Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


In Kerala’s Chendamelam (chenda ensemble) Pandimelam occupies an important position as Pancharimelam. Though the name is suggestive of Tamil, this mela has nothing to do with Tamil Nadu. The instruments used in other chenda ensembles are played here.

Starting on a subdued note subsequently it gains tempo and moves to drutha tala, together with the standing posture of the player. Only towards the end the tala’s full force is unfolded. Otherwise, it is similar to other chendamelas. But differences make Pandi stand out.

Other melas from the beginning are presented as chembadavatta perukangal. But Pandi begins with adantha. That is why the other talas are commonly referred to as chambadas. In the other melas the time-sequence ends in an orderly manner and the next time-sequence begins. But in Pandi, there is no such difference. It is always on an ascending note. Distinct from Panchari, in Pandi, the twig stick (kol) is wielded by both the hands.

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