Raga Bihagda

   About Raga Bihagda

Raga Bihagda or Khokhar or Khokar

Raga Bihagda is a flavor of Raga Bihag, so it's chalan is similar to that of Raga Bihag. This Raga is a mix of Raga Bihag and Raga Khamaj.

Bihagda is a rare raga of the Bihag family. It is a raga of considerable antiquity, described in several mediaeval texts, and bears a close resemblance to raga Behag / Byag of the Carnatic (South Indian) tradition. Bihagda is known to have been performed, in recent years, only by vocalists of the Jaipur-Atrauli and Agra gharanas. It is, however, identified more closely with the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, with its commonly recognized form corresponding to the raga as performed by Jaipur-Atrauli vocalists.

Multiplicity of nomenclature is unusual in rare ragas. Diversity of treatment under the same name is more frequently encountered. Bihagda seems to be an exception to this general pattern. It has come to be known by another name Khokar or Khokhar. Currently, and in the present context, both names refer to melodic entities performed by Jaipur-Atruali vocalists.

Being a rare raga, Bihagda’s survival depends largely on the appeal and success of a handful of bandishes (compositions).

Subbarao (Ibid.1996), describes two types of Bihagda.

Type 1: S G M P N D S/ N D P M G R S
Type 2: S G M P N D S/ S N P – G M P D n D P  -- M P G – RS 

Type 1 listed by Subbarao, was recorded by Mallikarjun Mansur, and has been performed by Alka Dev, a disciple of Madhusudan Kanetkar of Jaipur-Atrali gharana. This variant poses a sharper problem of differentiation of Bihagda from Bihag. This may be the reason why this version is even rarer than the common twin-Ni version (Type 2 above).

Type 2 listed above, which deploys komal (flat) Ni in the descent, is the most commonly encountered raga form. The pakad (identifying phrasing) of this variant is: GM/ PDnDP/ GMG or PMPG. Authorities have identified Ma and Sa as the vadi-samvadi (dominant and sub-dominant) swaras of the raga, though only hesitantly and on the grounds of differentiation between Bihag and Bihagda. In practice, however, Bihagda appears to revolve around the same Ga-Ni axis, as Bihag does, too.

Bhatkhande (Bhatkhande Sangeet Shastra, Vol. I, 5th Edition, 1991, Sangeet Karyalaya, Hathras) mentions a third variety of Bihagda which permits Re and Dh in the ascent, the former being used only in the higher octave, and the latter being used only in the middle octave. This variant has not been heard in recent times.

With reference to Bihag, Bihagda has some noteworthy features. Bihagda always uses Re subliminally in the descent as in Bihag. But, Dh, which is always subliminal in Bihag, is used subliminally as well as explicitly in Bihagda. Tivra Ma, used in the contemporary Bihag, is not used formally in Bihagda, although a touch of the swara has been observed in some recordings. When encountered, it is used in a racy movement, and never in the signatory Bihag fashion (P-M'-G-M-G).

In Raga Bihagda, Shuddha Nishad is used in Aaroh and Avroh both, but Komal Nishad is only used in Avroh. This Raga is more tilted towards Raga Bihag, hence the Aaroh goes like this: S G m P N S'. However, as Dhaivat is allowed in Aaroh, S G m P D N S' may also be taken, but it's scarcely used. Like Raga Bihag, Rishabh and Dhaivat are respectively used as Kan Swar while rendering G (R) S and N (D) P.

Shuddha Madhyam is very important and a Nyas Swar. Teevra Madhyam is very rarely used to increase melody of the Raga.

Komal Nishad is used as follows: G m n D P ; G m G ; or G m P D n D P; G m G. Komal Nishad brings out the Khamaj Ang in this Raga. In this way, Bihagda is conceived by beautiful combination of Raga Bihag and Raga Khamaj.


   Raga structure of Bihagda

Thaat : Bilawal

Jaati : Audav - Sampurna

Vadi : G

Samvadi : N

Aaroh : S G M P D N S'

Avroh : S' N_ D P M G R S

Pakad : N_ D P G, D G M G, R S

Vishranti Sthan : G; m; N;

Chalan :
N S G/ G M/ G M G P/ G M P D n D P or G M n D P/ G M P N S’ or G M P S’/ N S’ N DP/ P D N P D M P G/ G M n D P/ P M P G/ G RS

Swaras : Rishabh Forbidden (Varjya) in Aaroh. Both Nishads. Rest all Shuddha Swaras.

Time : Second prahar of the Night (9 PM to 12 AM)

   External Videos of Bihagda

   Songs based on Raga Bihagda

Film songs in raga Bihagda 

1) Piya Banwari 

2) Rama charan tujhe lagale (Geetramayan - Marathi)

   Compositions in Raga Bihagda

Bandishes (compositons) 

These bandishen are composed by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang' and sung by Shri Prakash Vishwanath Ringe.

1) Bada Khyal: Kaise Dharu Dheer Re Tanarang

2) Chota Khyal: Baje Mori Payal Jhananana Ri

3) Chota Khyal: Kanha Dagar Chalat Jin Nain

4) Chota Khyal: Lagan Lagi Daras Ki Ab

5) Chota Khyal: Murali Me Meethi Taan Sunaye

6) Chota Khyal: Nain Uljhe Na Suljhe

7) Tarana : Dir Dir Tanan Tanan Tan Deemtan Derena



Contact no:


   Learn Raga Bihagda


Possessing an art is possessing a treasure that grows forever! Learning a performing art like music or dance opens doors to novel and wonderful worlds of joy. You can bring this unbounded happiness into your life – you can learn an art at any age. To make a beginning today, enroll in the online school of performing arts : Meetkalakar Gurukul.

About Meetkalakar

Meetkalakar is an Indian product and services company based in Mumbai. Its interests are focussed on the field of performing arts. The various products and services of Meetkalakar mainly benefit performing artists and art lovers.

Meetkalakar was founded in 2009 by Rajashree Rajadhyax and Richa Rajadhyax, with the primary aim of allowing people to browse through profiles of performing artists on the internet. Over years, many new products and services were added. Meetkalakar now has about 2500 eminent artists from the field of music, dance, drama, folk and many other genres as its members.

Meetkalakar founders have expressed their intention of coming up with more and more innovations that will reduce the distance between the artist and art lovers. Know more...

©2010-2013, Meetkalakar Services India Private Limited.
All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer

Recent Updates

  • Dr Devika P Borthakur
  • Shashikant Shinde
  • Shashikant Shinde
  • Esha Chatterjee
    Esha is trained in classical singing by many renowned gurus who also trained some of the top Bollywood singers. She has a unique style of singing and possesses an excellent quality of voice suitable for playback and live shows. She is a versatile singer who has done many live shows of the retro genre to contemporary Bollywood singing. She does show on ghazal with some renowned ghazal artists. Tseries has recognized her talent and released private songs on their YouTube channel.
Please note: All Content (Unless produced by Meetkalakar) names and brand names mentioned are property of their respective owners. They have been published by content owners. All of this content remains property of their respective holders, and in no way indicates any relationship between Meetkalakar and the holders of said trademarks. Meetkalakar is a technology platform that enables artists reach out their audiences.


Contact No