Raga Malkauns or Raga Malkans


This week we got in touch with Classical Singer Urvashi Shah to shed some light on Raga Malkauns. According to her, “Raga Malkauns originated from Thaat Bhairavi, one of the 10 Thaats of Hindustani Classical Music. A Thaat can be considered as a parent. The 10 Thaats are the parents of all the 484 ragas. The Thaats have given birth to all the ragas. I had heard from a scholar that Raga Malkauns had come from the Malav district, which is situated in Eastern India. It has a pentatonic scale or 5 notes, i.e. 5 swaras in the ascending order and 5 swaras in the descending order. It is said that the raga belongs to the aurav jati – 5 swaras. The 5 swaras are Sa, Ga, Ma, Dha, Ni, Sa and Sa, Ni, Dha, Ma, Ga, Sa. The most important and most used swara or the vaadi is madhyam Ma and the second most important swara or samvaadi is Sa or Shadaj.”

Bollywood and Raga Malkauns: This raga can be sung for a long time because it is a very important one. You can do a lot of aalaapchari in it or develop it a lot. It can be sung for almost an hour. The time for singing it is midnight. There are several bandishes, bhajans, ghazals as well as film songs available based on this raga. The traditional version of Pag ghungaroo bandh Meera nachi… was composed in Raga Malkauns.

Deep jalaye jo getton ke maine… Kalakaar (1983)

Adha hai chandrama raat aadhi… Navrang (1959)

Man tarapat Hari darshan ko aaj… Baiju Bawra (1952)

Aaye sur ke panchi aaye… Sur Sangam (1985)

Jane bahar husn tera bemissal hai… Pyar Kiya Toh Darna kya (1963)

Rang raliyan karat soutane ke sang… (a bandish)  Birbal – My Brother (1973)

Gori tera gaon bada pyara… Chitchor (1976)

Balma mane na… Opera House (1961)

Medical Significance: It is seen that when Raga Malkauns is sung or played, it has a very important role in controlling blood pressure because of its very simple nature.

Urvashi’s Take: The raga has a gambhir or serious and a very deep nature. On the other hand, it is very sweet and touches the heart. It is said that when Lord Shiva got angry and performed His Tandav, Goddess Parvati would sing Raga Malkauns to cool Him down. There are several legends about Raga Malkauns because it is one of the important and basic ragas, in Hindustani Classical Music.


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