Hindustani, Kafi


Albeit a Carnatic raga, this is widely sung and played by Hindustani classical musicians; but the treatment differs vastly. Some call it Aabhogi Kanada due to its Kaanada-ang (feature).

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Thhaat (parent scale): Kafi
Jaati (category): Audav (5 notes each in ascent-descent)
Vaadi (dominant swara): Madhyam (M)
Samvaadi (second dominant swara): Shadja (S)
Swaras (notes): incorporates oscillating Komal Gandhaar (g), rest shuddh swaras
Aaroh (ascent): S R g M D S’ (Western Notes: C D D# F A C

Avaroh (descent): S’ D M, g R, g M R S (Western Notes: C A F, D# D, D# F D C)

Chalan (gait, key phrases): S, D.D.S, S R g M, M M D g, M g M D, S’S’, S’D S’, D R’R’D,S’, S’-DMD,g M, RS, R D.-S.

Time: Midnight  

This omits Pancham and Nishad and is an Audav (pentatonic) raga. The long spaces between two notes seem to speak a lot while the oscillating Komal Gandhar (g) adds deep shades of pathos to its divinely regal character. The phrase g M R S brings in the Kanada-ang. Shades of Durga and Bageshree should be carefully avoided while elaborating the raga.


  1. Kramik Pustak Malika by Pandit VN Bhatkhande
  2. Ustad Amir Khan Pioneer of Indore Gharana by Pandit Tejpal Singh

Web links:

  1. Ustad Amir Khan (vocal)
  2. Pandit Nikhil Banerjee (sitar)
  3. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (vocal)
  4. Ustad Rashid Khan (vocal)
  5. Ustad Shahid Parvez (sitar)

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