Musings: Road to Bulah Delah with Charukeshi

 Road to Bulah Delah with the sounds of Charukeshi

I bring you Charukeshi along with more wonderful photographs I took during my recent trip North of Sydney. I was listening to Charukeshi on a long road to nowhere it seemed feeling the breeze and the smell of the forest around me I thought how apt and beautiful to be enveloped with Charukeshi, like a caress.

I particularly love this raag. The minor 6th and 7th notes, Dha and Ni when combined with major notes of the rest of the scale gives it a personality of strength along with this energy is a softness, a kindness that shows limitless delicate potential in the following minor notes. As usual Charukeshi has been used by Bollywood in recent movies such as Swades. Charukeshi is a south Indian Raga which has permeated into the North for its ample sweetness but there the resemblance and the arrangements of the notes almost stops. Whilst predominantly similar according to the experts, I find that the North Indian Charukeshi is soft while the south Indian renderings are far more energetic. My searches on the net have lead me to many charukeshi’s however I hope to bring the one’s that are uncommon and yet beautiful. One such example is that of a Government of India TV Doordarshan production, which I found on You Tube shows Sitarist Abhisek Mallick with a fantastic Tabla player, Biplab Bhattacharya, playing a complicated 11 beat thaal called called ‘Chaar Thaal Ki Sawari’


“Hey Surano Chandrabha” is a famous Abhang in this Raag.


Pacific Highway and Hills at Bulah Delah

A favourite voice in Hindustani Music – Rashid Khan singing charukeshi. I consider this to be the best male vocal rendering of this raga of modern times besides ofcourse that sung by the great maestro of long time past, Amir Khan Saheb.

Chinna Satyanarayana is a South Indian Carnatic maestro who explains the rendering of this raga in the South Carnatic Style and then he sings ” Om Sri Charukeshi Raga Devathari Namah” using the many “combinations or sancharams” within this raga. He proceeds to sing an Ashtapadhi in this Ragam “Radhika Krishna Tava Virahe Keshava”

One of my other favourites simply because it lends itself to be danced to in the classical style is the Varnam in this raag “Innam Manam Ariyadhe” which means “Oh Lord Dont you know my mind yet”. I was lucky to find a recording of this Varnam sung by Charumathi Latha at

ML Vasantha Kumari singing Charukeshi, in Thyagarajah’s composition Ada Modi Galathe is an all time enchanting classic

Bird at Myall

Going back to the North I leave you with a composition rendered by the Gundecha Brothers in Charukeshi  “Jhini re Jhini” in the soulful Dhrupad style along with it is  a photograph of a truly rare moment that flew down to have breakfast with me.

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