Tamil Isai Sangam was founded in May 1943, with Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar as the president and R.K. Shanmugam Chettiar as the vice-president. Annamalai Chettiar’s three sons — Muthiah Chettiar, Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar and Chidambaram Chettiar — were also involved with the Sangam. Many are the milestones in the history of the Sangam, the latest being the inauguration of Tol Isai Kalanjiyam — a museum of musical instruments at the Raja Annamalai Manram premises in Chennai.
The museum has rare instruments including nagara, Panchamukha vadyam, an antique sruti box, kolyazh — a yazh shaped like a boat — and mayil naga veenai — which has a peacock face carved near the resonator and a five hooded serpent in place of the yaazhi. There are two ekkalams, and one can see how the five-feet long instrument is collapsed into a more easily transportable one-foot instrument.