Pakhawaj. The pakhawaj is an Indian barrel-shaped, two-headed drum, a variant and descendant of the mridang. It is the standard percussion instrument in the dhrupad style and is widely used as an accompaniment for various forms of music and dance performances. The pakhawaj has a low, mellow tone, very rich in harmonics. Set horizontally on a cushion in front of the drummer's crossed leg, the larger bass-skin is played with the left hand, the treble skin by the right hand.