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Monday, January 11, 2010

Melakartha Raagas - Dr.M. Balamuralikrishna

Melakarta is a javascript:void(0)collection of fundamental ragas...

Melakarta is a collection of fundamental ragas (musical scales) in Carnatic music (South Indian classical music). Melakarta ragas are parent ragas (hence known as janaka ragas) from which other ragas may be generated.
In Hindustani music the thaat is equivalent of Melakarta. There are 10 thaats in Hindustani music, though the commonly accepted melakarta scheme has 72 ragas.
A melakarta raga is sometimes referred as mela, karta or sampoorna as well.

Rules for Melakarta

Ragas must contain the following characteristics to be considered Melakarta.
  • They are sampurna ragas - they contain all seven swaras (notes) of the octave in both ascending and descending scale
  • They are krama sampurna ragas - that is the sequence is strictly ascending and descending in the scales, without any jumps or zig-zag notes
  • The upper shadjam is included in the raga scale (ragas like Punnagavarali and Chenchurutti are not melakarta as they end with nishadham)
  • The ascending and descending scales must have the same notes 

  • History

    The mela system of ragas was first propounded by Raamamaatya in his work Svaramelakalanidhi c. 1550. He is considered the father of mela system of ragas. Later Venkatamakhin expounded in the 17th century in his work Caturdandi Prakaasikaa a new mela system known today as melakarta. He had made some bold and controversial claims and defined somewhat arbitrarily 6 swaras from the known 12 semitones, at that time, to arrive at 72 melakarta ragas. The controversial parts relate to double counting of R2 (and similar swaras) and his exclusive selection of madyamas for which there is no specific reasoning. However, today the 72 melakarta ragas have gained significant following, though to this day this system is being criticized. Venkatamakhin was known to be extremely critical of Raamamaatya.

    Determining the Melakarta

    A hundred years after Venkatamakhin's time the Katapayadi sankhya rule came to be applied to the nomenclature of the melakarta ragas. The sankhya associates Sanskrit consonants with digits. The digits corresponding to the first two syllables of the name of a raga, when reversed, give the index of the raga. Thus the scale of a melakarta raga can be easily derived from its name.
    For example, Harikambhoji raga starts with syllables Ha and ri, which have numbers 8 and 2 associated with them. Reversing them we get 28. Hence Harikambhoji is the 28th Melakarta raga. See Katapayadi sankhya for more details and examples.

    Melakarta scale

    Each melakarta raga has a different scale. This scheme envisages the lower Sa (Keezh Shadjamam), upper Sa (Mael Shadjamam) and Pa (Panchamam) as fixed swaras, with the Ma (Madhyamam) having two variants and the remaining swaras Ri (Rishabam), Ga (Gandhaaram), Dha (Dhaivatham) and Ni (Nishaadham) as having three variants each. This leads to 72 seven-note combinations (scales) referred to as the Melakarta ragas as follows.
    There are twelve semitones of the octave S, R1, R2=G1, R3=G2, G3, M1, M2, P, D1, D2=N1, D3=N2, N3 (see swaras in Carnatic music for explanation of these notations). A melakarta raga must necessarily have S and P, one of the M's, one each of the R's and G's, and one each of the D's and N's. Also, R must necessarily precede G and D must precede N (krama sampoorna raga). This gives 2 × 6 × 6 = 72 ragas. Finding melakarta ragas is a mathematical process. By following a simple set of rules we can find the corresponding raga and the scale associated with it.
    A raga which has a subset of swaras from a Melakarta raga is said to be a janya (means born or derived from) of that Melakarta raga. Every raga is the janya of a melakarta raga. Janya ragas whose notes are found in more than one melakarta raga are assigned (or associated) parent Melakarta based on subjective notions of similarity. This is obvious for ragas that have less than seven notes. For such ragas it can be associated with a Melakarta which has any of the different swaras in that position. For example, Hindolam has Rishabam and Panchamam missing. Hence, it could be considered a janya of Todi (also known as Hanumatodi) which has shuddha rishabam or with Natabhairavi which has a chathusruthi rishabam. It is popularly associated with Natabhairavi.


