I've been listening to an album of the Great Masters series released by Nadham Music Media, titled "Revathi - Vol. 2" (2006), a compilation of renditions by Dr. M. L. Vasanthakumari. The third track in the album is Sancharadadhara, an ashtapadi of Jayadeva's Gita Govindam. I believe this is the fifth ashtapadi, but I could be mistaken.

I couldn't find a link to the exact track online, but this version is close enough for the purposes of my question. MLV sings 4 couplets, each in a different ragam, and I'm curious to identify the ragams.

  • The first ragam is definitely Mohanam, which is quite appropriate since the first line ends with "mukharita mohana vamsham".

  • The next couple of ragams are not clear to me. In fact, I don't think I've heard the second ragam anywhere before.

  • The last ragam is definitely Sindubhairavi, a popular ragam that often occurs at the end of a ragamalika (a composition which uses multiple ragams, literally meaning "a garland of ragams") or sung at the end of a concert.

Can anyone help me identify the middle two ragams?


The second ragam is called Gāvati, a Hindustani ragam that has been borrowed into Carnatic music. It has the following ārohanam and avarohanam:

Ārohanam: S M1 P N2 S
Avarohanam: S D2 M1 P G3 M1 R2 S

G. N. Balasubramaniam has actually composed a varnam (Kamala vāsini, Ādi talam) in this ragam. It was GNB who introduced it into Carnatic music, after having learnt it from Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in exchange for teaching the Ustad the ragam Āndolikā. It makes further sense that MLV sings Gāvati since she was a close disciple of GNB.

For the third ragam, first note that MLV switches to madhyama shruti. The shift occurs at the 2:34 mark when she ends "vilasam" at the note Ma. Then, taking this as Sa, she sings the next couplet, and changes back to the usual shruti when she ends "parihasam" at the 4:17 mark. The ragam is Yamuna Kalyāni, which is often sung in madhyama shruti. Compare it with the opening couplet of Bhaja Govindam rendered by M. S. Subbulakshmi or the popular Krishna Nee Begane Baro rendered by MLV to see the similarities.

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