bherī

(‘that which produces fear,’ ‘a kettledrum’)

Drums and kettledrums, of various types and sizes, have been in use in India since the ancient times. They have been associated both with war and with peace.

A bherī or kettledrum is an essential part of the Hindu temple equipment. All the important festivals of the temple including the brahmotsava, start with bherī-tāḍana or beating the kettledrum. It is an invitation even to the gods in heaven to come down and attend the festival. The sound of the bherī is said to destroy the sins of all those that hear it. Even the animal from whose hide the instrument has been made, is said to attain heaven.