    The 72 melakarta ragas are split into 12 groups called chakras, each containing 6 ragas. The ragas within the chakra differ only in the dhaivatham and nishadham notes (D and N), as illustrated below. The name of each of the 12 chakras suggest their ordinal number as well.[1][3]

  • Indu stands for the moon, of which we have only one - hence it is the first chakra.
  • Netra means eyes, of which we have two - hence it is the second.
  • Agni is the third chakra as it denotes the three divyagnis (fire, lightning and Sun).
  • Veda denoting four Vedas is the name of the fourth chakra.
  • Bana comes fifth as it stands for the five banas of Manmatha.
  • Rutu is the sixth chakra standing for the 6 seasons of Hindu calendar.
  • Rishi, meaning sage, is the seventh chakra representing the seven sages.
  • Vasu stands for the eight vasus of Hinduism.
  • Brahma comes next of which there are 9.
  • The 10 directions, including akash (sky) and patal (nether region), is represented by the tenth chakra, Disi.
  • Eleventh chakra is Rudra of which there are eleven.
  • Twelfth comes Aditya of which there are twelve.

Table of Melakarta ragas

The 72 melakarta ragas can be divided into two parts. viz.,. suddha Madhyamam and prati Madhyamam ragas. When a given suddha madhyamam raga's M1 is replaced by M2, we get the corresponding prati madhyamam raga. See Katapayadi sankhya for more information on how to derive the various swaras of a raga from its melakarta number.
See swaras in Carnatic music for explanation of the notations like R1, G2, N2, etc.
'Mēḷakartā Rāgas'
'Suddha Madhyamam' 'Prati Madhyamam'
No. Raga Scale No. Raga Scale
1.Indu Chakra 7. Rishi Chakra
1 Kanakangi S R1 G1 M1 P D1 N1 S' 37 Salagam S R1 G1 M2 P D1 N1 S'
2 Ratnangi S R1 G1 M1 P D1 N2 S' 38 Jalarnavam S R1 G1 M2 P D1 N2 S'
3 Ganamurti S R1 G1 M1 P D1 N3 S' 39 Jhalavarali S R1 G1 M2 P D1 N3 S'
4 Vanaspati S R1 G1 M1 P D2 N2 S' 40 Navaneetam S R1 G1 M2 P D2 N2 S'
5 Manavati S R1 G1 M1 P D2 N3 S' 41 Pavani S R1 G1 M2 P D2 N3 S'
6 Tanarupi S R1 G1 M1 P D3 N3 S' 42 Raghupriya S R1 G1 M2 P D3 N3 S'
2. Netra Chakra 8. Vasu Chakra
7 Senavati S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N1 S' 43 Gavambhodi S R1 G2 M2 P D1 N1 S'
8 Hanumatodi S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S' 44 Bhavapriya S R1 G2 M2 P D1 N2 S'
9 Dhenuka S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N3 S' 45 Shubhapantuvarali S R1 G2 M2 P D1 N3 S'
10 Natakapriya S R1 G2 M1 P D2 N2 S' 46 Shadvidamargini S R1 G2 M2 P D2 N2 S'
11 Kokilapriya S R1 G2 M1 P D2 N3 S' 47 Suvarnangi S R1 G2 M2 P D2 N3 S'
12 Rupavati S R1 G2 M1 P D3 N3 S' 48 Divyamani S R1 G2 M2 P D3 N3 S'
3. Agni Chakra 9. Brahma Chakra
13 Gayakapriya S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N1 S' 49 Dhavalambari S R1 G3 M2 P D1 N1 S'
14 Vakulabharanam S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S' 50 Namanarayani S R1 G3 M2 P D1 N2 S'
15 Mayamalavagowla S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S' 51 Kamavardani S R1 G3 M2 P D1 N3 S'
16 Chakravakam S R1 G3 M1 P D2 N2 S' 52 Ramapriya S R1 G3 M2 P D2 N2 S'
17 Suryakantam S R1 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S' 53 Gamanashrama S R1 G3 M2 P D2 N3 S'
18 Hatakambari S R1 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S' 54 Vishwambari S R1 G3 M2 P D3 N3 S'
4. Veda Chakra 10. Disi Chakra
19 Jhankaradhwani S R2 G2 M1 P D1 N1 S' 55 Shamalangi S R2 G2 M2 P D1 N1 S'
20 Natabhairavi S R2 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S' 56 Shanmukhapriya S R2 G2 M2 P D1 N2 S'
21 Keeravani S R2 G2 M1 P D1 N3 S' 57 Simhendramadhyamam S R2 G2 M2 P D1 N3 S'
22 Kharaharapriya S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N2 S' 58 Hemavati S R2 G2 M2 P D2 N2 S'
23 Gourimanohari S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N3 S' 59 Dharmavati S R2 G2 M2 P D2 N3 S'
24 Varunapriya S R2 G2 M1 P D3 N3 S' 60 Neetimati S R2 G2 M2 P D3 N3 S'
5. Bana Chakra 11. Rudra Chakra
25 Mararanjani S R2 G3 M1 P D1 N1 S' 61 Kantamani S R2 G3 M2 P D1 N1 S'
26 Charukesi S R2 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S' 62 Rishabhapriya S R2 G3 M2 P D1 N2 S'
27 Sarasangi S R2 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S' 63 Latangi S R2 G3 M2 P D1 N3 S'
28 Harikambhoji S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N2 S' 64 Vachaspati S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N2 S'
29 Dheerasankarabharanam S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S' 65 Mechakalyani S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N3 S'
30 Naganandini S R2 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S' 66 Chitrambari S R2 G3 M2 P D3 N3 S'
6. Rutu Chakra 12. Aditya Chakra
31 Yagapriya S R3 G3 M1 P D1 N1 S' 67 Sucharitra S R3 G3 M2 P D1 N1 S'
32 Ragavardhini S R3 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S' 68 Jyoti swarupini S R3 G3 M2 P D1 N2 S'
33 Gangeyabhushani S R3 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S' 69 Dhatuvardani S R3 G3 M2 P D1 N3 S'
34 Vagadheeswari S R3 G3 M1 P D2 N2 S' 70 Nasikabhushani S R3 G3 M2 P D2 N2 S'
35 Shulini S R3 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S' 71 Kosalam S R3 G3 M2 P D2 N3 S'
36 Chalanata S R3 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S' 72 Rasikapriya S R3 G3 M2 P D3 N3 S'

