Chenda Chenda is a majestic instrument widely used in Kerala. There is an ancient saying that all other 18 vadayas (instruments) come under Chenda. The loud and rigid sound of chenda makes it one of the rare instruments in this world. Chendamelam or the chenda percussion ensemble has an important place among the various percussion art forms of Kerala like Pandi, Panchari, Dhruvam, Adantha, Anjadantha, Chemba, Chembada and Tripuda. Of them, Pandi and Panchari are the most popular. Thayambaka is played on both Chenda and Mizhavu. Chenda is used in art forms like Kathakali, Keli and Melam and for temple rituals.

At some point of time in the past, Chenda was used in Panchavadyam too. Chendamelam is unavoidable in almost all festivals in the state. Today, it is also used for public campaign programmes.

Chenda is an Anavadha Vadya or Percussion Instrument. Its Sanskrit name is Dindimam. The cylindrical wooden part of the instrument is made of jackfruit tree wood and is also made using White teak wood, Cassia fistula wood and Sugar palm wood. The one carved out from the core of the jackfruit tree is considered special. The cylindrical portion is carved out of the trunk and the skins of cow and buffalo are jointly fastened at the ends. This requires expertise and the process is called "vattam maadal" in Malayalam. The left and right sides (edanthala and valanthala) of this drum produce two different sounds. The musical notes can be adjusted with the strings that hold the two sides together.