Crafting at Brhaddhvani

The beginning…

It all started in the years 1918 to 2003, with M. Palaniappan- a master craftsman who hailed from Thanjavur and learnt the art of Veenai making from a very young age. He spent most of his years in Lalgudi and at Trichy with the famous Ramji & Co. who were pioneers in marketing of these instruments created by Palaniappan for almost 25 years.

The Generation next…

Today, this craft is being kept alive by this family, by the second and third generation artisans. Natrajan, son of M. Palaniappan. He learnt the art from his father from the age of 10.


As a means to revive the dying art and to help these talented craftsmen survive, Brhaddhvani invited this family to Chennai and created a workstation for them to work. Natrajan and team has created more than 3000 Tamburas, and above 1500 Veenais. He has made more than 60 Portable Veenais.

Articles about Violin – Repairing Workshop that Natrajan attended:


Constant improvements and workshops:

  • Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian has consistently worked with (late) M. Palaniappan and continues to work with his son Natrajan. Under his guidance the craftsmen have brought improvements on the Veenai.
  • Dr. Srikumar Subramanian had brought a software called ‘Pitchwork’ to perfectly fret the Veenai in just intonation.
  • Vidhya Chandramouli, the Veenai player in Karaikudi Tradition and daughter of Rajeswari Padmanabhan brought students from U. S. A to learn Veenai crafting. Children of age group 10-15 years learnt Veenai-crafting.
  • Divyanand Caird, disciple of Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian when 16 years old, had crafted a Veenai with the help of craftsmen.This was named Brhad Veena.  It was crafted to suit his height and posture. This can be said to be the largest playable Veenai till date. It measures a length of  6 ft., and 1 inch and a height of 15 inches.
  • Honor for the hands that made: Craftsmen were honored during the Vina festival held by Brhaddhvani at various occassions.

Innovations and improvements on the acoustic Veenai continue to be made with the Veenai cratfsmen at Brhaddhvani, with help of technology.

craftsman Workshop for vina fretting using computer for craftsmen-1 001  4


Veenai and Tamburas of various kinds , sizes and materials are custom made at reasonable rates (conditions apply). Further enquiries will be answered at 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s