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Download 01_Sri Eesha (Raga Kanakangi) .mp3
Download 02_Sri Gurum (Raga Ratnangi).mp3
Download 03_Pahi Jagadeeswara (Raga Ganamoorti).mp3
Download 04_Eeshwari Jagadeeswari (Raga Vanaspati).mp3
Download 05_Sri Hanumantham (Raga Manavati).mp3
Download 06_Sri Ramam (Raga Tanarupi).mp3
Download 07_Jalamela Raghupathe (Raga Senavati).mp3
Download 08_Tyagaraja Gurum (Raga Hanumatodi).mp3
Download 09_Ravayya Ramayya (Raga Dhenuka).mp3
Download 10_Paripalayamaam (Raga Natakapriya).mp3
Download 11_Vaadamela (Raga Kokilapriya).mp3
Download 12_Palayamaam (Raga Roopavati).mp3
Download 13_Sri Maha Vishnum (Raga Gayakapriya).mp3
Download 14_Kumarunivalenu (Raga Vakulabharanam).mp3
Download 15_Shyamalambike (Raga Mayamalavagowla).mp3
Download 16_Girijapathe (Raga Chakravakam).mp3
Download 17_Karuninchara (Raga Sooryakantam).mp3
Download 18_Rakshashumam (Raga Hatakambari).mp3
Download 19_Jashakethana (Raga Jhankaradhwani).mp3
Download 20_Nalina nayani (Raga Natabhairavi).mp3
Download 21_Sritha (Raga Keeravani).mp3
Download 22_Parameshwara (Raga Kharaharapriya).mp3
Download 23_Smarare (Raga Gaurimanohari).mp3
Download 24_Samaashrayami (Raga Varunapriya).mp3
Download 25_Ramaapathe (Raga Mararanjini).mp3
Download 26_Paradevi (Raga Charukesi).mp3
Download 27_Vandeham (Raga Sarasangi).mp3
Download 29_SriSubrahmanya (Raga Dheerasankarabharanam).mp3
Download 30_Daakshayani (Raga Naganandini).mp3
Download 31_Yaashodeyam (Raga Yagapriya).mp3
Download 32_Ganasudharasame (Raga Ragavardhini).mp3
Download 33_Paalayashumaam (Raga Gangeyabhusani).mp3
Download 34_Pranamaamyaham (Raga Vagadheeswari).mp3
Download 28_Smaramanasa (Raga Harikambhoji).mp3
Download 35_Paalayashumaam (Raga Sulini).mp3
Download 36_Nagaatmaja (Raga Chalanta).mp3
Download 37_Vaarana (Raga Salagam).mp3
Download 38_Maheshwari (Raga Jalarnavam).mp3
Download 39_Madhavadaya (Raga Jhalavarali).mp3
Download 40_Himatmaje (Raga Navaneetam).mp3
Download 41_Jayadhana (Raga Pavani).mp3
Download 42_Khatilaka (Raga Raghupriya).mp3
Download 43_Vinathi (Raga Gavambodhi).mp3
Download 44_Madhava (Raga Bhavapriya).mp3
Download 45_Karunanu (Raga Subhapantuvarali).mp3
Download 46_Hymavathim (Raga Shadvidhamargini).mp3
Download 47_Sriraghupathim (Raga Suvarnangi).mp3
Download 48_Naume (Raga Divyamani).mp3
Download 49_SriVani (Raga Dhavalambari).mp3
Download 50_Mahadevapahimam (Raga Namanarayani).mp3

