Mridangam is an important percussion instrument in the Carnatic music genre. It has a unique ability to devise the rhythmic structure with perfection. The diversity and continuity of sound give Mridangam a special place among other percussion instruments. It is used as an accompanying instrument for Carnatic vocal concerts, Ottan Thullal, Bhajan, Harikatha and various dance forms. Mridangam is also used as an accompaniment for temple rituals. Mridangam can be used for grand solo performances. Mridangam solos are staged during music concerts.
The mridangam is made of the wood of teak or jackfruit tree and is two feet long. The two sides of the trunk are wrapped with specially treated skins.
Kerala has a long list of Mridangam experts. Palghat Mani Iyer, the greatest-ever Mridangam player, was a Keralite.