Chenda is a cylindrical instrument widely popular in Kerala and some parts of Karnataka state of India. It is a percussion instrument and is also called Chende in Karnataka. Chenda usually accompanies Hindu religious art forms of Kerala. As mentioned above Chenda is used as accompaniment for Kathakali and Koodiyattam dances and rituals in Kerala. It is also an important part of the popular folk dance-drama of Karnataka called Yakshagana.

A Chenda is wooden drum, which is cylindrical in shape and has a length of 2 feet and a diameter of 1 foot. Both sides of Chenda are covered with skin. The drummers hang Chenda in their neck so that it remains vertical facing the upper parchment of the covered skin. The drummer strikes the upper parchment using two sticks. Chenda produces very loud sound. There are three main types of Chenda- Uruttu chenda (for playing variations), Veekku chenda (one which beats the basic rhythm) and the Acchan chenda.