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Navaratri kritis series - 2020


An Introduction to the Navaratri kritis series - 2020

Day 1 - Mārakoti sundari

Ragam : Bahudari

Talam : Adi

Composer : Sri G N Balasubramaniam


Bahudari is one of my favorite ragas. Sri GNB, who is an extraordinarily brilliant musician has composed this kriti, beautifully incorporating all the melodic phrases of this raga. I wanted to sing this as the first composition for day 1 of Navaratri 2020.


Here is a quiz for the viewers. Please give answers in your comments. Whoever gets all answers correct for all 9 videos, has a surprise in the last video of the series🙂


Answers for all 9 days quiz will be revealed on Vijayadashami day 25th Oct. Looking forward to your participation!

  1. Bahudari is a Janya of the Melaraga?

  2. Bahudari has Kakali nishada.. T or F?

  3. Name a Tygaraja swami composition in the same raga.

  4. There is the name of another raga hiding in this kriti, can you find it?

  5. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by whom? [The kriti has a clue]

  6. What are the new ragas created by the composer Sri GNB?

  7. Which singer from the female trinity is the composer’s disciple?

  8. What is the favorite part in this composition? [This is not part of the quiz, just to know what you like :-)]

Day 2 - Pāhi mām Śrī vāgīshwari

Veena: Smt Manjula Ramachandran

Rāgam : Kalyāni

Tālam : ādi

Composer : Sri Swāti Tirunāl

Day 2-Here is a quiz for the viewers.

  1. What set/group does this krit belong to?

  2. Approx. how many compositions by the composer are available today?

  3. Why is Kalyani called a Major raga in Carnatic music?

  4. What deity is the song composed on? And what does the composer ask for?

  5. What is the Suddha madhyama counterpart of Kalyani in the melakarta system and the mela number of the new raga?

  6. Name two ragas with kalyani suffix in their names.

  7. Equivalent of Raga Kalyani in Hindustani Music and Western music.

  8. How is Swati Tirunal different from other composers.

Day 3 - SArasadala nayane

Ragam : SAramati

Talam : Adi

Composer : Harikeshanallur MuthayyA BhAgavathar


One of my favourite ragas, such a bhakti evoking raga. It immediately takes the listener to a different mood. Wish there were more compositions in it! Happy Navaratri


Day 3- Here is a quiz for the viewers.

1. Name a very famous composition in this raga.

2. What does Harikeshnallur stand for?

3. What is Saaramati's Parent ragam? (Janaka ragam). Also what chakra is that ragam in?

4. There is a Tyagaraja composition that has been tuned to Saramati in a Tamil movie, which became an all time hit. Do you know it? Additional question : what is the raga of the original Tyagaraja composition that was tuned to Saramati for the movie?

5. How many ragas do you know ending with “mati”? :-)

6. What is the another composition that has the same title( first line)but with one letter that is different?

Day 4 - Kamalaambikayai

RAgam : KAmbOji

TAlam : Adi

Composer : Sri MudduswAmy DIkshitar


The fourth Navavarana - the magnum opus of Sri Mudduswamy Dikshitar. This set of kritis are long and very difficult to perfect. But once mastered, you can immerse yourself in it and enjoy the bliss! It helps you go inward and be at peace!


Day 4- Here is a quiz for the viewers.

1. How many kritis are there in Navavarana and what are the ragas in which they are composed?

2. Who is Kamalaamba?

3. Dikshitar, the composer was a ------ Upāsakā

4. Where did the composer write these kritis, which temple?

5. Name two other ragas ending with “kamboji”

6. What is Ata taalam? How many varieties are there?

Day 5 - SaraseeruhAsana priye

Performed by

Sandhya Anand - Vocal and Violin

Raja Bala - Mridangam

Mixed by: Srikanth Iyer

Ragam: NAtta

TAla : Adi

Composer : Puliyur Sri Doraiswamy Iyer


A beautiful crisp composition that can be sung as an opening piece in a concert. It can be embellished with a few rounds of manodharma swaras! Have you wondered how Nāttai and Hamsadhwani have established themselves as opening ragas in most concerts? Probably because of the brightness and agility they make us feel.


