Madhalam The madhalam or maddalam is a drum that is made put of wood of the jackfruit tree. The musical instrument has two sides for playing it. The two sides for playing the musical instrument is made out of leather and has various kind of sounds on each side. The musical instrument is a heavy instrument that is hung around the waist of the player and the player of the instrument stands all the while to play the musical drum.

The madhalam is a crucial musical instrument in the traditional Kerala percussion groups like Panchavadyam, Keli and Kathakali orchestra. The musical instrument is taken to be a DevaVadyam because it resembles Lord Shiva and Lord Parvathi by the sound it manufactures. It is believed that by structure, the musical instrument really resembles the ShivaSakthi swaroopa, in which the right hand side of the instrument resembles Shiva and the left hand side of the musical instrument resembles Parvathi. A comprehensive study on development, history, production, conservation and present day version of the musical instrument can be seen in one and only one literature on the madhalam that was done by Kalamandalam Sankara Warrier in his book "Maddalam Enna MangalaVadyam".

The name Madhalam is a corrupt form of mardhalam meaning one which receives pressure. In Sanskrit it is called Mardhalam. Bullock skin is used for making the rounds and buffalo bull skin for the strings.