The thavil is a percussion instrument used for accompanying the nadaswaram, a wind instrument used in Hidu religious music and as a solo instrument in Carnatic music.
It consists of a barrel shaped drum carved out of jackfruit wood, with animal membrane stretched out on either side. The instrument is played while sitting, or is hung by a cloth strap from the neck.
The thavil is played with the fingers of the hand on the right, and a short, thick stick on the left. The tips of the fingers of the right hand are covered with hardened thumb caps that are made of refined wheat flour and water.