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A South Indian ghanta with Lord Nandi depicted on the handle.

A ghanta is an Indian bell used in Hindu rituals. The same term is also used to describe Buddhist bells.


The bell is generally made out of brass. A clapper is attached to the inside and the bell makes a high pitched sound when rung. The top of the bell handle is usually adorned with a brass figure - bells intended for use in the worship of Lord Shiva will have a figure of Lord Nandi, while those used in the worship of Lord Vishnu or his avatars as Rama, Narasimha or Krishna will have a figure of Garuda or Panchajanya shanka or Sudarshana Chakra.


Because the ghanta is believed to chase away asuras and summon the Devas (Gods), it is used in a lot of Hindu rituals such as puja. Generally the ghanta is held in the left hand during worship and rung continually while the various items are offered with the right hand. A second person may ring the ghanta if both hands are needed for the offering. It creates a sound of celebration, A bell hangs at the gate of many Hindu temples, which is rung at the moment one enters the temple.[citation needed]