Shanmukhapriya as the name suggests is a melody that’s believed to be a favourite of Lord Shanmukha. But the beauty of the melody captivates all music lovers. There are several Tamil compositions in this raga either praising Lord Shanmukha or his father Lord Shiva, many of which have been composed by Papanasam Sivan such as Sharavana bhava enum and Aandavane. Dikshithar who called this raga Chamaram has composed an invocatory song to Lord Ganesha, Siddhi Vinayakam. Parama purusha, another song in this raga and a composition of Annamacharya praising Lord Balaji of Tirupati is sung mostly in the high octave.
I can think of none other than the stalwart Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer when I hear Siddhi Vinayakam.
M.S Subbalakshmi’s rendition of Parama Purusha has an outstanding neraval in the latter half of the song that brings out the nuances of the raga. With a happy blend of melody and lyrics the neraval is precise and deeply soul-stirring for the listeners.
There is no Hindustani equivalent to this raga.
The song Kanakkul nooru nilava featuring actors Amala and Raja in the Tamil movie Vedham Puthithu was based on Raga Shanmukhapriya.
In the classic Tamil movie Thillana Mohanambal the song Marainthirinthu Paarkum was based on this raga. The song is about Shanmukha which incidentally is also the name of the hero in the movie.
For those who want details, Shanmukhapriya is the 56th Mela raga with the following scale SR2G2M2PD1N2 SN2D1PM2G2R2S