A thavil (Tamil:தவில்) or tavil is a barrel-shaped percussion instrument from Tamil Nadu. It is used in temple, folk and Carnatic music, often accompanying the nadaswaram. The thavil and the nadaswaram are essential components of traditional festivals and ceremonies in South India.The thavil consists of a cylindrical shell hollowed out of a solid block of jackfruit wood. Layers of animal skin (water buffalo on the right, goat on the left) are stretched across the two sides of the shell using hemp hoops attached to the shell. The right face of the instrument has a larger diameter than the left side, and the right drum head is stretched very tightly, while the left drum head is kept loose to allow pitch bending. The larger face is higher in pitch than the smaller face.
The modern Thavil has a corpus that is bordered by a steel ring coated in plastic on which the two skins are fixed by metal straps. Both skins can be separately tuned.