Malhar is an old raga in Indian classical music. Malhar is associated with the atmosphere of torrential rains.
According to the legend, Malhar is so powerful that when sung, rain falls from the sky.
There are many written accounts of Raga Malhar. Many great artists of medieval period and much earlier period used to sing this raga. Tansen, Baiju Bawra, Baba Ramdas, Nayak Charju, Miyan Bakhshu, Tantarang, Tanras Khan, Bilas Khan (son of Tansen), Hammer Sen, Surat Sen, and Meera are among the singers who are said to have been capable of starting rains using various kinds of Raga Malhar.
According to a legend, once the Mughal emperor Akbar asked his court musician Tansen to sing Raga Deepak, the raga of fire. The effect was such that all the lamps in the courtyard lit up themselves, and Tansen's body became so hot that he had to sit in the nearby river to cool himself. However, the river began to boil, and it became apparent that Tansen would soon boil to death. He set out on a search to find someone who could sing Raga Malhar to cure him. In due course he reached Vadnagar, in Gujarat, where he found two sisters, Tana and Riri, whom he asked for help. They agreed to sing Raga Malhar to cure him. When they sang the Raga, rains came down in torrents, which cooled Tansen's body immediately.
In popular culture
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
- In Satyajit Ray's film Jalsaghar, Raga Malhar is used to link the powers of nature and the hero's internal conflict.
Examples of Miyan Malhar:
Examples of Gaud Malhar:
Examples of Ramdasi Malhar: