The shehnai is believed to have originated in the Kashmir Valley, where people use the instrument in band-i-pather. The shehnai is thought to have been created by improving upon the pungi (a woodwind folk instrument used primarily for snake charming).
In other variants of the legend, the shehnai was named after a shehnai player called Saina; derived from sheh (breath) and nai (flute); or derived from the combination of the Persian words shah (king), and nai (reed, flute) to give the meaning "the king's flute".
Shehnai is usually played at traditional North Indian weddings and is associated with the bride leaving her parental house for her husband's house.
The Shehnai is an aerophonic instrument, a double reed conical oboe, common in North India, made out of wood, with a metal flare bell at the end.