This is a barrel shaped drum instrument of South India. It is covered with parchment on both sides, these are joined with a long rope across the drum. A strap is attached to the drum which the player places around his neck to hold the drum up.
This instrument is played while standing and walking. The chenda is played with two slender wooden sticks on the top end of the drum. It is very much used in Kathakali dance music in the Karnataka state of India, to introduce the dance and to produce varied rhythmic effects from the gentle sound of rain to the roar of thunder. The sound of the chenda is ear-splitting and harsh and penetrates over long distances.
The chenda is not used in classical music but is very popular.