Sahana – The raaga I love

Though there are many raagas that I like very much (In fact, there is nothing like a raaga that I don’t like), nothing gives me as much pleasure as listening to Sahana. I can say without any doubt that nobody can stop themselves from falling in love with Sahana. It’s such a beautiful raaga!
Sample this:
(The song ‘Indha Veenaikku’ from K.Balachandar’s old TV serial ‘Rayil Sneham’)

I remembered this song all of a sudden a couple of days back and what better site than youtube to search for it. You think of some song and you are sure to find it in youtube most of the times. By the way, I later searched for ‘Indha Veenaikku’ in Google and found that many bloggers had written about this one and Sahana in 2005/06. I don’t know how I missed reading those at that time.

Coming back to Sahana, incidentally Sanjay Subrahmanyan too has said in his interviews that Sahana is his favourite raaga. No wonder then, that he sings Sahana in many of his concerts, if not an entire song atleast a Viruttam or when singing a ragamalika in Raagam-Taanam-Pallavi. The same is the case with T.M.Krishna. Of course, I haven’t heard him say anywhere that Sahana is his favourite. But, he too sings Sahana in most of his concerts.
Even A.R.Rahman spoke at the Carnatic Chills audio release about an absolutely amazing Sahana played by Ganesh & Kumaresh that he listened to somewhere. I heard them play Sri Vathapi Ganapathi recently. Amazing of course, it was!

Some Carnatic songs in Sahana that are my favourites:
Chittam Irangadha by Sanjay Subrahmanyan – You can listen to it here:

Ee Vasudha by Sanjay or T.M.Krishna (I have heard them both sing it in concerts) – You can listen to this song played by Guitar Prasanna here:

Rama Ika Nannu – You can find it here sung by Sanjay:

Tillai Ambalatthaanai – Sanjay has sung this song in his album titled ‘Tillai’. A 21-minute song in Sahana! Pure bliss! I especially love the fast-paced swarams that he sings at around 17.oo minutes in this song.
Oho Kaalame by Sanjay – This composition by Vedanayakam Pillai is the one that Sanjay Subrahmanyan is, I should say, promoting nowadays.
Then, there are the songs Sri Vathapi Ganapathi, Vandanamu and Giripai.

Talking about film songs in Sahana, nothing can beat the old song, Paartthaen Siritthaen. All the lines end with words ending with ‘thaen’ in this song. Lovely!

Then, there is one of Rahman’s best compositions, ‘Azhage Sugama’ from Paarthaale Paravasam. I thought this one is in Sahana. But, someone told me that it is in Dwijavanti. Can someone please tell me if this one is in Sahana/Dwijavanti?

P.S.: Even if you are someone who doesn’t listen to classical music, I want you to listen to atleast one song that I have listed here. I am sure you will like it. After all, though it helps to have knowledge of Carnatic music to appreciate it, it is not a must that you should know it to enjoy it that too when listening to a raaga like Sahana.



  1. adiya said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    yes i guess it is Sahana ( with my limited theory knowledge ).
    and K.Balachandars favourite raga also.

    let me listen all and tell u

    • Sivaramakrishnan said,

      September 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Its not sahana…. its Dwijavanti raagam…. the violin play from 4:51 till 5.27 made me think its sahana….. but its not 🙂 ….

  2. Aparna said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Yes K.B.’s fav raaga is Sahana only. Otherwise why would he name a serial as Sahana…

  3. Sathej said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Sahana was sung as the main piece in a recent kutcheri of TM Krishna at Vidya Bharathi(Apart from the RTP in Kambhodhi).It was really sung at lenght with good Neraval(as is TMK’s usual style).I remember having read the review somewhere,in your blog or Ramsabode.I attended the concert.Kshinamai in Mukhari was vintage Semmangudi Bani.Shri MA Sundareswaran and Shri Umayalpuram Sivaraman were the accompanists.

  4. Aparna said,

    February 15, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I had written about it and you had also commented that you are a student of Shri MA Sundareswaran in that post. I just can’t forget the Sahana that TMK sang & Shri Sundareswaran played that day!

  5. ranjhith said,

    February 16, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Looks like there is so much in this world to learn & appreciate. A Man’s life isn’t enough for it. Hmm, Sahana! Thanks for the intro. >:O)

  6. Aparna said,

    February 16, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    To quote what Rahman says in Worldspace ad, ‘There’s so much to hear’ 🙂

  7. ranjhith said,

    February 16, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Yep. Very true, then I have a post on that. >:O)
    Chk this out:

    Those verses are too good. Enjoy! Cheers.

