Devagandhari (pronounced devagāndhāri) is a raga (musical scale) in Indian classical music. In the carnatic classical music, Devagandhari is a janya raga (derived scale), whose melakarta raga (parent scale, also known as janaka) is Shankarabharanam, 29th in the 72 Melakarta raga system.

ArohanamS R₂ M₁ P D₂ 
Avarohanam N₃ D₂ P M₁ G₃ R₂ S

It is also there in the Sikh tradition of northern India and is part of the Guru Granth Sahib.

In Carnatic musicEdit

Structure and LakshanaEdit

Ascending scale with Shadjam at C
Descending scale with Shadjam at C

Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

Devagandhari ragam is an owdava-vakra-sampurna raga meaning, in arohana 5 swaras come (so it is called owdava) and in avarohana all swaras come (so sampurna), and there is a "zigzag" pattern of notes (so vakra). The notes used in this ragam are shadjam, chatushruti rishabham, antara gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, panchamam, chatushruti dhaivatam and kakili nishadam. This ragam sometimes includes the kaishika nishadam (anya swara – a note external to the scale, making this a bhashanga ragam).

The closest raga to this one is Arabhi. Some of the things that makes Arabhi different (though both share the same ascending and descending scale, in terms of basic notation) are:

  • Devagandhari is sung with gamakas and vilambita kala prayogas (usages with elongated notes)[1]
  • Devagandhari is sung with deergha gandharam (elongated G3)[1]
  • Devagandhari is a bhashanga raga, and certain prayogas use the kaishika nishadam: S N3 D N2 , , D P

Popular CompositionsEdit

Here are some more compositions set to Devagandhari.

Type Composition Composer talam Language
Kriti Ksheerasagara Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti Vinaradana manavi Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti Koluvaiyunnade Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti Tulasamma Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti evaru manaku Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti Sita vara Sangita Tyagaraja Adi Telugu
Kriti Kshitija Ramanam Muthuswami Dikshitar Adi Sanskrit
Kriti Jayajaya Rama Ramana Swathi Thirunal Jhampa Sanskrit
Kriti Pahi Mamayi Swathi Thirunal Aadi Sanskrit
Kriti Rama Rama Pahi Swathi Thirunal Roopakam Sanskrit
Kriti Sharade Vina Vadana Papanasam Sivan Aadi Sanskrit
Kriti Enneramum Gopalakrishna Bharathi Adi Tamil

In Sikh traditionEdit

In the Sikh tradition from northern India it is part of the Guru Granth Sahib. Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes that can be used; which notes can be used; and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy Granth (book), there are a total of 31 raga compositions and this raga is the sixth raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 10 pages from page numbers 527 to 537.

Today Devagandhari is a rare, little known, ancient raga. Its performance time is the morning hours. Historically it has had three forms; the less ornamented type is described here. In the Ragmala, Devagandhari is a ragini of Malkaunsa. Today it belongs to the Asavari thata. Its mood is one of prayerful supplication presenting a heroic effect. The texts set to this raga reveal a heroic search for these qualities which lead one to the Lord. This raga was used primarily by Guru Arjan. Forty-Seven hymns were composed to it including three by Guru Tegh Bahadar and six by Guru Ram Das.

  • Jaati : Audava - sampurna
  • Timing : second pehar
  • Thaat :bilaval ( asaveri. ang )
  • Aroh: Sa Re Ma Pa Dha Sa
  • Avroh: Sa Ni Dha Pa, Ma Pa, Dha Ni Dha Pa, Ma Ga Re Sa
  • Pakar: Dha Ni Dha Pa, Ma Ga, Sa Re Ma, Ga Sa Re Ga Sa
  • Vadi: Ma
  • Samvadi: Sa

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani: S R M P D 
    • Western: C D F G A C
  2. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani:  N D P M G R S
    • Western: C B A G F E D C


  1. ^ a b Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications

External linksEdit