The Thavil is a percussion drum played along with Nadaswaram, a double reed wind instrument. Thavil consists of a cylindrical shell hollowed out of the trunk of jackwood. Skin is stretched over both the sides. The left head is smaller in size than the right head.
The left head is played by fingers with metal caps and the right head with a stick. Regarded as a "mangalavadya" (auspicious instrument), the thavil is believed to have originated in Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, it is used for marriage ceremonies and some temple rituals.