Saturday, May 18, 2024


SreeRagam 18

Tulasi Dalamulache is a kriti of Tyagarajain Mayamalavagoula raga which depicts the ardent devotion of Tyagaraja for his Lord Rama. Tulasi or Holy Basil is a pious herb in our culture. It is worshipped as Goddess Lakshmi. Tyagaraja sings….

“Tulasidalamulache santoshamuga poojintu”

“I shall joyfully forever worship Lord Rama, who is transcendental, a personification of dharma, who is the Prince of Ayodhya, with the tender holy Tulasi leaves. I will garland my Lord with fragrant flowers like Lotus, Punnaga, Jasmine, Champaka

Mayamalavagowla is the 15th Melakarta raga and considered to be an auspicious and uplifting raga.

Also read: Samaja Varagamana

In Music therapy

It evokes shanta, bhakti and karuna rasas. In music therapy Mayamalavagoula is prescribed for detoxifying the body and induce a soothing effect. It is very effective when sung in the early morning hours to strengthen the vocal chords.

Relevance of the raga in Classical music

Mayamalavagoula is considered to be the gateway to Carnatic music. The relevance of this raga is found in the old musical treatise Sangeeta Ratnakara. Its original name was Malavagoula but maybe to tabulate the raga into the Melakarta system, the suffix Maya was introduced.

Also read: Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje…..

Ramamatya, musicologist of 16th century eulogised Mayamalagoula raga in his Swaramelakalanidhi as “Raganam Uttamothama,” the foremost and the best raga.

Purandara Dasa, the father of Carnatic Classical Music, devised a systematic approach for learning, and composed the initial lessons in Mayamalavagoula. It is the introductory raga for the students of Carnatic Classical music. Regular practice of the raga helps in understanding the concept of sruthi in classical music.

The pairs of swaras – shadjam and rishabham, gandharam and madhyamam, Panchamam and daivatham, nishadam and shadja have consecutive swarasthanas and it is comfortable for the new learners for sadhana, as mentioned in Sangeeta Sampradaya Pradarshini written by Subbarama Deekshitar.

Also read: Pakkala Nilabadi…..

The symmetrical tetrachords of these swaras create a balance of purvanga and uttaranga, suitable for an elaborate raga alapana and improvisation.


Arohana : S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S

Avarohana: S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S

(Shadjam, Suddha Rishabham, Anthara Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Panchamam, Suddha Dhaivatham and Kakali Nishadam)

Mayamalagoula is a parent raga for almost 90 janya ragas. The prominent among them are Saveri, Revagupti, Lalitha, Malahari and Bowli. It is suitable for all types of musical forms like varnam, keertana, tillana, raga malikas, folk tunes. The completeness of the raga encourages musicians to present it in concerts.

Also read: Jagadananda Karaka…

Mayamalavagoula corresponds to the Bhairavthaat of Hindustani Classical music.

Almost all vaggeyakaras employed Mayamalavagoula for their compositions, Among the innumerable and invaluable classical compositions in Mayamalavagoula, a few are being listed here


Tulasi Dalamulache

Meru Samana

Sri Tulsamma


SwathiTirunal’s Deva Devakalayamithe

Deekshitar and Mayamalavagoula raga

Mayamalavagoula has a special significance for Deekshitar as he composed his first kriti “Sri Nathadiguruguhojayathijayathi” in Mayamalavagoula. Deekshitar visits the Lord Subramanya temple at Tiruttani as per the instruction of his guru, Chidambaranatha yogi. As he sat in meditation in front of the idol, Lord Subramanya blessed him with his divine presence in the form of an old man and dropped a sugar candy in his mouth. Since then, it was a soulful musical journey for Deekshitar who composed hundreds of priceless compositions in praise of his ishtadevata.

Also read: Endaro Mahanubhavulu……

Neelotpalambikaya is another gem of Deekshitar in praise of Goddess Nilotpalamba

Nilayatakshi is another memorable kriti by SyamaSastry

Chintayeham, Kalinarulaku are among the compositions of Mysore Vasudevachar

PurandaraDasa composed sankeertanas like HariyaBittare, NamoNamo

There are a few annamacharya sankeertanas popular in Mayamalavagoula like Narayana ninama, Inderugu, NeevuSarvaguna, MatheNinukana

Mayamalavagoula in film music

Mostly this raga is used in film music with minor variations to bring out the emotion of pathos


Eenimishanikiemijaruguno – Lava Kusa

UrediPeredi Chandamama – Rajamakutam

Evarikievarueelokamlo – Sirisirimuvva


Mohe Bhool Gaye Sawariyan – BaijuBawra

Ekritu aye Ekritu Jaye – GautmGovinda

Also read: Paluke Bangaramayena…Ananda Bhairavi

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. 



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