#17- Hindolam – The Raga with a Hypnotizing Melody..

A derivative of Hanumathodi (Mela 8) belonging to the 2nd Music Chakra, Hindolam is a serene,gentle,soulful,enchanting and pleasing meditative raga. It is an audava – audava janya ragam. Experts in Carnatic music hold  differences of opinion on the janaka ragams (ragams of origin) that should be attributed to Hindolam. It is widely accepted that 20th melakarta, Natabhairavi is the parent ragam of Hindolam.  It can be derived from both Natabhairavi and Hanumathodi, by dropping the rishabham and panchamam. The Hindustani equivalent of Hindolam is “Malkauns”. Malkauns is one very beautiful raga, derived from the Bhairavi Thaat. This raga is said to have been created from Siva’s Taandav (cosmic dance), so it has a vigour and energy about it.

In Mind, Body and Soul Chakra – Chakra 2( Nestled between the Root and Sacral Chakras) depicts Joy arising out of desire fulfillment;to bring a richer feeling of everything that one does – to remember the joy of life, the joy of living, it is the bringing of Heaven onto earth.  Hindolam (meaning swing) invariably evokes a romantic feeling.

This raga is associated with Vasantha Rithu(Spring) which is full of freshness and colours,which brings forth the feelings of well being and boosts your mood. The air smells clean and floral. It can be aptly said that Hindolam conveys the moods of Shringara primarily.

The raga creates increased feelings of compassion and reduced anxiety which in turn provides relief to patients of low blood pressure. It is also said that the raga helps to maintain normal digestive gas and body temperature along with restful sleep and tranquility. This raga  also conveys the divine Bhakthi Bhava and is astonishingly refreshing when sung in the mornings.

The arOhanam avarOhanam of the rAgam is given below:

Arohanam : S G2 M1 D1 N2 S
Avarohanam : S N2 D1 M1 G2 S

[sadharana gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, shuddha dhaivatham and kaisiki nishadham.]

Rasa:Shringara, Bhakthi
Season:Vasantha Rithu

Jeeva Swaras: D, N
Amsa Swaras: M
Sruthi Bedham (Sarvaswara Murchanakara Janya ragam)-S-Hindolam, G-Sudhasaveri, M-Sudhadhanyasi,D-Mohanam,N-Madhyamavathi)

Special Considerations: Hindolam is a Tri-sthyayi Raga. It is known to be a ragam that is generally beautiful and soothing to listen to. Being symmetrical in its ascending and descending scales, it lends itself very well to improvisation and is therefore popular at concerts. It is one of the most popular ragas,extensively used in concerts.It is also considered an auspicious raga and is a favourite of Nadaswara Vidwans for playing in temples and marriages.It is a raga with great scope for extensive swaraksharas and beautiful phrasing of the raga alapana and sangatis. Compositions start on s; m; n In the hands of a skilled vocalist or instrumentalist,the raga transports one to an ethereal world of divine bliss.


M is the important note that lends charm to the music created in this raga. Slight oscillation of  Ga, Dha and Ni is allowed. Some beautiful sancharas of this raga are NSG-GMDNDMGS-NSMGDMGS-NSMGMSGS-NNSND-MDNGS-NGSNSD-SGMGSND DNSNDN, MGS SSN DNS.

Immortal Compositions

Saint Tyagaraja adores Lord Krishna with his composition Samajavara gamana. This composition, set to raga Hindolam and Adi tala, is regarded as one of the nine gems of the saint composer.The song is a glorious description of Lord Krishna. “He who walks like an elephant, He who protects the lotus like heart of saints,He who is beyond time, He who is famous”..the song goes on to finish with the saints humble salutations to the Lord.

The song commences with the notes M G S, the symbolic phrase of Raga. The pace of the krithi is madhyamakalam and has liberal scope for swarkalpana in the pallavi take off. It should be added that it is sheer thrill if Hindolam is followed or preceded by a prathimadhyama raga.

Again another krithi Manasuloni Marmamulu  by the same composer has brought out the complete raga bhava of Hindolam in all its colours.  The commencing swaras “ma ga sa ma ga ma” is amazingly balanced with the swaras in anupallavi “dha dha ni dha ni dha”. The bhava moves the listener effectively and warns ” Be aware of the (evil) desires of the mind” followed by a fervent appeal ” Grace me when I need you most”. We should devotionally remember here that the great saint poet is not only a musical thinker, but a creator of values, values that are primarily aesthetic, ultimately of deepest human importance.

In the kriti Neerajakshi Kamakshi Sri.Muthuswami Deekshithar sings. “O Lotus eyed Kamakshi, with dark tresses a kin to clouds! Queen of the Three Worlds! Protect me!”  This krithi is on Goddess Kamakshi at Kanchipuram. The raga name is in the charanam line: “gaurihindoladyuti hiramanimayabharane”.Mamavathu Shree Saraswathi by Mysore Vasudevachar is another popular composition. Numerous bhajans, stotras, ragamalika kritis and viruthams are composed in this raga.  When sung in slow tempo its appeal is great.

