A very old percussion instrument, the Khanjira, which was once a main percussion instrument is now a secondary percussion that is played with the mridangam.


Construction: Similar to the Western Tambourine, it consists of a circular wooden frame, between 8 and 9 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 inches in depth. The playing head is created with reptile skin stretched over one side of the frame while the other side is left open. The frame has a slit which contain 3 to 4 small metal discs. These jingle when the khanjira is played.

Tuning: The instrument is not tuned to any particular pitch. Unlike the mridangam and ghatam, the same khanjira can be used for any pitch.

Posture: The khanjira is normally held in the left hand and played with the palm and fingers of the right hand. Sprinkling some water on it can reduce the tension of the playing head.   Variations in sound can be produced by putting pressure near the outer rim with the left hand.

Musical Expressions