Uniting Arts through Hearts


What is the Ghatam?

The ghatam is an ancient percussion instrument in used Carnatic classical music. The ghatam consists of a clay pot reinforced with brass, copper and iron fillings.

The pitch of the ghatam is unique and can only be slightly modified by water and additional clay. It is played with the hands and fingers and can produce a large variety of sounds right from the neck to the body of the ghatam. The mouth of the ghatam usually faces the player.

The ghatam is used in conjunction with the mridangam in Carnatic music. Instruments similar to the ghatam include the gharha of Punjab and the matka of Gujarat.

Did you know…

Some ghatam players produce a unique sound by tossing the ghatam up in the air and catching it on its way down. This is also hugely entertaining to the audience. The ghatam is often played without any garments on the upper body so as to not dampen the resonance of the instrument by putting it in contact with cloth.

Where it’s from

South India

Listen to the Ghatam

Performer Name Bangalore R. Prathap
Musical Tradition South, carnatic

In concert: Ghatam

Find out about another instrument

Milap > Learn > Instruments India > Ghatam

Join the Milap newsletter and get the latest news and articles straight to your inbox

* indicates required

Stay up-to-date with our newsletter!