fascinating Facts About Bobbili Veena:

  • Sarvasiddhiacchanna from Viswa Brahmin Community crafted the first bobbili veena in late 19th century.
  • In the year 200, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu gifted a Bobbili Veena to former U.S. President Bill Clinton when he visited Hyderabad.
  • Musicians who gave the veena international recognition include Emani Sankara Sastry and Chitti Babu.
  • Other families who make bobbili veena include members of Tirumala clan, Pedapaati clan, Alajangi clan and Bonumaddi clan. All these craftsmen belong to the Metal Smith Community.

Bobbili Veena: Emanating Everlasting Music:

Today, most of these artisans have started ‘repair work’ of damaged and old veenas which adorned the homes of the rich and also professional musicians. Even for repairing the veena, one must know the instrument in detail, its intricacies etc. Problems which need to be rectified may include disintegration of reeds (melam) and breaking of ‘kadava’ (head of the veena as a result of mishandling).The passionate artisans of Andhra Pradesh have done enough to carry on the tradition and art form for generations. With the help of the State Government and advent of booming e-commerce, their superior quality products will surely reach out to a larger audience all around the globe.

The Bobbili Veena has got the global attention as the Andhra Pradesh government has prepared its replicas as part of cultural exchange to the delegates of G-20 conference on March 28 and 29 in Visakhapatnam.

Details of the District Nodal Officer

Name:Sri.R.V.Murali Krishna

Designation:District Handlooms and Textiles Officer, Vizianagaram


Nodal Department

Department of Handlooms and Textiles,Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Dedicated team for ODOP

Designation:Development Officer (H&T), Vizianagaram


Designation:Assistant Development Officer (H&T), Vizianagaram


Action Plan:

  • Provide financial assistance through MUDRA loans.
  • Provide marketing facilities by conducting exhibitions.
  • Provide bank linkage loans to artisan self-help groups (SHGs).

List of Activities being under taken by District Administration under ODOP Initiative:

The District Administration is procuring Bobbili Veenas from the artisans every year on different festivals/occasions to present to the VVIPs and Award Winners under different competitive events.

Mentor for ODOP:

Name of the Mentor:Sri S.Rama Krishna

Designation:Manager, Craft Centre, Bobbili


Details by account holder of all transactions (Sales):

Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd., (Lepakshi) Ofc.No. 0866-2578099, Mail Id:

Credit Facility:

Credit Facility / scheme:Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

Contact Details:Any Scheduled Banks

Eligibility:18 to 65 years

Link to apply:

The details of the central level schemes relevant to ODOP initiative are available in the following website:

Institutional Support under ODOP initiative:
Name of SPOC Department Address Contact Email ID
Managing Director, APHDCL Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd., (Lepakshi) Lepakshi Building, Gandhi Nagar, Vijayawada 0866-2578099

For any further information or query, kindly contact:

Name :Sri Vishwa

Designation:Executive Director,APHDCL (Lepakshi)

Phone:+91 8978644688