Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Panchari has a place of pride in the chendamelams (traditional orchestra) of Kerala. If one can grasp the intricacies of Panchari then all other melas (except pandi) can be learnt easily. But what makes panchari different is that only one hand is used. (Thayambaka also has such a characteristic feature). In some places, there is a practice of having sticks / twigs in both hands, and panchari is played. But this is rare. This is found mostly in the northern region.

In Panchari, chemada tala’s complete or partial form is played in five kalas. Each kala (time sequence) has a particular stage. And, each stage has kalasham (finale). Edakalasham also has four different techniques. Every kalam has a kalasham (finale). So also, the time taken is proportionate.

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