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ArohanamS R₂ G₃ D₂ N₃ 
Avarohanam N₃ D₂ G₃ R₂ S

Niroshta is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is a pentatonic scale (audava/owdava rāgam). It is a derived scale (janya rāgam), as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes).

Niroshta literally means without the lips.[1] If the lips do not meet / touch, then the notes Ma and Pa cannot be uttered.[1] This scale does not use either note and hence the name. It is a very pleasing rāgam.[1]

Structure and Lakshana[edit]

Niroshta scale with shadjam at C

Niroshta is a symmetric pentatonic scale (audava-audava ragam[1][2] in Carnatic music classification – audava meaning 'of 5') that does not contain madhyamam and panchamam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

The notes used in this scale are shadjam, chathusruthi rishabham, antara gandharam, chathusruthi dhaivatham and kakali nishadham. Niroshta is considered a janya rāgam of Shankarabharanam,[1][2] the 29th Melakarta rāgam, though it can be derived from Kalyani by dropping both madhyamam and panchamam. Shankarabharanam is the Major scale of Western music.

Popular Compositions[edit]

Muthiah Bhagavatar is credited with creating this scale. His melodious composition Raja raja radhite set to Rupaka tala (3/4 beat) also does not use the syllables Ma and Pa. Madurai T. N. Seshagopalan, a disciple of Ramanathapuram C. S. Sankarasivam, who in turn is a disciple of Muthiah Bhagavatar has composed a thillana in Niroshta "tanana dhirana" in Adi Tala. Tanjavur. S. Kalyanaraman has composed a varnam "Kanin Maniye" in this raga.Other compositions include giri-putrika gaura-varni by Bangalore S Mukund in rupaka talam, jayati jayati jayashankara by Ashok R Madhav in rupaka tala.

Related rāgams[edit]

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

Scale similarities[edit]

  • Mohanam is a rāgam which has the panchamam in place of the nishadham. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P D2 S : S D2 P G3 R2 S
  • Hamsadhvani is a rāgam which has the panchamam in place of the dhaivatam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P N3 S : S N3 P G3 R2 S


  1. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani: S R G D N 
    • Western: C D E A B C
  2. ^ Alternate notations:
    • Hindustani:  N D G R S
    • Western: C B A E D C


  1. ^ a b c d e Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
  2. ^ a b Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications