Dilruba is a cross between the sitar and sarangi. It is extremely close to the esraj and the mayuri vina. It so close that most people are unable to tell them apart. The difference is to be found in the shape of the resonators and the manner in which the sympathetic strings attach. Still they are so similar that a dilruba player has no trouble playing an esraj or a mayuri vina and vice versa.
The instrument has approximately 18 strings. The approach to tuning is somewhat similar to the sitar and like the sitar almost all of the playing is performed upon only one string. There are a number of metallic frets, some of which will be moved according to the requirements of the rag. It has a series of sympathetic strings which are tuned to the notes of the rag.
The dilruba is popular in north-west India. It is found in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.