Pushpalatika – Raga Ruminations

Can a song, one by an obscure composer become popular solely based on a singer’s rendition? There are a surprising number of such songs that have shot to prominence. Here is one such story which became well known after M.S.Subbalakshmi’s concert.  The song Ikainaina, the composer, Tirupati Narayanaswamy and the raga Pushpalatika were not well-known in the concert circuit. It went down in the annals of Carnatic music history as a successful attempt to showcase a raga that didn’t seem to offer much scope earlier.

Here is the rendition by M.S.Subbalakshmi singing Ikainaina and the neraval at “Akalanga Neeve” at the beginning of the anupallavi. The neraval which is rich in melody and rhythm is systematically developed by the stalwart. When it ends in a climax there is a richly-deserving and deafening applause from the audience. I can never tire of listening to this masterpiece.

None of the popular composers seem to have thought of this raga while creating their masterpieces. There is no Hindustani equivalent to Pushpalatika. For those who want details, Pushpalatika is a janya of raga Karaharapriya (Mela raga 22) and the scale is as follows. SR2G2M1PN2 SN2PM1G2R2

7 thoughts on “Pushpalatika – Raga Ruminations

  1. Many cine songs are there. One e.g. is vendina vendum varam tharubhavale amma amma


  2. Hi
    Thank you for the info.
    Can you please check if Kora Kaagaz tha song from Aradhana movie is based on Pushpalathika?

    Gopal N


    1. Kora Kaagaz seems to be based on raag Pahaadi (folk melody) and what looks like a good fit given the hilly background of the movie scenes!


  3. Ilayaraja has composed two songs in pushpalathika to my knowledge. One is Maasi Maasam Alana Ponnu in Dharma Durai and Mella Mella Ennai Thottu in the movie Vazhkai


    1. Will check out these songs. Thank you!


      1. Also the song “Chittu Kuruvi” from movie Chinna Veedu is in Pushpalathika raga



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