Nagara is a war drum, used in the olden days to announce the arrival of royal persons or the marching of the army towards the battlefield. This drum is usually used in pairs.

It is a large sized one-sided drum. The body, constructed from metal, has an open end on the top. A sheet of animal hide is stretched tightly over this open end and bonded with leather strips. The diameter of the head ranges from 38 cm to 120 cm. The drumsticks are called dagga or danka. A long leather strip is wound around the tip of these sticks. The Nagara and its drumsticks may be decorated with pompoms or tassels.

The Nagara can be tuned by the tightening its hide by heat, or loosening the hide by applying a wet cloth over it. A tight hide produces a loud sharp sound, while a loose one gives a heavy and dim note.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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