Nadaswaram

Nadaswaram Player: Sheikh Chinna Moulana
Sheik Chinna Moulana: A Nadaswaram Player/Image: Wikimedia
Nadaswaram is a double-reed wind instrument from South India. It is similar to the North Indian Shehnai, but much longer. It is considered very auspicious and only played during Hindu temple or wedding rituals. However, now one can see nadaswaram being played in folk dance dramas. The instrument is the part of a group called Mangla Vadyam and played in tandem with a pair of drums known as Thavil. It is known as nadhaswaram, nagaswaram, nakaswaram or nathaswaram, depending upon the area. It is referred to as Vangiyam in ancient Tamil text, Silappatikaram.

According to the popular myths, the instrument was gifted by Lord Shiva to a demon, Nagasuran. Furthermore, it resembles the shape of a snake. It is generally made up of wood, but now it is available in other materials.

Some of the well known Nadaswaram players are TN Rajarathinam Pillai, Thiruvizha Jayashankar, Haripad Murukadas, Namagiripettai Krishnan and Sheik Chinna Moulana.