The mridangam is a wooden double-headed percussion instrument, used in carnatic music and is also called the “King of Percussion”. The word “Mridangam” is a union of the two Sanskrit words mŗda (clay or earth) and anga (body), as early Mridangam were made of hardened clay.. In ancient Hindu sculpture, painting, and mythology, the mridangam is often depicted as the instrument of choice for a number of deities including Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) and Nandi, who is the vehicle and follower of Shiva. Nandi is said to have played the mridangam during Shiva’s primordial tandava dance, causing a divine rhythm to resound across the heavens. The mridangam is thus also known as “Deva Vaadhyam,” or “Divine Instrument”. Over the years, the mridangam evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability, and today, its body is constructed from wood of the jackfruit tree.

Bombay Balaji, is one of those Mridangists, who has been blessed to train under outstanding gurus, who have made a significant impact in the music world. Over the years, owing to his consistent and uncompromising performances, he has gained the recognition of rasikaas, world over. Some of his trademarks are versatility, dexterous fingering, perfect rhythmic variations and a deep sense of music both while accompaniment and solo performances

In keeping with our gurukula system of teaching, Balaji would like to continue the lineage and impart training to students. In this endeavour, in addition to talking one on one classes, steps would be taken to introduce the online tutorial methodology as well, facilitating students outside Chennai. Keep a watch on this website for more information on the same soon.


  • What do we say about a person who sat before Palghat Mani Iyer even as a child drawing lessons, carried on under Palghat Raghu and packed all those experience in learning and performing to effortlessly catch up with the generation next? Just one word- blessed. Blessed this way, Bombay Balaji also exhibits extra ordinary capacity to quickly absorb lessons from personal experiences without hinging on the past. No wonder he endears himself to people around him, even in a place like Muscat, a virtual non-hub for carnatic music. May his growth never relent.

    N Vijay Siva
  • Mr R K Ramanathan
    My Friend Balaji, Popularly known as "Bombay Balaji "  is a very fine Gentleman & a Good friendly person.  He is a very good "Mirudangam " Player. It is a vocalist's delight to have him as a support, since he himself is a good Rasika  & can also sing well.
    Mr R K Ramanathan
    son of the legendary Ramnad Krishnan
  • Ms. Padma Raghunathan
    Balaji is known to me in the last 10 years, <b>and I have heard him play the Mridangam with several eminent artists here in Muscat &amp; Chennai</b>. <b>His motivation to relocate himself and the family to India, has been driven by his sheer passion for music</b>. I wish him the very best in the pursuit of his strong interest which has been cultivated since <b>his</b> tender age of 5.
    Ms. Padma Raghunathan
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
  • I have known Bombay Balaji as a very promising Mridangam player, learning from my illustrious grandfather Sri Palghat Mani Iyer. I remember very distinctly the prowess he showed even in his very early tender years. He is one of the very few percussionist who has an excellent ear for music and is a vocalist himself. I wish him all success in all his future endeavors.
    Gayathri Sundara Raman
    Grand daughter of Smt D K Pattammal