Here comes the quiz for Day 5. 

1. Do you know any other composition by the same composer?

2. Name some kritis in Nāta that you have listened to.

3. Which deity is this composed on? What is God's eyes compared to in the song?

4. What is Nāta janyam of? How is it different from it’s mela(parent) rāga?

5. The composer’s son, another great composer is famous for composing the Melaragamalika, who’s he?

6. Is there any Film song that you know in Nāta?

Day 6 - MAmava sadA janani

Ragam: Kānada

Tāla : Rupaka

Composer : Sri Swathi Tirunal


A very popular composition in the raga Kānada which everyone enjoys. Maharaja Swathi Tirunal is a versatile composer who has composed Jatiswaras, tillanas, keertanas, kritis etc. The vakra( non- linear) ārohana avarohana gives a special effect to the beauty of the raga. I have sung a Ganesha kriti in Kānada here.


Day 6- Here is a quiz for the viewers.

1. What is the parent melakarta raga of Kanada?

2. What are the vakra phrases-( non linear) the raga has?

3. Swathi Tirunal was the king of---?

4. Give interesting facts about him What is Rupaka tala?

5. What does Māmava sadā mean?(which is why it’s important to split as’ maam and ava sadaa’ if at all you need to take a breath :-) 

6. Do you know the composer has some most beautiful compositions in some north Indian/ hindustani ragas?!- Name two.

Day 7 - Alarulu kuriyaga

Sankarābharanam- Adi- Sri Annamayya

Sandhya Anand - Vocal and Violin

Sabarinath Ramachandran- Mridangam


A soulful kirtana by Annamacharya on the beauty of Alamelu manga's dance. This was popularized by the great musician Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. You should definitely listen to his soul stirring version, I do understand how much I should improve to get closer to his bhaava!! A charming raga with so much scope for detailing. A big thanks to Sabari for playing Mridangam for me! A big thanks to Usha Akellaji for explaining the words and their splits.


1. What number melakarta raga is Shankarabharanam?

2. What are 3 janyas of Shankarabharanam?

3. What is the name of the raga equivalent to Shankarabharanam in hindustani music Name 5 compositions in Sankarabharanam (there are hundreds):-)

4. What is Sankarabharanam without Papanchamam?

5. What is Sankarabharanam without Ma and PA?:-)

Day 8 - Samudrapriye

Rāga : Samudrapriya

Tāla : Adi

Composer : Sri P K Sankara Narayanan

Performed by

Sandhya Anand- Vocal and Violin

Mali Santhanakrishnan- Mridangam


Were you surprised to hear that raga name?!! Yes, I was surprised too when I learnt the song from my uncle who is the composer of this kriti. He has composed varnams, kirtanas, tillanas, ghazals etc and some are dedicated to Narada, Adi Sankara, Brahmadeva, Seeta Devi etc. The raga is also known as Madhukauns or (-- ----)I have sung another beautiful composition of Sri Sundaranarayana here in Madhukauns.



1. There is another name for this raga, what is it?

2. SR2G3D2N3S, SN3D2G3R2S is a raga which you have very few compositions, can you identify this raga in which Sri PKS has composed a beautiful Jatiswaram?

3. What mela is this raga janyam of?

4. Who is Samudrapriya? Why the name?

5. Name 5 ragas ending in 'priya':-)

Day 9 - Arabhimanam vaithu

Rāgamālika (A garland of many ragas)

Talam : Adi

Composer : Talangampādi Panchanada Iyer

Performed by Sandhya Anand- Vocal and violin

Mali Santhanakrishnan- Mridangam

Today is the last day of the quiz, answers will be revealed soon:-) A beautiful ragamalika, garland of ragas. I’m not including ragas here as it’s part of the quiz below-:) The composer has nicely woven the raga name in every line, do you observe it?

1. How many ragas are there in this ragamalika?

2. What are the ragas?

3. Kaappatra vendum ennai...what is the raga and what word tells you the raga in that line?

4. Name a composition in raga Lalita.

5. What is the tala for this? Can you describe it?

Quiz contest winners

Day-wise and overall winners of the Navarathri quiz contest

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