  8. Sathej said,

    February 16, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    As regards the TMK kuctheri,yes,I had fogotten about posting the comment in your blog.You too have worldspace!I listen to Shruthi in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons(when I don’t have college)Its really good,especially the morning Nadopasana and afternoon Raga Pravaham.Once,they put up a two hour Special from 9-11 PM and I sat right through it.It was none other than Flute Mali.His Begada RTP was just out of the world.

  9. Aparna said,

    February 17, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Yes nice lines!

    I don’t have Worldspace. Even without Worldspace, I am listening to music most of the times. 🙂 I have heard that Shruti is good. And Begada RTP that must have been great! Begada is one of my favourite raagas.

  10. Awatts said,

    February 25, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Absolute fav of mine…thanks for bringing it up via UTube…

  11. June 10, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Sahana is my fav raga too..I have listened to all the above mentioned krithis rendered by sanjay sir 🙂 I listened to a beautiful krithi called ishAnAdishivAkAramanche by thalaivar dIkshithar and i totally fell in love with it. It is a must hear!!Keep checking I will post the krithi there soon!!

  12. Aparna said,

    June 10, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks a lot for sending me the song! You made my day! 🙂

  13. Mahesh said,

    July 5, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Sahana is one of the intellectual ragas along with Begada, Dhanyasi etc.

    Late Sri M D Ramanathan was a specialist and has thrilled many people with hismusic. You need hear him singing this raga in a [very] base voice in chowka kala. Pretty amazing.

    I *think* you can get a couple of clips from His Giripai is not to be missed!!!

  14. Aparna said,

    July 6, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Welcome to my blog 🙂 Thanks I will check out sangeethapriya. Right now I am hooked to MDR’s Kedaragowlai only 🙂

  15. Mahesh said,

    July 11, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks Aparna!! Found your blog whilst googling for something else!!

    Any of MDR’s music and I’m hooked 🙂 Right now, I’m listening to his Dikshitar krithis compilation I made from various concerts. Akshayalingavibho in Shankarabaranam to be followed by Sri Subramanyaya Namasthe in Kambodhi. Quality.

  16. Balaji. R said,

    October 13, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Me and my mother just for the past 2 years, got interested in carnatic music and started enjoying raagaas slowly. We were analysing sahana ragam. I listed some songs in sahana like vandhanamu ragu nandhana ( Rama Darisanam – P. Unnikrishnan), Nadhaswaram in unnaal mudiyum thambi, and so on. Instantly she said that she had heard this tune before. Though she could not recognise this song immediately, she then recollected this song. We were long waiting for this song.

    Excited and pleased to hear that here.

  17. Praveen Shankar.C said,

    October 23, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Enaku English avlova theriyadhu.Thats why i am going to ask in TAMIL. So dont mistake me. Tamil songsla(cinema songs) SAHANA ragaa Base panni vandha songs, edhu edhunu konjam therinja sollunga.PLZ….. I would like to hear those songs…..

  18. Praveen Shankar.C said,

    October 23, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Music ku Language oru matter kidayadhunu nambaren. Im waitin for ur reply my dear Guys nd Gals.

  19. Aparna said,

    October 24, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Welcome to my blog

    Paartthaen Siritthaen and ‘Azhage Sugama’ from Paarthaale Paravasam are the only ones I know

  20. arul said,

    November 26, 2007 at 10:02 am

    i want to know the list of tamil film songs bassed on sahana

  21. Vijay said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:10 pm


    Was googling for Sahana and landed up here. Though I learnt to play the violin for a while, I don’t know much about the technicalities of carnatic music. But I have always loved hearing to it. My favorite singer is Maharajapuram Santhanam.

    Sahana — Just hearing the name mesmerizes me every single time. Azhage Sugama is one of the best songs ever. My friend sent me this link — — a malayalam song based on Sahana. Will listen to the songs that you have referred to in your blog. Thanks!

  22. priya said,

    April 12, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Can any body tell me some theoritical aspects about this ragam. ‘Sahana’ my favourite too. I love this ragam. I have heard Neyvli sir and MDR. Both have song it very well. MDR ofcourse, is unbeatable.

    i will be very greatful if somebody could tell me how to practice the Gandharam in sahana.

  23. Raman said,

    December 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    The Anbe Sugama song from Paarthale Paravasm is Sahana (not a Dwijawanthi). It becomes much clear when the violin plays.
    Among the Carnatic ones, there is a krithi in Muthuswami Dikshitar’s Kamalamba Navavarnams, which i feel is the best.

