What is Panchavdyam?

Panchavadyam, is an orchestra of 5 instruments, is basically a art form that has evolved in South India especially kerala. Of the 5 instruments, 4 -- maddalam, timila, idakka and ilathalam -- belongs to the percussion category while the 5th one, Kombu, is a Wind Instrument. Panchavadyam too is characterized by a pyramid, like a rhythmic structure, with a constantly increasing by tempo coupled with the proportional decreases in the number of the beats in cycles. So, in contrast to a Chendda Melam, panchavadhyam uses different instruments (Though Kompu and Ilathalam are common to both) is not related closely to any South Indian temple ritual. And most importantly, allows a lot of  personal improvisation while fill up the Rhythmic Beats on the maddalam,Timila and idakka. Panchavadyam is still largely a art, but it has came out of its precincts to seen performed also during some other occasions like cultural programmes and according to the welcome programme of V.I.P.s. Some institutions that give formal training in Panchavadyam. That institutes are Kshetra Kalapeetham in Vaikom and Kerala Kalamandalam.