This is an instrument that absolutely resembles the shape of an hour glass. Wood from the jackfruit tree is used for making this and the heads of the drums are made from the skin of calves that are one or two years old. Braces made out of leather balance these heads nicely as they are interwoven around the waist of the Thimila. The “tha” and “thom” sounds are easily controlled and adjusted through this. It is one of the most important instruments in the Panchavadyam.
The Kerala percussion musical instruments’ arrangement starts and ends with the Thimila with the Thimila Pattu and Thimila Idachal respectively.
The main shape of the instrument resembles that of a hour glass, that is two cones, arrange dint eh opposite direction. The Thimila main structure is made of wood from the Jackfruit tree mainly. The overall length of the Thimila is of 24K Virals., where in each viral is equal to 1.77 inches. At the ends, the virals measure up to 6, at the centre, the virals measure up to 2.5 and the thickness entirely is of 3/4th viral. The measurements of the instrument are responsible mainly for adjusting the tone of the instruments. Technologies have come up which helps the reduction in weight without compromising in the sound quality. The rings that are found on the outer surface of the drums are made from climber plants known as vennil valli or manjil valli. Calf skin is used for making the rings and these are fixed together with the help of gum. Before attachment, the calf skin has to be turned into refined leather. Fixing the refined leather properly is very important, because it is this technique that decides the tone, harmony and pitch levels of the instrument.
The sides of the drum are made of six holes at each side, that measure up to 3/8 virals each. These holes are attached on the tun of the Thimila with the help of leather threads that are twined. For the overall twining of the tun, around 25 feet of thread is required. The beauty of the instrument is in the melody of the strings. The melody is hugely dependent on the tension of the strings. The tension and pressure needs to be pulled and released in a rhythmic fashion to get the desired pitching and tuning effect. A strap made of cloth that is around 9 feet long and 6 inches wide is suspended from the neck of the musician to hold this instrument.