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Malkosa Raga.jpg
Time of dayLate night, 12–3 Sa ga Ma dha ni *Sa*
  • Sa ni dha Ma ga Ma ga Sa
  • Sa ni dha Ma ga Sa
  • Malkosh
  • Malkaush

Malkauns is a raga in Indian classical music. It is one of the oldest ragas of Indian classical music.[1] The equivalent raga in Carnatic music is called Hindolam, not to be confused with the Hindustani Hindol.


The name Malkaush is derived from the combination of Mal and Kaushik, which means he who wears serpents like garlands — the god Shiva. However, the Malav-Kaushik mentioned in classical texts does not appear to be the same as the Malkauns performed today.[2] The raga is believed to have been created by goddess Parvati (the wife of Shiva) to calm Shiva, when the lord Shiva was outraged and was not calming down after Tandav in rage of Sati's sacrifice.

Malkaush belongs to Shaivait musical school; in fact most pentatonic ragas belong to Shaivait musical school.[1]

His mace running with blood, garlanded with skulls of heroes, Malkaush surrounded by braves and bravest of the brave!

Shiv ttva ratnakara, 6, 8, 67[1]

Arohana and Avarohana[edit]

Malkauns belongs to the Bhairavi thaat. Its notes are Sa, komal Ga, shuddh Ma, komal Dha, and komal Ni. In Western classical notation, its notes can be denoted as: tonic, minor third, perfect fourth, minor sixth and minor seventh. In raga Malkauns, Rishabh (Re - second) and Pancham (Pa - perfect fifth) are completely omitted. Its jaati is audav-audav (five-five, that is, pentatonic).

Arohana : .ni. Sa ga Ma dha ni *Sa*

Avarohana : *Sa* ni dha Ma ga Ma ga Sa OR *Sa* ni dha Ma ga Sa

The 'Ga' used is actually Ga-Sadharan (the rough minor third), 316 cent above Sa [3]

Vadi and Samavadi[edit]

The vadi swara is Madhyam (Ma) while the Samavadi swara is Shadaj (Sa).

Pakad or Chalan[edit]

Pakad : "Ma", "ga", "Ma", "dha", "ni", "dha", "Ma", "ga", "Sa"

Other Characteristics[edit]

A Ragamala series painting based on Malkauns Raga, c. 1735

Malkauns is a serious, meditative raga, and is developed mostly in the lower octave (mandra saptak) and in a slow tempo (vilambit laya). Ornaments such as meend, gamak and andolan are used rather than 'lighter' ornaments such as murki and khatka. Komal Ni is generally considered the starting note (graha swara), and the notes komal Ga and komal Dha are performed with vibrato (andolit). All five swaras can function as pausing notes.

The komal Ni in Malkauns is different from the komal Ni in Bhimpalasi.

The best time for this raga is late night. The effect of the raga is soothing and intoxicating.

Related Ragas[edit]

Some related ragas are Chandrakauns, Nandkauns, Sampoorna Malkauns, Pancham Malkauns, Kausi Kanada, Madhukauns, Jogkauns and Tulsikauns.

Film Songs[edit]

'Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj' (film Baiju Bawra, performed by Mohammad Rafi), 'Aadha Hai Chandrama Raat Aadhi' (film Navrang, performed by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle), 'Chham Chham Ghunghroo Bole' (film Kaajal, performed by Asha Bhosle), 'Ankhiyan Sang Ankhiyaan Laagi Aaj' (film Bada Aadmi), 'Balma Maane Na' (film Opera House) and 'Rang raliyaan karat sautan sang' (film Birbal My Brother), 'Gori tera gaon bada pyara' (film Chitchor, performed by K.J. Yesudas), 'Ek Ladki Thi' (film Love You Hamesha, performed by Kavita Krishnamurthy), 'Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale' (film Jism, performed by Shreya Ghoshal), are a few Hindi film compositions based on Malkauns. 'Rajasekhara' in the film 'Anarkali' in Tamil and Telugu is a composition based on this in South India. "Neenu Neene" song from the movie Gadibidi Ganda, "Ra Ra" song in the movie Apthamitra in Kannada are also the best examples.

Important Recordings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Daniélou, Alain (1968). The Rāgas of northern Indian music. Barrie and Rockliff, London. pp. 324–324. ISBN 0-214-15689-3.
  2. ^ Bagchee, Sandeep (1998). Nād: Understanding Rāga Music. BPI (India) PVT Ltd. p. 300. ISBN 81-86982-07-8.
  3. ^ Gosvami(1957) p. 236 f.

External links[edit]


  • Gosvami, O. (1957), The Story Of Indian Music, Bombay: Asia Publishing House