Ektara is one of the simplest musical instruments used in India, mainly in the north. Ektara literally means single-stringed. This instrument is usually played by a singer of hymns and it helps keep time. The device is made by stretching a string from a hollow cylindrical or gourd-shaped end onto its slender, sometimes perpendicular stalk. It was a regular instrument of wandering bards and minstrels. Singers of renown, like Mira Bai have been picturised with their Ektaras. The exponents of Baul
system of music used this device extensively.