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Traditional Dhiki in Nepal
ClassificationSimple Machine
WeightApprox. 6.8 Kg
ComponentsWood, Stone, Metal

Dhenki, Dhiki or Dhinki (Nepali: ढिकी; pronounced [ɖʱiki]) is an old style rice mill or husk lever[1] found in Nepal, Bangladesh and Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Odisha.[2][3] It is usually made of hard wood. It has a fulcrum supporting a weight. Due to the force of the weight upon the rice in the pods, the rice and the golden brown husks separate. Dhenki used to be operated by women to produce rice from paddy and grind rice to powder.


Dhenki is traditionally made of wood and some iron. Carpenters build most parts of it where a blacksmith would attach an iron ring to the tip of the lever.


The Assamese farming society uses it to retrieve rice from raw paddy grain, to make dry rice flakes, rice powder later to process it to make various delicious dry food items called pithas. Dhenki is still in use some part of rural Odisha. Dhenki is also used in parts of rural Bengal.

In popular culture[edit]

In the Satyajit Ray's Bengali movie Ashani Sanket, the actresses were seen operating dhenki for a short period of time. Odia author Fakir Mohan Senapati has mentioned of dhenki in his literary works.[4]

A woman grinding rice with Dhinki in a village in Odisha


  1. ^ Anagarika Dharmapala (2003). The Maha Bodhi. Maha-Bodhi Society.
  2. ^ Mihir K. Jena; N. Patnaik (2002). Forest tribes of Orissa: lifestyle and social conditions of selected Orissan tribes. D.K. Printworld. ISBN 978-81-246-0415-1.
  3. ^ Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society. The Society. 1923.
  4. ^ J. V. Boulton; Oḍiśā Sāhitya Ekāḍemī (1993). Phakirmohana Senapati: his life and prose-fiction. Orissa Sahitya Akademi.