- Ragamalika, as it’s name implies is a garland of ragas. The choice of ragas as well as their sequence are based on aesthetic considerations.
- In Medieval period Sarngadev has written “Raga Kadambam” following this Kallinadu has mentioned 4 types of chendoreethis & named “Raga Kadambam”.
- Later in 1550 B.C. , Ramamatya has written “Swaramela Kalanidhi”. He has composed a prabandham by the name “Raga Kadambam”.
- Venkatamakhi has mentioned about “Raga Kadambam” in his compositions.
- Ragamalika is a special musical composition. It having all lakshanas is called as “Bahuvamsa Ragamalika”. Eg.:- 2nd part of Tacchuri Singachari’s “Gayaka Sidhanjanam” is a Bahuvamsa Ragamalika.
Lakshanas of Ragamalika:
- In a ragamalika, raga keeps changing while talam remains constant. It consists of a pallavi, anupallavi, & many charanams.
- Four will be the minimum number of ragas for a ragamalika composition.
- Some may not have anupallavi, while some may have chitta swarams.
- Sahitya of ragamalika is usually devotional or of love theme.
Some composers of main ragamalikas are:
|1. Muthuswamy Dikshitar||2. Syama Sastry||3. Tyagaraja Swamy|
|4. Ramaswamy Dikshitar||5. Maha Vaidyanatha Ayyar||6. Subbarama Dikshitar|
|7. Krishna Kavi||8. Swati Tirunal||9. Sitaramayya|
|10. Tiruvottiyur Tyagayyar||11. Patnam Subramanyam||12. Ponniah Pillai|
Some popular ragamalikas with examples are:
- 72 Mela ragamalika by Sri Maha Vaidyanatha Ayyar
- 72 Raganga ragamalika by Subbarama Dikshitar for Dhatu and Krishna Kavi for Matu.
- Chaturdasa ragamalika : Composition in 14 ragas. Ex: Sri Viswanadham Bhajeham by Muthu Swamy Dikshitar.
- Shodasa ragamalika: Composition in 16 ragas. Ex: composed by Tiruvattiyur Tyagayyar.
- Ragatalamalika: Each section is not only in a different raga & tala but raga mudra & tala mudra are present in sahitya of each section.
Ex: Ramaswamy Dikshitar’s 108 ragas & talas composition “Natakadi Vidyala”
- Pakshamalika: “Sudati Sri Mohananguni” is a composition in 15 ragas. It contains Prabandha mudra.
- Nitya Kalyani Ragamalika, a typical composition in 8 ragas by Sitaramayya.
- Amba ninnu Nera nammithi – 9 ragas composition by Chinnikrishna Dasa and not by Syama Sastry.
- Punnagendra Sayana – 8 ragas composition “Ee Kanakambari” by Subbarama Dikshitar
- Navaratnamalika – Composition in 9 ragas. “Garavamu ganna” is by Subbarama Dikshitar.
- Navavidha bhakti by Sri Swati Tirunal
Also “Ne Sarilerani korina” by Sri Subbarama Dikshitar
- Tyagaraja swamy’s 100 kritis in 100 ragas is known as “ Sataraga ragamalika.
- Ragamalikas are within Varnas, Kritis, Swarajathis, Jathi Swarams etc.
Ex. 1. Navaragamalika by Patnam Subramanyam ayyar.
Ex.2. Ragamalika Swarajathi & Jathi swaram by Swamy Tirunl, Ponniah Pillai
- Annamacharya’s RagaTala malika, Suladi.
- Ragamudra is present in matu section in Sahitya. To mark the end of charanam, in the last ragam, raga mudras will be present.
- Prabandha mudra: Present in the beginning of Prabandham
- Nayaka mudra: Sahitya contains Nayaka, Nayaki. Every part has Nayaka mudra.
- Most of the ragamalikas are in Adi, Rupaka talas.
- “Ashtothara Sataragamalika” is composed by Ramaswamy Dikshitar. It has 108 ragatalamalika. Every secion has 108 ragatalamalika. In each and every section, sahityam contains ragam & talam name.
- Ragamalikas have been written in Ghana, Naya, Rakti ragas.
- Mostly composed in Madhyama kalam.
- Talamalika: Only talam changes but not ragams.
- Ragamalikas are sung in Manodharma Sangeetham also.
- Ragas which succeed one another from an aesthetic point of view are called Mitra ragas.
- Ex: Darbar, Nayaki, Bhairavi, Manji, Ahiri, Sahana etc.
- Swara passage in pallavi raga is called as “Makuta Swara” to experience bhava & rasa of the raga.
Thus Ragamalikas are beautiful musical compositions.