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Gandharva Loka's History
Gandharva Loka was founded in 1989 and has its roots in Europe with stores in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The name Gandharva Loka originates from the Sanskrit language and means The Abode of the Celestial Musicians. The name was given to the enterprise by Sri Chinmoy who inspired the creation of Gandharva Loka. The simple philosophy behind Gandharva Loka is to inspire people to try new musical instruments, discover new cultures and to learn a bit more about themselves. Gandharva Loka stores carry an extraordinary variety of musical instruments and also offer unique music workshops and concerts.
The first and foremost aim of Gandharva Loka is to be a source of inspiration to music lovers and to help our customers discover and manifest their creativity. We strongly believe that inside every human being there is a musician waiting to blossom. We also see and feel that music has a vital role to play in bringing about a more harmonious and peaceful world.
Music is a universal language. It is through music that the universal feeling of oneness can be achieved in the twinkling of an eye. – Sri Chinmoy
Gandharva Loka in Christchurch, New Zealand
Gandharva Loka in Christchurch is the first Gandharva Loka world music store outside Europe. Since our opening day on the 7th of March 2008, we have been providing a huge range of top quality hard-to-find musical instruments from around the world and have become known as a music lover's paradise! We have also attended a number of music conferences and festivals including WOMAD in New Plymouth.
Our original Gandharva Loka store was at 597 Colombo Street in the central business district of Christchurch, but that location was destroyed during the February 2011 earthquake. Like many businesses in post-earthquake Christchurch, Gandharva Loka was homeless for a few months until we were invited to set up shop in company with The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant, tea house and health food store. Our new location is at 363 St Asaph Street – barely a kilometre from our original address. We re-opened for business on the 6th of December 2011.
Gandharva Loka, the world music store, offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of sound and is a unique addition to Christchurch. – magazine article 2009.
Gandharva Loka stocks musical instruments from all parts of the world including India, China, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Ireland and South America – to name a few. From Africa we have a great range of djembes, djun-djuns, balafons and hand percussion instruments. From the Middle East we have the darbukas, bendirs and the oud. From the continent of South America we offer the cajon, pan flutes and the pandeiro. From the diverse sub continent of India we offer the sitar, tanpura and the tabla, and from the vast land of China, the guzheng, erhu and chao gong. From the snows of Tibet, singing bowls, and from the four green fields of Ireland, the Irish flute and the bodhran.
Gandharva Loka is committed to offering great musical instruments at the best price we can. In many countries instrument making is an art-form which has been handed down through generations and we see and feel the importance of helping to keep these traditions alive. We have great relationships with many of these artisans and always pay a fair price for the instruments we purchase.
All of these wonderful world instruments and many more can be found on the shelves at Gandharva Loka along with a selection of musical novelty gift items for children. We also offer a comprehensive worldwide ordering service and can help to locate those hard-to-find musical instruments that you have been searching for. If you are unable to visit our store we are happy to send instruments anywhere in New Zealand or around the world. Kindly contact us with your enquiry and we will do our best to help you obtain the instrument you are looking for. For out-of-store sales we accept payment by bank deposit or credit card.
Award winning radio correspondent Katy Gosset interviewed Gandharva Loka manager Vajin Armstrong for her A Christchurch Story feature on Radio New Zealand. The interview went to air on the 17th of September in 2009.