Major Krithis

Here are a few krithis in composed in this great Raga

•Govardhana girisam smarami by Muthuswami Dikshitar
•Sama gana lole by G. N. Balasubramaniam
•Nambi kettavar evar by Papanasam Sivan
•Maa Ramanan by Papanasam Sivan
•Govardhana Giridhari, Samaja vara gamana by Thyagaraja
•Padmanabha Pahi by Swathi Thirunal
•Deva Devam Bhaje by Annamacharya
•Kondalalo Nelakonna by Annamacharya
•Maa Mavathu Shree by Mysore Vasudevachar
•Thillana (Dhim na naa tha dhirana) by Dr. Balamurali Krishna.

Allied Ragas

Interchanging of the notes in Hindolam can result in other allied ragas.

Replacing sadharana ghandharam  with  Anthara Gandharam gives us the raga,”Sallabham” or “Surya”.

Replacing  suddha dhaivatham  with  chatusruthi dhaivatham) gives us “Varamu” or “Suddha Hindolam”.

Replacing Kaishiki Nishadam with Kakali Nishadam gives the raga Chandrakouns.

Favourite Filmy Raga

‘Naan thedum sevanthi poo’ is a wonderful composition by Ilaiyaraaja from the film Dharma Pathini.Other Hindolam tunes by Ilaiyaraaja include the stunningly beautiful ‘Pothi Vacha Malligai Mottu’ (Mann Vaasanai) and ‘Ohm Namasivaya’ (Salangai Oli). The famous devotional song “Karpanai Endralum” by T.M Sounderrajan is composed in this enchanting raga. Innisai Alavediye composed by AR Rahman is another peppy number bring out the different shades of this beautiful raga. Then another beautiful compostion by the  maestro Illayaraja   poo_kumkumapoo from the film Rasathanthram  takes us to a different world of melody. Yet another song pulare poonkodiyil – rendered by the great singer yesudas gives a blend of folksy and melamcholic touch to the song.

Featured Composition with Meaning

sAmaja vara gamana
raagam: hindOLaM
taaLam: Adi
Composer: Tyagarajar

In the kRti ‘ sAmaja vara gamana’ – rAga hindOLaM, SrI tyAgarAja sings adores Lord kRshNa.


sAmaja vara gamana sAdhu hRt-
sAras(A)bja pAla kAl(A)tIta vikhyAta


sAma nigamaja sudhA maya gAna vicakshaNa
guNa SIla day(A)lavAla mAM pAlaya (sAmaja)


vEda SirO mAtRja sapta svara
nAd(A)cala3 dIpa svIkRta
yAdava kula muraLI vAdana
vinOda 4mOhana kara tyAgarAja vandanIya (sAmaja)

O Lord whose stately gait is like that of an elephant! O Protector of the Lotus of heart of pious people! (Or O Sun that blossoms the Lotus in the lake called heart of pious people)! O Lord who is beyond Time! O Celebrated One!
O Lord who is adept in the nectarine music – born of sAma vEda! O Lord who is virtuous by nature! O Ocean of mercy!
O Splendrous lamp on the mountain called the nAda consisting of the seven svaras born of nAdOMkAra! O Lord who incarnated in the race of yadu! O Player of flute! O sportive enchanter! O Lord worshipped by this tyAgarAja! Please protect me.

I conclude this review with the words that Hindolam is regarded as one of the most enchanting,ingenius, pleasant and soft raga. The above mentioned major compositions are exemplory art work of the great composers. These compostions are unique not only because of its Sahitya and Satvika Bhava, but also they lead the singer/listener to extreme bliss and divinity. Ragas are eloquent vehicles of emotions with limitless powers of expression.A genius bends them to his purpose and makes them carry his message.

Let us sink into an ocean of  bliss, and float in the swinging melody of this great raga  in all it’s glory and charm. 🙂

Open the treaure chest of Hindolam

Hindolam-Vocal – 6 Volumes



Hindolam-Film Songs

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50 thoughts on “#17- Hindolam – The Raga with a Hypnotizing Melody..

  1. This is indeed a beautiful article. I must say your efforts to bring more clarity into the ragams as well as carnatic music overall, must be applauded.
    You ave done it with style grace and simplicity. This is wonderful. This site will be one of the few that i will constantly visit.
    Great job.

  2. Namaskaram…Amma,

    I don’t know Sangeetham . But when i listening few songs.it’s make me to cry. like ” venu why vachavu bhuvananiki ” film Mathru Devo bhava (telugu Film). what are the swaras and ragas which makes me to cry means for sad.
    which ragas mainly used by Jesdas Sir.

    Gandhara swaram or hindolam. sorry for mistake

  3. thank u ma’m for ur effort. Really useful. Keep on posting, so that it will be useful for people like me who loves carnatic music, but not learned systematically

  4. Maam, thanks a lot for these wonderful songs. some of the zip files (especially in vocal collection) in this hindolam series are not downloadable as i get a permission denied. Would you please fix the issue and re upload.. Thanks a lot again for sharing these gems.

