When you hear the raga Kathanakuthuhalam, the first song that comes to mind is Raghuvamsha Sudha, a composition of Patnam Subramanyam Iyer. The song and the raga have almost become synonymous with each other. The song Raghuvamsha describes Lord Rama in different ways. Listen to Raghuvamsha sung by the legendary MS Subbalakshmi.
What’s interesting about this raga is its structure and the unexpected twists and turns while singing the notes. The quirky nature of the melody adds to the allure. The varnam by Mysore Vasudevachari in Kathanakuthuhalam is a wonderful piece – listen to the rendition by Sikkil Sisters on the flute.
As a musician and a rasika, I feel this raga is more suited for an instrument than the human voice.
The raga makes a strong impact in dance programmes when the tillana by Lalgudi Jayaraman in Kathanakuthuhalam is presented.
For those who want the technical details, Kathanakuthuhalam is a derivative (janya) of 29th Mela Raga Dheerashankarabharanam and the scale is as follows. SR2M1D2N3G3PS SN3D2PM1G3R2S
I fully expect to hear Kathanakuthuhalam in movies one of these days.