  24. Arattai Ambujammal said,

    December 31, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I landed on this page searching for Sahana Ragalakshanam…
    To Priya’s question, I have heard from my teacher that the Dikshitar school follows G2 (and hence listed as Karaharapriya – 22 Janya) while the Sahana you hear now-a-days has G3 (Harikamboji – 28 Janya) and hence, the more popular version. Know nothing more than that.
    Happy new year…

  25. Vikram said,

    March 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    If you like Sahana so much, I hope you will enjoy this masterpiece by Malladi brothers–

    Can you find me an mp3 or video of Sanjay or TM Krishna rendering Emanadhi in Sahana?

  26. Jayanthan said,

    March 22, 2009 at 11:19 pm


    Nice to read abt sahana raagam. My nice, 10 months old, is named as ‘Sahana’. I knew it was a raagam, so was looking for songs based on it. Even I have heard that ARR’s ‘Azhage Sugama’ is based on it, not sure.

    Thanks for the infor on ‘Indha Veenaikku’.

  27. e k dhanasekar said,

    April 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wonderful Job. Whole hearted thanks on the works about this raga. Very much impressed and thanked you because of the reason during 1987 when Balachandar’s tv serial by name Sahana was watched by me and the title song so impressed me from that day onwards i used to listen songs on sahana ragam.

    Keep up the good work.

  28. GeethalakshmiVenkatraman said,

    May 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Ya, we also love the Raga SAHANA thats why we give the name to our first daughter G.V.SAHANA which has been selected from our six years love. Every one after hear this name told only.. “Very nice selection”. Thanks to Mr.K.Balachandar.

  29. sahana said,

    May 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    i myself being a carnatic singer as well as instrimentalist did not the fact that there is a raga by name sahana. nw after knwing the speciality of this raga i feel tat i hv to be grateful to my parents for giving me the name of such a wonderful raga.

  30. sahana said,

    June 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    can any one tell me the names of few cine songs in the raga sahana???????????????? iam very eager to know it………….

  31. sahana said,

    June 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    tell me…….

  32. Aanaikka Natarajan Venkatasubramanian said,

    July 10, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Hi all. Sahana is one of my favourite raga since 80s. I have collected a list of Sahana Raga based Carnatic/Cine/Serial song list. Please add more to this list. Thankyou for this wonderful blog.


    The popular kritis in Sahana are:

    01. Dehi Tava Pada, Adi, Thyagaraja
    02. Emanatichchedavo, Rupaka, Thyagaraja
    03. Giripai Nelakonna, Adi, Thyagaraja
    04. Ee Vasudha (Kovoor Pancharatna) , Adi, Thyagaraja
    05. Nijamuga Nimahimalu, Adi,Thyagaraja
    06. Rama Rama Rama, Chapu,Thyagaraja
    07. Sri Rama Sri Rama Sri Manoharama, Adi,Thyagaraja
    08. Urake Galguna, Chapu,Thyagaraja
    09. Vandanamu Raghunandana, Adi,Thyagaraja
    10. Raghupate – Tisra ekam -Thyagaraja
    11. Sri Kamalambikayam, Triputa tala – Dikshdhar
    12. Sri Eesanathi -Rupaka tala – Dikshdhar
    13. Rama ika nannu brovara – Rupakam – Patnam Subramonia Iyer
    14. Narayanam – Adi – Tulsivanam
    15. Sri Vatapi Ganapathiye ninatal charanam – Adi – Papanasam Sivan.
    16. Chittam Irangadha
    17. Tillai Ambalatthaanai
    18. Oho Kaalame – Vedanayakam Pillai
    19. Theera pini theera – Thiruppugazh – Arunagirinathar
    20. Manamu kavalannu – Muthiah Bhagavatar

    01. Pathiniye Unpol Itharaimeethinil – Kannagi
    02. Paartthaen Siritthaen – Veera Abhimanyu
    03. Rukku Rukku – Avvai Shanmuki
    04. Then Kizhakku cheemayila – Kizakku cheemaila
    05. En mel vizhuntha – Mey madam
    06. Nalai ulagam – Love birds
    07. Thennaiyale- Kadalan
    08. Azhage Sugama – Paarthaale Paravasam Sahana/Dwijavanti

    01. Indha Veenaikku – K.Balachandar’s old TV serial ‘Rayil Sneham’

    • AK said,

      July 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

      There are 8 Thirupugazh alone in Raga Sahana. I am aslo trying to come with the compositions on the same.


  33. Saravanan said,

    July 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Hi., can you please send me the names of some tamil film songs based on SAHANA ragam.. I am very eager to listen to those songs.. Can you please help me.

