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. It has the following ārohanam and avarohanam:

Arohanam: 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 is quite likely that it was he who introduced this ragam into Carnatic music. It makes further sense that MLV sings Gavati since she was a close disciple of GNB.

The third ragam is Sankarābharanam, but it is sung as Kalyāni under graha bhedam by shifting Sa to Ma. One can notice the shift occuring at the 2:34 mark, when she ends "vilasam" at the note Ma. From there MLV immediately changes the shruti and sings the following couplet in Kalyāni. She returns to the earlier shruti at the end of the refrain. Note the change when she ends "parihasam" at the 4:17 mark.

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