The Thappu, thapu, dappu or parai drum is a frame drum originated and widely used in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the symbol of Tamil culture.
It consists of a circular wood frame with one end closed with cow skin membrane and the other end open. Thappu is played with twosticks, being one larger and thinner than the other one. It is performed in dances, funerals, temple festivals and sport events. Thappu Drum or Parai drum is also played to invoke the deities at Madras temples.
Kurunthokai mentions that Parai was used as an auspicious instrument in wedding. It was also used to alert the people in flood time. A type of parai called Ari parai was used in harvest time to make the birds fly off from the fields. Another type of Parai called Perum Parai is found only in the Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nad