Panchamukha Vadyam

Panchamukha Vadyam
Panchamukha Vadyam
Panchamukha Vadyam (or sometimes spelled as Panchamukhavadyam) is a five faced metal drum popularly used in Shiva festivities in the Southern India. It is also known by the names of Panchamukhammazhavam, Panchamukhamdi, Om-mukhavam and Kadapanjamukhi depending upon the region.

Each face (mukha) is named after the five faces of Shiva (Pañchabrahman): Sadyojatam, Isanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram and Vamadevam.

In terms of dimensions, the radius of central face is slightly bigger than other four peripheral faces. It is played by both hands and pitch is adjusted by tightening or loosening the squeeze of the skin.

One can trace the history of this instrument way back to the rise of Chola Dynasty. As mentioned earlier, it can be seen in the temples of Southern India, especialy Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

Image Credit: Chennai Museum

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