Karnataka Devagandhari

The scales of Karnataka Devagandhari are as follows

Arohanam (Ascending) : S G3 M1 P N2 S’
Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

28-2 Harikambhoji Arohanam

28-2 Harikambhoji Avarohanam

It is a Janya raga, derived from Harikambhoji (below), 28th in the Melakarta scale.

28 Harikambhoji

This raga has the same scale as Bhimpalas, which is the Carnatic name for Bhimpalasi, the Hindustani Raga.  However Bhimpalas is considered a janya of the 22nd Melakarta Kharaharapriya. Karnataka Devagandhari is also similar to Abheri, which in itself has evolved over time. In fact, there is much discussion and dissention in the subject of these ragas leaving us lay listeners quite confused!!  Suffice to say that if you are a lay listener, all these ragas sound remarkably similar.  A serene raga, Karnataka Devagandhari conveys devotion with remarkable success. Palukuthe Nelathalli by Annamacharya and Pachashatpeetha Roopiniby Muthuswami Dikshithar are other well known kritis in this raga.

Note : The 12 notes in the octave are named as below. Please note that C is used as Sa for the sake of simplicity as the scale is relative in Carnatic Music. Also note that the scales paint only a superficial picture of the raga as the gamakas(ornamentations) are a very important part of a raga.


5 responses to “Karnataka Devagandhari

  1. Ram Kaushik

    Hi Suja – just read both your interesting articles on Abheri and Karnatakadevagandhari, thank you. I agree lots of confusion on naming/raga shapes on this. However, neither of the two versions in circulation today (the popular version with D2, and the rarer variety with D1) have a G3. (Harikambodhi G) I would suggest that although we may debate the parent as Natabhairavi (20) or Kharaharapriya (22), Karnatakadevagandhari’s parent simply cannot be Harikambodhi(28) as noted in this article. Thoughts?

  2. Sorry for the late reply, I was away travelling. And as to your comment, I am the last person to be able to comment on technical matters such as this – I am neither a musician nor a musicologist. Just a rasika trying to figure out what’s what! I confess to being very confused by whatever I have read on the subject; there are so many contradictory opinions!! As to which raga this is a janya of, as a listener, it is only of academic value to me so I dont really worry too much about it…sorry, that may sound shocking to a truly knowledgeable person but I have to be honest 🙂
    Cheers. Suja

  3. Ram Kaushik

    Thank you for the reply. Absolutely no apologies needed and its terrific to have a pure intuitive grasp of musical bhava without unnecessary theory. Only wanted to point it out so music students do not get misled. In my humble opinion, Harikambodhi is simply factually incorrect. I enjoy your blogging greatly!


    I am a student of k-vocal. I have a book compiled by Shri Eka Subbarao Rao titled New Sangeetha Vidyadarpanam, in which, Karnataka Devagandhari was classified under 21 Keeravaani. What is this confusion. TO which Janaka raag this belongs ? Somebody says Bhompalasi, Aabheri and Karnatak Devagandhari are same, while Shri Balamurali said they are all different ragas in an interview. CAN ANYONE CLEAR THE DOUBT AND GIVE CLEAR PICTURE PL.

    • I totally understand your confusion! I am not in now way qualified to answer your questions but I believe this whole ‘classification’ business is just a matter of fitting existing ragas into a structure ie. the ragas came first, the structure came later. When ragas share common features with multiple Melas, it is a matter of opinion as to which Mela it should come under..and there are multiple correct answers! I would not worry too much about the classification.
      Cheers. Suja

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