  Manika Umaskanth said...
Dear Sir I don't just like your posts. I love them ! You are a very kind man. Thank You and may God bless you. M.Umaskanth
January 12, 2010 12:39 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
sir...could you also pls post the name of the singer for each song?
January 12, 2010 1:45 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Mr/Ms. Anonymous, All these songs are rendered by Dr. M.Balamuralikrishna. Please see the title of this posting.
January 12, 2010 6:15 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Manika Umaskanth, Thank you for your kind words.
January 12, 2010 6:15 AM
Blogger Radha said...
Dear hvaidya, I do appreciate for the wonderful and selfless service of giving and providing concerts. I would be highly obliged if you could give on which taalam it is rendered by him.
January 16, 2010 1:03 PM
Anonymous Venkat said...
Thank you very much.
February 20, 2010 7:53 AM
Blogger Sriram said...
Sir, Thanks for such wonderful contests. I am not able to download the following songs: 46 and 63 Hymavathim - Shadvidhamargini Thaamaralochani - Lathaangi Can you Please look into this. Wish you a happy new year. Thanks S.Sriram
January 3, 2011 2:49 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Mr. Sriram,

Thanks for pointing out the errors. I have uploaded them afresh. You can now download them.
January 4, 2011 11:00 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can you please check the Mayamalavagowla link - it is not working for me. Thanks.
January 21, 2011 2:14 AM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    I have posted Mayamalavagowlai afresh. Please let me know whether you are able to download successfully.
    January 21, 2011 7:13 PM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...
    Thank you ... I am listening to the Mayamalavagowla now; it is divine!
    February 10, 2011 2:24 AM
    Blogger Jai said...
    Sir, I chanced upon your blog via google, while searching for carnatic renditions of the 'Desh' raagam. When I see the treasure trove of carnatic music that you have amassed on your blog, I feel like 'Kasim' from the Ali Baba & 40 theieves story. I'm honestly surprised at my own confusion on deciding which one to read first and which do I get to later! After a lot of deliberation I have decided to go slow and take one post at a time. Starting with this post. :) My sincere respects to your efforts. I would like to be able to contribute in anyway possible to keep this invaluable effort going, so others, like me, find this treasure and enrich their lives with it. Do let me know if such an opportunity arises. Regards, Jai Ganesh
    March 15, 2011 12:38 AM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    Thank you Mr Jai Ganesh for your nice words. Your offer is appreciated. Please keep in touch and post your suggestions
    March 15, 2011 9:31 AM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...
    this is an information i have been seeking. thanks, but i need to know something: a melakarta raga which have seven notes in their scales can be sung all time ? or they have an especific hour and season. I would like to know the correct time to these 72 melakarta ragas, please help me
    June 10, 2011 9:16 AM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    I have not come across any where about the specific timing to sing Melakartha raagaas. I will be happy if some one from our readers can enlighten us. I will also be on the look out for the information.
    June 11, 2011 6:23 PM

    Anonymous Ram said...
    Dear Sir:

    Awesome page. Thank you for maintaining it. The following links are missing:

    29 Dheera sankarabaranam

    34 Vaagadheeswari

    48 Dhivyamani

    64 Vaachaspathi

    Best regards, 
    January 4, 2012 10:04 AM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...
    Namaskar Sir,

    Please check into the links of Melakartas 60 & 61 in addition to the missing links identified by Mr. Ram (29, 34, 48, & 64). All these 6 tracks have problems with loading/playing.

    April 8, 2012 2:43 PM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    I have uploaded these songs afresh
    April 9, 2012 11:49 PM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...
    Namaskaram Sir,

    I am delighted by your diligence and prompt response to our request. However sir, the problem with Melakarta 34 (Pranamaamyaham/Vaagadheeswari) still persists. May be it is a problem with my system. Can other users please check this link and revert...The rest of them are working fine.

    Best Regards,
    April 10, 2012 2:45 PM
    Blogger hvaidya said...
    I am sorry for the omission. Item No 34 is also now posted. Please let me know if there is any problem
    April 10, 2012 7:59 PM