Natabhairavi has equivalents everywhere; Dikshitar literature is Naririthigowla, Hindustani is Asaveri, Western Classical is natural minor scale, Greek is Aeolian mode, Tamizh music is Padumalai Palai. It is the 20th melakartha raga in the system, and it seems to have started out as a synthetic raga, and then post Trinity vaggeyakaras should have composed krithis in it much later.

Aarohanam – S R2 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S

Avarohanam – S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S


Carnatic Compositions

  • Sri Valli Devasenapathe by Papanasam Sivan
  • Parulaseva by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Nalina Nayana by Balamurali Krishna

I have not added Sri Neelothpala Nayike in Naririthigowla by Muthuswamy Dikshitar to the list of compositions. All the renditions I find of the song sound more like Reethigowla; the scale is also slightly different.

Listen to Sri Valli Devasenapathe, a Papanasam Sivan composition in Sanskrit.

Also listen a composition in total contrast to the above, sung by Balamurali Krishna himself.

Use in Movies

You will find so many movie songs cast to this ragam, but it is not really that popular in the Carnatic scene. I think this is why. Natabhairavi is the parent raga for a huge list of popular ragas such as – Anandha Bhairavi, Abheri, Sudha Saveri, Hindolam, Saramathi, Darbari Kanada are a few among the lot. Music directors who score for a movie are obviously not carnatic grammer bound. But our obsession to label every movie song, to a raga probably made us go for the obvious parent raga Natabhairavi, which could justify most tunes. One more reason could be that the interval / gap between these notes follow exactly the same pattern of the natural minor scale notes under western music. (Source: link)

Having said that I will list out a few movie songs in Natabhairavi here.

  • Maniye Manikkuyile from Nadodi Thendral – sounds more like Jonpuri
  • Mandram Vandha Thendralukku from Mouna Ragam
  • Andhi Mazhai Megam from Nayagan
  • Aasaya Kaathula from Johnny
  • Oh Butterfly from Meera
  • En Iniya Pon Nilave from Moodu Pani
  • Snehithane from Alaipayuthey
  • Vaseegara from Minnale

Until next,

Vid 🙂