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Kerala tourism Guide



Panchavadyam is played using percussion instruments like thimila, maddalam, ilathalam, edakka and Kombu which is a wind instrument. It is played based on 7 beat thripuda thaalam and 8 beat chempata thaalam pattern till the last part. It starts with pendulum beat which halves itself at each stage. Even though Panchavadyam is still a temple art, it is also performed during non-religious occasions like cultural pageantries.

History of Panchavadyam

Panchavadyam is a classical temple art performed with five instruments now considered as traditional orchestra of Kerala. Panchavadyam is played in a pyramid type rhythm structure in which the tempo is constantly increased combined with a proportional decrease in the number of beats in cycles. The uniqueness of this marvelous traditional orchestra can be enjoyed during temple festivals especially during in Thrissur Pooram and Arattupuzha Pooram in Kerala.

How to perform

Panchavadyam is led by the person who plays the timila who stands in the centre. Behind him stand ilathalam artists in a line and opposite to them stands maddalam players in a row and behind them stand the Kompu artists. The idakka players stand on two side of the troupe. A full-fledged Panchavadyam troupe consists of 60 performers.

Famous artists from kerala

  • Thiruvillwamala Venkateswara Iyer
  • Annamanada Achutha Marar
  • Chengamanad Sekhara Kurup
  • Pattirath Sankara Marar

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