  34. Aruna said,

    July 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Hi All,
    Thanks a lot..
    I love this raaga too……..
    The latest one in the film Sivaji (Rajanikant ) Sahara saral thovudho

  35. Raghu said,

    August 12, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Listen to this amazing slokam by Semmangudi. sahana is the second ragam in this ragamalika. It is the best sahana i’ve ever heard.
    [audio src="" /]

  36. anuradha ramanan said,

    October 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for all the info.. i have been a crazy fan of this song since my early school days.. your mind really feels heavy with bliss once u hear it..
    this is one amazing raaga and if any of are interested please listen to
    an amazing song in the malayalam movie kaliyattam.. ennodenthini pinakkam.. the link is

  37. Aruna said,

    January 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Here is a Viruttam in Sahana by Sanjay..He is just awesome..

  38. Manikandan said,

    March 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Hai all
    after googling for sahana raga tamil songs i came here. Thanks for the information, is there still any more songs please inform
    thanks & regards

  39. kq said,

    June 13, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    here’s SS’s sahana

  40. Roop Ganesh said,

    June 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I love the song “Indha veenaikku theriyadhu” very much. I love Sahana ragam very much.

  41. Rajagopal Suresh said,

    July 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    By chance I landed at your blog looking for details of Sahaanaa ragam. I think you are doing a great work through your blog. Long live you and your blog. Regards.

  42. Chandrasekaran said,

    July 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Well compiled research on Sahaana Raagam! It is an emotionally surcharged, quenching and endearing raaga when the scale of notes are strung together correctly (not tweaked) in both classical and adapted form. I would like to add an old film song rendered by the legendary TMS titled “Ennamellam Oor…” from the 1958 film, Thirumanam, with lyrics by Udumulai Narayana Kavi and probably tuned by inimitable G. Ramanathan. You can dowload from the website: easily since unable to attach the mp3 file. Sheer beauty in the lyrics, tonal clarity soaked with bhava and felicity of scaling 3 octaves with such effortless ease! Would rate it as the best filmy adaptation since it maintains purity of the notes & raaga’s ‘jeevan’ to the hilt!! Please do enjoy listening and post your comments too, Aparna…

  43. Rammohan said,

    August 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Nice Post. Sahana is my favourite raga, i go to an extend even naming my daugher, Sahana. Such a wonderful raga.

  44. V. BAGAVATHI said,

    November 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Sahana is one of my favourite raaga. The detailed research about Sahana and how it is carried out both in Carnatic and film music is really thought provoking..!Thanks Aparna..

  45. V. BAGAVATHI said,

    November 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Sahana is one of my favourite raaga. The detailed research about the various aspects of Sahana and how it is carried out both in Carnatic and Film music is really thought provoking..! Thanks Aparna..

  46. Ranjini said,

    November 18, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I love Sahana raagam. Ever since my husband and I watched reyil sneham we loved Sahana raagam. We decided that we will name our daughter as Sahana and we named her as Sahana.

  47. Tasneef Haidar said,

    December 12, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Aparna Ji!

    i just came to know that you have alot of knowledge about ragas. My name is Tasneef Haidar, i am a research scholar of Urdu and nowadays i am working on Rekhta (Old form of Ghazal), i found in a literary book that Rekhta was a raga, i could not find any raga whose name is Rekhta but i got a raga Rakti or Sahana which comes in the list of Janya raga. I listened, it is a Arabic raga which was being used on Pakhaawaj and now it is not in use and musicians are only using so called rakti raga, i want to know that this raga is actually from Hindustani or Carnatic raga? please help me Mam! I really dont know anything about Musical literature. If you live in Delhi even i can meet you to know this Raga. I will wait for your reply.

    Tasneef Haidar
    Okhla, New Delhi

  48. manjulakrishnan said,

    December 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    hi, u know sahana means patience. It reduces bloodpressure and innerviolence when heard regularly.

  49. ilakkia said,

    August 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    i love sahana….thanks for ur information

  50. Raghu said,

    September 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I love this raga the most soothing one

    i saw the list of songs both carnatic and film

    where can i get all these in one place so i can record/store ?


  51. B.S.Vidyaranya said,

    April 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Yes Aparnaa ji Everything finally culminates at Sahana. I believe the beauty is in the Vakra, specially in the Avarohana that makes the Raga very special. And who else other than MD to listen to- him rendering? Furthermore, the Raga blends with prakruthi & you are one with the creator specially sung in vilamba kaala.

    Happy listening, dear!

  52. April 9, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Thiruvaranmula Krishna by ks Chitra is also of sahana. The raaga it appears suits beautifully to mild romantic numbers and devotional ones.

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