Andhali (Aandhali) is a very beautiful janya of mela ragam Harikambhoji; very melodious and evoking karuna and bhakthi rasas. It may be due to its close resemblance with Shriraga of the Madhyamavathi group. The accepted ragaswaroopa : Andhali - S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 G3 M1 R2 S Shriragam - S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S (there is another avarohanam for Shriragam, including D2)
It is an oudava vakra-shadava ragam. This is one of the rarest ragas; still cannot be included under Eka-krithi ragas, as both Thyagaraja and Dikshithar have composed in the raga. Andhali is a very old raga; but used in composition by two of the Trinities, Thyagaraja and Dikshithar. Andhali is a raga of antiquity which probably went by the name of Andol or Andola prior to the times of Ramamatya (1550). Ramamatya was the first to capture it in its current name as a raga belonging to the Sriraga mela in his Swaramelakalanidhi. The next mention of Andhali is by Venkatamakhi in the Cathurdandi Prakashika. Again Venkatamakhi places Andhali under the Shriraga mela. Tuleja in his Saramrutha places it under Kambhoji mela. This is carried forward by the Anubandha to the CDP as well as Subbarama Dikshitar(SD) who classify it as a janya raga under the Kedaragaula mela. We have a krithi of Muthuswami Dikshitar as notated in the SSP, “Brihannayaki Varadayaki”. Thyagaraja also seems to have a krithi in triputa tala, “Abhimanamu ledemi” in this raga which is not in currency. There are no other available compositions in this raga. According to Venkatamakhi, Andhali is an audava raga of the Shriraga mela. As per Tuleja, it is a shadava raga, dhaivata varjya of the Kambhoji mela. So the nominal arohana / avarohana is SRMPNS//SNPMRGMRS. So, Andhali moves from Shriraga mela to Kambhoji / Kedaragaula mela; as also from sadharana to anthara gandhara, making this raga move from the Shriraga clan to the Kedaragaula clan. This transformation is captured by the 3 compositions that one finds in the SSP. On the strength of the (Muddu)Venkatamakhi shloka, Subbarama Dikshithar gives a krama murccana arohana/avarohana as SRGMPNS // SNPMGRS under Kedaragaula mela. The lakshana sloka is given in SSP as: "arohe cavarohe ca dhavarjandhalika mata" (Subbarama Dikshithar explains this raga as : upanga; Shadava; dhaivata varjya; suitable for singing at all times. However, Muthuswami Dikshitar prefers SRMPNS // SNPMRGMRS, which Subbarama Dikshitar highlights in his explanatory notes. Sangraha Chudamani gives the arohana / avarohana as SRMPNS/SNPMRGMRS, which tallies with the Dikshitar concepts. In summary, the raga lakshana of Andhali is encapsulated by the Dikshitar composition and the chittaswara as notated by Subbarama Dikshitar. The operative arohana and avarohana is SRMPNS // SNPMRGMRS. The raga is almost extinct today in the popular concert platform. One hopes that Andhali would get some air-time atleast as a filler in recitals, going forward and performers should render this Dikshitar composition with its elegant chittasvara as well. The raga lakshana of the Thyagaraja krithi closely mapped to the one found in the Dikshitar composition as played by Smt Kalpagam Swaminathan. Dikshithar krithi 'brihannayaki' is sung by T.Brinda using G2 (Shriragam janya), while Kalpagam Swaminathan's version is G3. Chitraveena Ravikiran is of opinion that the notes are SR2G2M1PN2S // SN2PM1R2G2M1R2S (as janya of Kharaharapriya) : (Please listen to- https://streaming.acharyanet.com/…/muthuswamy…/brihannayaki/) SSP shows the notes as: SR2G3M1PN2S // SN2PM1G3R2S (Dhaivatha varja, shadava ragam); the notations for the geetham and Dikshithar krithi confirms the same notes, as janya of mela (28) Harikambhoji.
Ragapravaham shows both the specifications, under mela (28): S R M P N S // S N P M R G M R S S R G M P N S // S N P M G R S
Compositions: Abhimanamule - Thyagaraja Brihannayaki Varadayaki - Dikshithar Chamdraddinamani (g) – Venkatamakhi
TODAY, AS WE CELEBRATE THE 244th BIRTHDAY OF ONE OF THE GREATEST CARNATIC COMPOSERS OF ALL TIMES – THE GREATEST COMPOSER WHO HAS INCLUDED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF TEMPLES AND DEITIES FROM ALL OVER INDIA; THE LEGENDS AND REALITIES ABOUT THEM – PAYING FLORAL TRIBUTES TO SRI. MUTHUSWAMI DIKSHITHAR. We have been lucky enough to discuss the Dikshithar compostion today under this Rare Raga. (This article was written and published on 24th March this year)
The Dikshithar krithi is on Goddess Brihannayaki of Tanjore (Brihadeeswara temple). Raga mudra is incorporated as "AndhALi haraNa", meaning 'removing ignorance'. This is a krithi in eighth (sambodhana prathama vibhakthi). Here is an excellent rendition of the Dikshithar krithi by Dr. Vijayalakshmi Subramaniam. Unlike vid. T.Brinda, she uses the Anthara gandharam (G3)