    • Hello Anand

      Mediafire is blocking most of my downloads. So I am transferring the files to a new paid server. This is going to take quite some time. But please keep checking after a couple of weeks

  5. I was very enlightened to read this blog about Hindola raga. God bless you and your endeavours. The very quote from Martin Luther King is appropriately chosen for your blog. I am attracted to Muthuswami Dixitar garu;s compositions. But unfortunately many vocalists can not clearly articulate them. and very few would transliterate them in to English on their channels.

  6. there is a song in pudhu nellu pudhu naathu, poo poo poo poo pookkum solai – is that song belongs to Hindolam madam? youtube.com/watch?v=-o71bRtQ3hw

    • Yes, it is based on Hindolam. Wonderful “stereo effect”. Thanks for the suggestion. Otherwise I’d’ve not known about this song.

    • Another noteworthy additions in Hindolam are – ‘maname muruhanin mayilvahanam’ from the film ‘Motor Sundaram Pillai” and “Kanbadellam ezhila’ by A M Raja from ‘Vipranarayana’. The Telugu version ‘Choodumadhe cheliya’ of the same song by the same singer by the same film name can be listened to as well.Enjoyable “viruviruppaana Hindolam” And how can we forget
      ‘man thadpath’ by Md. Rafi from Baiju Bawra – a Hindi movie ?

  7. Madam,
    Is there any ‘raga maliga’ in a single raga? It is said that ‘maliga’ effect can be made by effecting swara applications imaginatively? Is there any such single raga ‘ragamaliga’ to your knowledge ?
    la Gopa

    • The name Ragamalika refers to Garland of Ragas. So a ragamalika composition will definitely have more than one raga.

      I do not understand the term “maliga effect”. What does it exactly mean?

    • Hindolam does not have panchamam and Madhyamam is Suddha madhyamam or M1. Madhukauns has Panchamam and the madhyamam is Prathi Madhyamam or M2. The Scale for

      Madhukauns is S G2 M2 P N2 S – S N2 P M2 G2 S and

      Hindolam is S G2 M1 D1 N2 S – S N2 D M1 G2 S

  8. May I take the liberty of adding the info that – a) Madhukauns is called sumanesa ranjani in carnatic music. B) Replace shuddha madhyama with prathi madhyama in the raga shuddha dhanyasi and you have Madhukauns. Listen to the song ‘ krishna sugama ‘ P suseela/MSV combination from the tamil film “Kaviyathalaivi”. The song – as does the raga itself – mesmerises. Thanks

  9. Madam, I have been constantly reading your blog. Very great work. Thanks a lot. I have one doubt reg. Hindolam, it is told that MDNS prayogam is not allowed. Is it so Mam?

  10. Excellent Blog. But I am disappointed to see that the famous Tamil song Azhaikkade doesnt find a place. By the bye I am not an expert in Music.but I would like to refer to performing Malika in the same raga ( by V.Gopalan in his note dated 25th July 25th 2014). May be what he means is how agood musician can deliberately stray into another Raga by doing the sruthi bedam, land into some some other raga consciously and then come back to the original raga. I think only great experts can do that. Can you enlihten on this point. Also in the reference to Manasuloni Marmamu Krithi you classify it as a Hindola krithi. But usually it is refered to as Suddha Hindola krithi by prominent musicians. Which is correct. Recently I heard Sugandha Kalamegham rendering it in Hindolam
    Once again congratulating you on the excellent service rendered.
    sadasivan .

    • Manasuloni is based on the raag Varamu (Shuddha Hindolam) as per St Thyaagaraaja :
      22 kharaharapriyaa janya
      Aa: S G2 M1 D2 N2 S
      Av: S N2 D2 M1 G2 S
      The only difference is that D2 is used instead of D1 in Hidolam.
      Nithyashree sings it in Varamu. Others sing it in Hindolam just like how Marimari ninne in Khaamboji was turned into Saaramaty by Ilayaraaja. I guess that’s okay as long as one doesn’t bring any ‘apaswaram’.

  11. Beautiful way of writing about this very lovely ragam. Just a clarification, ‘Sama Gana Lolane’ in Hindolam-is it not a composition of Papanasam Sivan? it is noted here as that of GNB.

  12. Dear Madam
    What does amsa swaras mean
    I am currently preparing for grade exam in violin through distance education mode I Annamalai University just to motivate myself to explore classical music admist lot other distractions… I am very much thankful to you for the lessons…

    In the introductory article I found explanations of gruha swaras with which phrases begin, Jeeva swaras that bring out the raga, Nyasa swaras with which phrases end, swaras frequently and less frequently used, boundaries for the raga..in this article I find the term amsa swaras…what does it mean..is it similar to Jeeva

    • Hamsa/Jiva Swaram is the note which reveals the melodic identity of the Raga; (Soul of the raga). This swara is repeated frequently in an Alapana as it brings out the Raga Chaaya or Raga Swaroopam. It is considered as the main swara of the raga. There can be one or more Hamsa swaras in a raga

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