Psychedelic Rock with an Indian Influence

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for something different in your music? Check out our Psychedelic Rock with an Indian Influence. This unique genre combines the best of both worlds, giving you a sound that’s sure to stand out.


Psychedelic rock with an Indian influence first became popular in the West in the late 1960s, when bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones began incorporating elements of Indian music into their own sound. Indian musicians such as Ravi Shankar and Harihar Rao also gained popularity in the West, and their work had a significant impact on the development of psychedelic rock. Psychedelic rock with an Indian influence often features sitar and tabla, as well as other traditional Indian instruments, and is characterized by extended jams, improvisation, and a generally trippy sound.

What is Psychedelic Rock?

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called garage rock, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is distinguished by the use of electronic effects, extended improvisation, and unusual sound textures. Psychedelic rock often uses distorted guitars, feedback, and other sound effects to create a “trippy” or “acid” sound. The style is often associated with the use of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD.

Origins of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Its origins can be traced to the United States and Britain. Psychedelic rock is based on a number of genres, including blues, folk, and Eastern music.

The first psychedelic rock song is believed to be “The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix. The song was released in 1967 and reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “The Wind Cries Mary” was followed by other psychedelic classics such as “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum and “Light My Fire” by The Doors.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was due in part to the popularity of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and marijuana. Many psychedelic rock bands incorporatedIndian musicians and instrumentation into their sound. This can be heard on albums such as The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Axis: Bold as Love”.

The popularity of psychedelic rock began to decline in the late 1970s, but the genre has continued to influence other styles of music including punk rock, alternative rock, and metal.

The Beatles and Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also called psychedelic pop, is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s. Musically, it is distinguished by distorted guitars, lyrics with drug references, and extended jams. Its influences include the Beatles’ use of feedback and Indian ragas.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak in popularity during the late 1960s, when artists such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and the Grateful Dead were making some of the most innovative and influential music of their careers. The genre began to decline in popularity in the early 1970s, although some artists continued to record successful albums in the genre throughout the decade.

Psychedelic Rock in India

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged during the mid-1960s. Psychedelic rock is influenced by traditional Indian music and often incorporates elements of sitar and tabla. The genre is characterized by distorted guitars, particularly feedback, extended solos, and unusual sound effects.

Psychedelic rock developed in India in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a result of the country’s unique musical heritage. India has long been a melting pot of diverse cultures and religions, which has resulted in a wide variety of musical styles. Indian music has always been an important influence on Western popular music, dating back to the 19th century. With the rise of Westernization in India during the 20th century, Indian music began to influence Western popular music more directly.

The first viable Indian psychedelic rock band was possibly Graharam Das’s group The Human Beast, which formed in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1967. The band mixed traditional Indian instrumentation with Western psychedelic rock influences. Other important early psychedelic rock bands from India include SparshaRekha, who formed in Pune in 1968, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, who formed in New Delhi in 1971. These bands paved the way for later Indian psychedelic rock groups such as happy ones and Junoon.

Raga Rock

Raga rock is a subgenre of psychedelic rock that combines elements of Indian classical music with Western rock. The result is a sound that is both familiar and exotic, often featuring sitars, tablas, and other traditional Indian instruments alongside electric guitars, bass, and drums. While raga rock was popularized in the West by bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1960s, it has its roots in the work of pioneers like George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. In recent years, raga rock has seen something of a resurgence thanks to modern bands like Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and Shame.

sitar in Psychedelic Rock

The sitar has been used in a number of Psychedelic Rock recordings throughout the years. The most notable use of the sitar in this genre was by George Harrison of The Beatles on the band’s landmark 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Harrison was exposed to the instrument while the band was in India studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since then, the sitar has been used sporadically in Psychedelic Rock, usually to give the music an exotic flare.

India Psychedelic Rock Today

In the 21st century, the Indian psychedelic rock scene is a vibrant and growing community of musicians influenced by both Indian classical music and Western psychedelic rock.

Indian psychedelic rock groups often incorporate elements of traditional Indian music, such as sitar and tabla, into their sound. They may also use electronic instruments and effects to create a more psychedelic sound. Many of these bands are based in India, but there is also a growing number of Indian psychedelic rock bands based in the United States and Europe.

Some of the most popular Indian psychedelic rock bands include The Raghu Dixit Project, sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar, and tabla player Karsh Kale. These artists often fuse traditional Indian music with Western pop, rock, and jazz to create a unique and exciting sound.


In conclusion, Psychedelic Rock with an Indian Influence is a truly unique and interesting genre of music that is definitely worth checking out. If you enjoy Rock music with a twist, then this is the perfect sound for you. With its combination of East and West, Psychedelic Rock with an Indian Influence is sure to please any music lover.

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