Pair of cymbals, protection cloth and bag.
The iḷatāḷam cymbals are held both horizontally, with the lower instrument the left hand, and vertically. The cymbals keep the beat (tālam) in various ensembles playing for dance and for Hindu ritual music in Kerala. In the pancavadyam temple ensemble, the ilatālam fulfil this vital role while the music increases in tempo. As the music speeds up, the number of beats in the cycle decreases, beginning with 1,792 and decreasing to 3½. The iḷatāḷam serve to makes this beat audible whilst the drums in the ensemble: timila, maddalam, and idakka, improvise in turn.