Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is a non-ionizing biomedical imaging modality which finds applications in brain imaging, tumor angiogenesis, monitoring of vascularization, breast cancer imaging, monitoring of oxygen saturation levels etc. Typical PAT systems uses Q-switched Nd:YAG laser light illumination, single element large ultrasound transducer (UST) as detector. By holding the UST in horizontal plane and moving it in a circular motion around the sample in full 2π radians photoacoustic data is collected and images are reconstructed. The horizontal positioning of the UST make the scanning radius large, leading to larger water tank and also increases the load on the motor that rotates the UST. To overcome this limitation, we present a compact photoacoustic tomographic (ComPAT) system. In this ComPAT system, instead of holding the UST in horizontal plane, it is held in vertical plane and the photoacoustic waves generated at the sample are detected by the UST after it is reflected at 45° by an acoustic reflector attached to the transducer body. With this we can reduce the water tank size and load on the motor, thus overall PAT system size can be reduced. Here we show that with the ComPAT system nearly similar PA images (phantom and in vivo data) can be obtained as that of the existing PAT systems using both flat and cylindrically focused transducers.