Dhenuka (raga)

Dhenuka (pronounced dhēnukā) is a rāgam (musical scale) in Carnatic music. It is the 9th Melakarta rāgam in the 72 melakarta rāgam system of Carnatic music.

ArohanamS R₁ G₂ M₁ P D₁ N₃ 
Avarohanam N₃ D₁ P M₁ G₂ R₁ S

It is called Dhunibinnashadjam[1][2] in Muthuswami Dikshitar school of Carnatic music.

Structure and LakshanaEdit

Dhenuka scale with Shadjam at C

It is the 3rd rāgam in the 2nd chakra Netra. The mnemonic name is Netra-Go. The mnemonic phrase is sa ra gi ma pa dha nu.[1] Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

(Suddha Rishabham, Sadharana Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Suddha Dhaivatham, Kakali Nishadham)

As it is a melakarta rāgam, by definition it is a sampoorna rāgam (has all seven notes in ascending and descending scale). It is the Suddha madhyamam equivalent of Shubhapantuvarali, which is the 45th melakarta.

Asampurna MelakartaEdit

Dhunibinnashadjam is the 9th Melakarta in the original list compiled by Venkatamakhin. The notes used in the scale are the same as Dhenuka.[3]

Janya RāgamsEdit

Dhenuka has a few janya rāgams (derived scales) associated with it. See List of Janya Rāgams for full list of rāgams associated with Dhenuka.


In Film music, the song "Aatuvithaal Yaar Oruvar" from the movie Avandhan Manidhan composed by M. S. Viswanathan is based on this raga.

Related rāgamsEdit

This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāgam.

Dhenuka's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 3 other Melakarta rāgams, namely, Shanmukhapriya, Chitrambari and Shoolini. Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the Shadjam to the next note in the rāgam.


  1. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani: S   M P  N 
    • Western: C D E F G A B C
  2. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani:  N  P M   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
  2. ^ Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
  3. ^ Shree Muthuswami Dikshitar Keerthanaigal, by A Sundaram Iyer, Music Book Publishers, Mylapore, Chennai