According to the legend, Malhar is so powerful that when sung, rain falls from the sky.
There are many written accounts of Raga Malhar. Many great artists of medieval period and much earlier period used to sing this raga. Tansen, Baiju Bawra, Baba Ramdas, Nayak Charju, Miyan Bakhshu, Tantarang, Tanras Khan, Bilas Khan (son of Tansen), Hammer Sen, Surat Sen, and Meera are among the singers who are said to have been capable of starting rains using various kinds of Raga Malhar.
According to a legend, once the Mughal emperor Akbar asked his court musician Tansen to sing Raga Deepak, the raga of fire. The effect was such that all the lamps in the courtyard lit up themselves, and Tansen's body became so hot that he had to sit in the nearby river to cool himself. However, the river began to boil, and it became apparent that Tansen would soon boil to death. He set out on a search to find someone who could sing Raga Malhar to cure him. In due course he reached Vadnagar, in Gujarat, where he found two sisters, Tana and Riri, whom he asked for help. They agreed to sing Raga Malhar to cure him. When they sang the Raga, rains came down in torrents, which cooled Tansen's body immediately.
In popular culture
- Bhavan's Journal v.26:14-26 (1980). Page 27.
- Manorma Sharma (2007). Music Aesthetics. APH Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-81-313-0032-9.
- Bigamudre Chaitanya Deva (1995). Indian Music. Taylor & Francis. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-224-0730-3.
- Raga. Centre of South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Examples of Miyan Malhar:
- D V Paluskar sings Miyan Malhar.
- Shahid Parvez plays Miyan Malhar on the sitar with an introduction by Shujaat Khan.
Examples of Gaud Malhar:
Examples of Ramdasi Malhar:
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