The Mridanga drum was the primary heart-beat of kirtan music long before the Mayapuris launched it to the forefront of the American kirtan scene with their passionate performance style and hot debut album entitled, simply, "Mridanga."
Today, many well known kirtan wallahs use the Mridanga to power their chants. It's sound is earthy, warm, bassy, and uplifting. It can be played casually, using the larger drum-head as a bass sound and the smaller drum-head as a treble sound. But it can also be played with nuance and richness, as each drum head can produce a variety of different tones, much like a pair of tabla combined into one drum. (basic Mridanga tutorial videos are available at Abhijit's youtube page)
These fiberglass-body mridanga drums are produced by Balaram Mridanga's master drum maker Ratna Bhusana, in four vibrant colors: blue, red, yellow and white. They are more durable than clay-body mridangas, and far easier to keep in tune, by using the included wrench to tighten or loosen each head as needed. After clicking "add to cart," you'll have the opportunity to specify which color you would like. (Comes with strap and tuning-wrench)
(Shipping within the US only)