Manganiar children performing with their guru at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur at World Sufi Spirit Festival in 2016.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Rajasthan, India · Sindh, Pakistan
Marwari · Sindhi · Dhatki

The Manganiar are a Muslim community found in the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan, India; mostly in the districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, and in the districts of Tharparkar and Sanghar in the bordering province of Sindh in Pakistan.

They are known for various compositions describing stories focused on humans, nature, and salvation. They, along with the Langha community, are known for their folk music. They are groups of hereditary professional musicians whose music has been supported by wealthy landlords and aristocrats for generations. Some of their ragas have originated in the Thar and are not found in north Indian classical tradition.[1][2]


Manganhar originated from the words mangan, which means "to beg", and hār which means "a garland of flowers."[1]


The Manganhars are renowned as folk musicians of the Thar desert. Their songs are passed on from generation to generation as a form of oral history of the desert. The traditional Jajman (patrons) of the Manganhar are the locally dominant Rajput and Charan communities.[3][2]


The 17-string khamaycha is a bowed instrument. Made of mango wood, its rounded resonator is covered with goat skin. Three of its strings are goat intestine while the other 14 strings are steel.[2]

The khartaal is a kind of castanet made of teak. Its name is derived from "Khar", meaning hand, and "Taal", meaning rhythm.[citation needed]

The dholak is a hand drum similar in timbre to a bongo. A dholak may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tuning. The dholak has a simple membrane and a handle on the right hand side. The left hand membrane has a special coating on the inner surface. This coating is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Abbas, Shemeem Burney (4 June 2010). The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual: Devotional Practices of Pakistan and India. University of Texas Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-0-292-78450-5.
  2. ^ a b c Kothiyal, Tanuja (2016). Nomadic narratives: a history of mobility and identity in the Great Indian Desert. Cambridge University press. p. 261. ISBN 9781107080317. The Manganiyars and Langhas are Muslim musicians and are quite different from the Bhopas of Pabuji, as they do not claim to be bards but musicians in a real sense. Using instruments like rabab, kamayacha, pyaledar sarangi, chautaro, sirimandal etc., they not only sing songs of birth, marriages and death, but are also entitled to sing in the kacheris of the patrons. It is in these assemblies that they sing ballads like Dhola-Maru, Umar-Marvi, Moomal-Rano and Sassi-Punnu. Manganiyars sing classical compositions like mota git (bada khayal) and chota git (chota khayal). Some of their ragas have originated in the Thar and are not found in north Indian classical tradition.
  3. ^ "Musafir". LA Phil. Retrieved 30 May 2022. Manghaniyars, like Langas, are sedentary Muslims whose home extends over the border into Pakistan, but their patrons are mostly Hindu Rajputs (a high caste) and Hindu Charans (a caste of poets, bards, and historians).