Wednesday, May 22, 2024


SreeRagam 20

Nagumomuganaleni is an immortal kriti by Tyagaraja which has become synonymous with the raga of the kriti, Abheri.

Tyagaraja expresses his longing, pain of separation in explicit sahityam or lyrics. The heartfelt plea of Tyagaraja in this soulful Abheri composition invigorates our soul and spontaenalusly connects us to the divine!

Also read: Kaddanuvariki……

The lyrical meaning can be broadly translated as

“O Rama, I feel distressed if I do not get to see your smiling face….please grant me a boon of your divine vision and alleviate my suffering…..

To whom should I pour out my anguish O Lord who rules the world….”

The combination of the lyrical beauty and the pathos of the abheri swaras in the kriti is enthralling and leaves the listener spellbound.

Also read: Tulasidalamulache……

Amazing Abheri raga is the janya of 22 Melakarta Kharaharapriya. It is also known as Karnataka Devagandhari. In Hindustani Classical music, Bhimpalasi is the closest raga to Abheri.


Arohaṇa : S G2 M1 P N2 S

Avarohaṇa : S N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S

It is an audavaSampoorna raga, with five swaras in the ascent and seven swaras in the descent. The swaras are Chathusruthi Rishabham, Sadharana Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham and Kaisiki Nishadham.

Also read: Samaja Varagamana

The ascending scale is same as that of Udayaravichandrika raga (also known as ShuddhaDhanyasi), while the descending scale is that of Kharaharapriya raga.

Abheri is an ancient raga, was in prevalence before the period of the musical trinity (Tyagaraja, Deekshitar and SyamaSastri ). With a few modifications over the years, it has established as one of the most appealing ragas in Indian Classical music.

Bhanumati in Malleswari

Abheri raga induces emotions of bhakti and karuna. The raga creates a serene and soothing ambience when rendered with absolute involvement. In our recent times, among several stalwarts, Dr Balamurali Krishna was known for his dexterity in presenting the raga. Especially his flawless rendition of Nagumomu is absolutely divine!

Also read: Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje…..

Another noteworthy fact with regard to Abheri raga

A music album named Raga Abheri by eminent violinist L Shankar (1995) was nominated for the prestigious Grammy award in the “best world music album” category. The album includes an impressive and extensive ragam-thanam-pallavi (elaboration of a raga) in Abheri in 4 speeds, composed by L Shankar and accompanied by Pt Zakir Hussain on tabla and VikkuVinayakaram on ghatam. It’s a musical treat to Classical music lovers.

Also read: Pakkala Nilabadi…..


Mysore vasudevachar’s  Bhajana Seyarada is another popular composition in Abheri. Deekshitar composed ‘Veenabheri”, PanchashatPeetarupini,

Other popular compositions in Abheri include

OothukaduVenkatasubbaiyer  – Nanda Gopala

Annamacharya – Palukutenelatalli

SudhanandaBharathi – EppadiPadinaro

Film music composers have used Abheri extensively in our films.


AkasaVeedhilo is an enchanting song from the movie Malleswari

NeeliMeghalalogalikeratalalo is another mesmerising song from Bavamaradallu

Nee leelaPadedaDeva  is a classic song from the movie Muripinche Muvvalu. Nada swaram by the legendary musician Karukurichi Arunchalam in the song made it immemorable

Other popular songs include

Challani Raja O chandamama – Ilavelupu

Ragamayi rave – Jayabheri

Telavarademoswamy – SrutiLayalu


Ye Jindagiusikihain – Anarkali

Khilte Hain Gul Yahan – Sharmilee

Khoya Khoya Chand – Kalabazar

Also read: Jagadananda Karaka…

Sreelakshmi Avadhanam
Sreelakshmi Avadhanam
Sreelakshmi Avadhanam is a journalist, content writer, freelance translator and is trained in Carnatic classical music. She also holds a Master’s degree in music. Playing the Veena and singing have been a part of her life since childhood. She also performs on stage whenever an opportunity arises. 


  1. Good writing Ms Avadhanam. Time is precious and so thanks for taking the time to write about the underpinnings of Carnatic/Telugu-old-film music. One day hopefully the specific sequence of sound frequencies can be tied to how our brain processes the same as melody/cacophony


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