Final touch

 

Once the Miruthangam construction is complete the Valanthalai needs one final touch to enhance the resonance. There are two ways, as detailed below, of enhancing the sound of which the first is by far the most common.

 
 

Kutchi (Stick Applied)

 
Kutchi refers to the variety where thin strips of sticks (sometimes reed) are inserted radially between the first and second layers (Koddu Thaddu and Veddu Thaddu respectively) of the skin. This acts as a snare and gives the distinctive Miruthangam vibration.
 
  
 

Kappi (Granule Applied)

 

Kappi refers to the variety where some hardened black paste (Soru) or Magnesium oxide is crushed to fine granules and inserted between the first and second layers (Koddu Thaddu and Veddu Thaddu respectively) of the skin. The granules are almost forced under the top skin (Veddu Thaddu) to lie just over the wood part. This gives less vibration but a purer, more Tabla-like sound.