Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Chengila, an idophonic instrument, is used for temple rituals and kathakali music. The sound emanating from it is considered so holy that its music is used for temple rituals and poojas to create an atmosphere of serenity.

Chengila is usually used for keeping time in an ensemble. It has a circular disc made of bell metal and is thick in the middle and struck with a wooden stick. A hole is provided on the upper part of the disc. The instrument is held by loops passing through the hole. The size of the chengila is six inches to nine inches diameter.

Chengila is used for seeveli, sreebhootabali, dhara, kalasapooja, abhishekam, kottipattu seva etc. The Guruvayur Temple has a custom of just playing the chengila. In Kathakali, a big chengila is used. Chengila is also used in guruti pooja, kalamezhuthu pattu, theeyattu, mudiyattu etc.

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