Raga Alhaiya Bilawal


We have not posted articles on ragas for some time. We recently found Niharika Shinde. She is today’s expert and has selected Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, for this week.

Raga Alhaiya Bilawal:

Niharika informed, “Masters of Indian classical music explain this raga in the form of sutra as follows:

This beautiful raga is been there for the last 400-500 years, now. The raga also been called as Raga Bilahari in Carnatic/South Indian classical music. This raga has been derived from Thaat Bilawal. Using Komal Nishad in Raga Bilawal creates Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, which produces a pleasing serene atmosphere. Whenever I sing this raga I feel calmness and positivity from within. Its twisted and playful nature (Wakra gati) makes this raga more and more engaging and interesting. This is a morning raga. This raga belongs to the second prahar of the day, which is around 8-11 in the morning.”


The specialty of this that is the usage of (soft/ komal) Ni. The aaroha (aasending notes) and avaroha (descending notes) for this raga are: Sa re ga pa dha ni(Shudha) sa/ Sa re ga pa ni(Shudha) dha sa and Sa ni(Shudha) dha pa dha ni (soft/komal) dha pa ma ga re ga pa ma ga re sa. This raga uses the komal Ni between two shudha dha while descending. This enhances the beauty of this raga. This also emphasizes on the personality of this raga. The format (jaati) of this raga is shadav-sampurna, which means it uses six notes in the aaroha and seven (all) notes in the avaroha. Ma is not use while singing aaroha (ascending order) here. While the descending notes do not come straight down like other ragas but we twist and turn the notes to show its uniqueness hence it is also considered to be ‘wakra gati’ (twisted and playful) raga. The most used swaras (notes) are: vaadi- Dha, Samvaadi- Ga.

Niharika Shinde
Niharika Shinde

Bollywood and Raga Alhaiya Bilawal:

Jana gana mana… India’s National Anthem.

Mujh ko apne gale lagalo… Hamrahi (1963)

Bhor aayi gaya andhiyara… Bawarchi (1972)

Sare ke sare gama ko le kar gate chale… Parichay (1972)

Dil hai chotasa, chotisi asha… Roja (1992)

Mori araj suno giridhari aj mori din duni ke sarataj… This is a very beautiful bandish in this raga, which is very famous and has made an impact on the listeners.


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One response to “Raga Alhaiya Bilawal”

  1. Niharika, Thanks for making us musically literate, we were listening these songs… but when next time we will listen it, we will be able to understand it’s classical base…

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