Chitta tanas (called Katakam by ancient writers) are set exercises for the vina and are intended to enable the students of this instrument to acquire high technique in playing. They improve the right hand technique and left hand technique in yina play. This is strictly speaking, an instrumental form. There are chitta tanas for many current ragas.
Note books containing the tanas of sonti Venkata subbayya, Venkataramanayya and Todi Sitaramayya can even now be seen in the walajapet collection at Madurai.
Katakam is also the name given to a dictionary of ragas: for example the vyasa katakam. Gauri katakam and Hanuman katakam.