Raga Megh Malhar

   About Raga Megh Malhar

Raga Megh Malhar or Raga Megh

Megh is a Hindustani classical raga. The meaning of Megh in Sanskrit is 'Cloud'. Hence this raga is mostly sung or played in the Monsoon season. Another raga which describes rain is raga Malhar. So these 2 ragas where merged and a new raga was developed, this raga is raga Megh Malhar. The Carnatic equivalent of this raga is Madhyamavati.

Raga Megh Malhar is a pleasingly sweet melody which resembles Raga Madhumad-Sarang in its basic framework. In Raga Madhumad-Sarang, Sarang Ang is prominent for example: S R m R ; m P n P m R here Rishabh is a Vadi Swar and is rendered straight from Madhyam without any Meend, just like in Raga Vrindavani Sarang. Whereas in Raga Megh Malhar, Rishabh is always rendered by touching Madhyam as a Kan-Swar. Vadi Swar of Raga Megh Malhar is Shadj (Sa). Similarly, in Raag Madhumad-Sarang, n P is rendered straight, whereas in Raag Megh Malhar, n P is rendered in Malhar Ang as (P)n P.

This Raga can be mastered only after learning it from Guru mukh. Being a very old Raga, Megh Malhar is rendered with the influence of Dhruvpad Ang which uses a lot of Gamak and Meend. This Raga can be freely elaborated in all the three octaves and creates a rather deep atmosphere. 

Megh Malhar, a raga of considerable antiquity, is associated with the rainy season, and is considered a serious and profound raga, prescribed for performance around midnight. In this sense, this raga may be considered to represent the sombre, and even awesome, facet of the advanced monsoon (July-August), in contrast with Miyan ki Malhar and other Malhar variants, which are explicitly euphoric at the onset of the rainy season (June-July), and the imminent relief from the scorching Indian summer.

Musicologist V.N. Bhatkhande, writing in the first quarter of the 20th century (Sangeet Shastra) observed that Megh Malhar is known to and performed by only a few Ustads although, according to him it was not a particularly difficult raga to master. The popularity of the raga has improved considerably since then, even if some of the ambiguities surrounding the raga still remain unresolved.

Subba Rao (Raga Nidhi) treats Megh and Megh Malhar as two names of the same raga, and goes on to list two versions of it, along with several sub-versions. Bhatkhande lists Megh Malhar as a variety of Malhar, and uses the two names interchangeably, while also identifying several variants of the raga in vogue in his era.

Historical Information

This is one of the very old ragas found in Indian classical music. This raga is related from Lord Krishna time period, when Govardhan Parvat (mountain) was on Lord Krishna's short finger during the Govardhan leela, then Lord Shiva generated a Damru sound to protect Lord Krishna. That sound which was generated by the Damru was raga Megh.

There is legend stating that Tansen's physical agony after singing Raga Deepak (Poorvi Thaat) was pacified with listening to Raga Megh Malhar rendered by two sisters, Tana and Riri.


   Raga structure of Megh Malhar

Thaat : Kafi

Jati : Audhav-Audhav

Aroha : S m R m P n S'

Avaroha : S' n P m R m 'n R S

Vadi : Sa

Samavadi : Pa

Pakad : R R S 'n S m R P m R 'n S

Vishranti Sthan : S; m; P; - P; m; R;

Mukhya Ang : ,n S R P m R ; m P m R ; m P ; P m n P m R ; R R P m R R S ,n S;

Time : Second prahar of the nigh (9PM to 12 Night) Any time during the rainy season.

Season : Rainy season

Rasa : Gambhir rasa

Swaras : Gandhar and Dhaivat Varjya, Nishad Komal. Rest All Shuddha Swaras.

Related ragas : Ragas of Malhar family, namely Megh Malhar, Miyan ki Malhar, Gaud Malhar, Ramdasi Malhar, Dhuliya Malhar, etc. as well as Madhmad Sarang.

   External Videos of Raga Megh Malhar

   Songs based on Raga Megh Malhar

Tamil film songs in Raga Megh Malhar

1) Muthukkalo Kangal (Nenjirukkum Varai)

2) Kana Kaanum (Agni Sakshi)

3) Velli Malarae (Jodi)

4) Oru Deivam Thantha Poove (Kannathil Muthamittal)

5) Ennai Konja Konja (Aathi)

Hindi film songs 

1) Lapak Jhapak ( Boot Polish - 1954)

2) Aaj Madhuvatas Dole ( Stree -1961)

3) Ang Lag Ja Balma - A.k.a Kaare Kaare Badra, Suni Suni Ratiya (Mera Naam Joker -1970)

4) Baraso Re Baraso Re (Tansen (1943)

5) Duhkh Bhare Din Bite Re Bhaiyaa (Mother India -1957)

6) Tan Rang Lo Ji ( Kohinoor -1960)

7) Tum Agar Sath Dene Kaa Vada Karo (Hamraaz - 1967)



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