S.R.I. Mridangam Karunya


Synthetic skins, a fibreglass body and a sophisticated stainless steel tuning mechanism make the vegan S.R.I. Mridangam Karunya extremely sturdy, durable and easy to tune. Soundwise it equals professional traditional mridangams.


EU: 495 € (incl. bag)
incl. VAT, plus 16.10 € shipping within Germany / 31.10 € within Europe
Non-EU: 415.96 € (incl. bag)
plus 31.10 € shipping within Europe / overseas on request

Traditional mridangam heads are made of animal skins and react strongly even to slight changes in temperature and humidity. Therefore they must be tuned continuously. In addition, the skins wear out while playing and have to be changed again and again. Besides, the killing of animals for the production of the skins may bother vegans and vegetarians. All these problems are solved by the S.R.I. (Synthetic Indian Rhythm) Mridangam from Karunya, which is completely made of synthetics and has a stainless steel tuning mechanism.

The S.R.I. Mridangam has a powerful sound with a characteristic metallic buzz, just like a professional traditional mridangam. The synthetic skins are water-repellent and can be wiped with a wet cloth for cleaning. The sophisticated high quality clamping mechanism is easy to use and allows for a very accurate and durable tuning. If a skin is damaged or worn out after many years of playing, it can be replaced quickly and easily. Several classical South Indian professional drummers play S.R.I. Mridangams in concerts nowadays.

VEGAN - without parts of animal bodies or substances produced by animals

Sound sample S.R.I. Mridangam Karunya in c# with tanpura accompaniment.


- fibreglass Body
- 3-layered synthetic skins with chemically bonded elastomer loading
- water-repellent
- bass skin with loading on the inside
- stainless steel clamping mechanisms with 16 holding points for each Skin
- cover for clamping mechanism to protect hands during playing
- removable and therefore easily exchangeable Skins
- including tuning key, bag & cloth cover

General Info

The barrel drum mridangam is the most important drum of classical South Indian (Carnatic) music. Its sophisticated fingering technique makes it possible to play fascinating complex rhythms. It is part of almost every classical Carnatic ensemble, be it in the accompaniment of singers or instrumentalists, in dance accompaniment or as a leading instrument together with ghatam, kanjira and morsing in percussion groups. Construction and playing technique are similar to the North Indian pakhawaj.

The term mridangam is derived from the sanskrit words "mrid" for "earth" or "clay" and "ang" for "body". The body of the mridangams was apparently made originally from dried or burnt clay. Today mridangams are exclusively carved from wood. This may lead to confusion because sometimes the Bengal drum khol with its traditional clay body is called mridangam, especially by Krishna worshippers. Due to the various transcription systems of the different South Indian scriptures there are a number of alternative spellings - mridanga, mrudangam, mrdangam, mrithangam, miruthangam, and mirudhangam, all mean the same instrument.

The mridangam already appeared in myths, sculptures and paintings of the Indian antiquity. It is connected to the elephant-headed god Ganesha and is said to have been also played by Nandi, the mythological mount of the great god Shiva on the opportunity of his dance during the creation and destruction of the world. From the orginal simple clay drum progressed in the course of centuries an elaborate fully differentiated classical musical insrument. Particularly in the beginning of the 20th century, the mridangam performance experienced a flourishing previously unknown, thanks to a generation of outstanding musicians. The two current main styles, the Puddukottai and the Thanjavur school, date back to this time.

Manufacturer / Supplier

Dr. K. Varadarangan, physicist, engineer and classical South Indian musician, has been developing the S.R.I. Karunya percussion instruments since 2010 in many years of research alongside his regular work as an expert for wireless communication systems. He wanted to avoid the killing of animals for the production of drumheads and the cutting down of trees for the manufacturing of drum shells. In addition, a standardised production was important to him to ensure a consistently high uniform quality, which is not achieved in traditional Indian instrument making from natural materials. When Dr. K. Varadarangan was ready for series production, he founded the company Karunya Musicals in Bengaluru for the production and distribution of his instruments. Karunya Musicals is a partner of India Instruments since 2019.


Tuning range of the S.R.I. Mridangam Karunya is between c and e. Tuning accuracy at +/- 1 Hertz.


length 61 cm, diameter 27.5 cm, skin diameter treble 17 cm, skin diameter bass 19.3 cm, weight 5 kg