The Unique ‘Srothaswini’

Srothaswini (S G2 M1 P N3 S  : S N3 P M1 G2 S) is a unique, disctinctive and beautiful raagam. It is just half note away from Suddha Dhanyasi(S G2 M1 P N2 S  : S N2 P M1 G2 S) but renders a completely different feeling, emotion and melody.

‘Tfm page’ a popular website has a forum where people claim that Illaiyaraja “invented” this new raga through his song. Since I don’t have any facts, I cannot comment. Kudos to him if he did, but even if he did not, doesn’t reduce his genius in anyway! He is one of the very few composers to even dare attempt a compostion in this ragam and bring it to our attention! There are very tamil film songs in this raagam. Not an easy job composing songs in pure melodic ragam based fashion.

Illaiyaraja has created some phenomenal music in this raagam, my favorites are

1) ‘Sindhiya Venmani’ from the movie Poonthotta Kavalkaaran
2) ‘Poojaiketha Poovidhu’ from Needhana Andha kuyil
3) ‘Oh Vasantha Raja’ from Neengal Ketavai


13 Responses

  1. beautiful raga it is !

    … and i have composed one in that raga too 🙂 – Katre Enai Theendadhe !

  2. Oh yes you did !!!

  3. I heard a recording by Karthik who composed a song on the Ganges, played in the violin by Embaar Kannan
    I have been wondering eversince whether this song is invented by Ilayaraja as a varient of Sudha dhanyasi!

  4. Absolutely Amazing ragam this indeed is, I’ve heard some telugu songs composed in this ragam too,

    Suman Prathi from Maharshi
    Jai Chirangeeva from Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari
    Inka Inka from Sundarakanda.

    I’ve composed a song in this raagam as well, the deity is Lakshmi.

    Thanks for sharing the info.

  5. Hello Kishore, Is the song you composed anywhere online?

    Thanks for the list of telugu songs, will listen to them for sure.


    Hi, you can download it from here. It my sister singing who is back in India.

  7. Hello Arvind, Can you please provide us with a link where we can listen to your composition.


  8. I was searching for this information for a long time now. Good blog! I got to know about this raga while watching the finals of Raagamalika in Jaya TV.

  9. Interesting blog!!!
    Yes, indeed they are marvelous pieces by “Isai”rajan, Ilairaja….
    Btw, here to the song “Alalu kalalu egasi asali” (Movie: Seethakokachiluka, Telugu). Amazing enough, the song opens with the raga murchana, and the lyrics (translated as:..(Her) dreams are like the waves, rising high and falling back) are of pristine beauty…

  10. I’m not trained in music, but these are my thoughts and critism is awaited. I beleive, that the pressence of teevra nishadha among all other komal swaras and also N3 being a leading note, has given the region P-N-S a magestic beauty, similar to that in Hamsadhwani. Ath the same time the S-G-M in the lower half has a counter poise like that of Hindolam, alll put together in Srothasvini. The omission of R and D also has a wonderfull spell on the singer as well as the listener, just the reason why pentatonics like Mohanam, Madhyamavati, Hindolam etc are famous for.

  11. Raghu,

    Alalu kalalu is actually set to suddha dhanyasi same as srothaswini but kakali nishadham (like in Hindolam).

  12. while IR certainly deserves credit – he certainly did not invent this raga (may have “rediscovered” it since it almost gets lost in CM). This raga is known as “udayaravichandrika” and muttusvami dIkshitar has composed a song in it (forget the name)

    Note however that udayaravichandrika is also used as a name for suddha-dhanyasi (s g m1 p n2 s), in the Thyagaraja school. But in dIkshitar tradition suddha-dhanyasi is s g m1 p n2 s, and udayaravichandrika is s g m1 p n3 s – and dIkshitar has composed songs in both ragas.

    Unfortunately in all the confusionw .r.t name, and owing to the popularity of suddha-dhanyasi (and its bigger cousin – today’s abheri), udayaravichandrika gets lost in the mix and is rarely (actually almost never) performed in carnatic music concerts. That is why one could say IR rediscovered it.

    But it is indeed a beautiful raga. IIRC, even pADum vAnambADi (nAn pADum pADal) hovers in this raga for part of the song.


  13. Another marvellous composition is from my favorite music director, Vidyasagar, who has a penchant for composing melodies based on pure Carnatic ragas.

    The song is ‘Raa Raa’ from the film Chandramukhi – a pure Srothaswini!

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