# Ultimate Guide to Carnatic/South Indian Melakarta Ragas/Scales

Learn the 72 Melakarta Ragas of Carnatic/South Indian music easily with a simple trick.

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To briefly explain, South Indian/Carnatic music has what are called Melakarta Ragas, or parent ragas, which their nearly infinite number of child ragas are born from. These are 72 scales grouped conveniently into 12 groups of 6 called Chakras (and you'll understand why shortly). This evening, I took the time to write down the intervals to each scale. All the sources I could find on the subject only had these scales in a sort of Indian syllable-based tab system, so this will be easier on us Western folk.

Before I list the scales, I will make the process of learning these ragas as simple as possible for you. The first five intervals of each Chakra are fixed, meaning they do not change. The fifth itself is always perfect, never changing. It is only the sixth and seventh intervals that change from raga to raga in a chakra. This means that you only need to learn the unchanging intervals of a Chakra and then apply this formula in order to make learning 72 scales as easy as learning 12 and a special trick/pattern.

The formula is as follows: In the first three ragas in a chakra, the sixth is flat/minor. In the first raga, the seventh is diminished. In the second, it is minor/flat. In the third, it becomes major. The pattern here is that the seventh is moving right a semitone with each scale. In the fourth raga, the sixth is changed to major from minor, the seventh itself minor. For the fifth, the seventh is made major, and then for the last and final raga in a chakra, the sixth is sharpened/augmented.

To make this a bit easier to understand, imagine that the sixth and seventh scale degrees are taking a trip to the right (this is stupid, but bear with me!). It takes three ragas for the seventh to transition from diminished to major, only to realize the sixth was left behind. So, he goes back in the fourth raga and makes the journey again, but this time from minor, because now the sixth is following him. Once he is major in the fifth raga, the sixth continues following along by sharpening/augmenting in the sixth and final raga.

If this sounds confusing, it isn't. Having that in your mind, I guarantee you'll understand what I meant as you learn a raga or two. You are just learning twelve scales and six variations for each. 12 is a lot less than 72, yeah?

Without wasting anymore of your time, I present to you the list of Melakarta ragas:

## Indu Chakra

**1. Kanakangi**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**2. Ratnangi**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**3. Ganamoorti**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**4. Vanaspati**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**5. Manavati**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**6. Tanaroopi**

1, b2, bb3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Netra Chakra

**7. Senavati**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**8. Hanumatodi/Todi (Phrygian)**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**9. Dhenuka**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**10. Natakapriya**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**11. Kokilapriya**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**12. Roopavati**

1, b2, b3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Agni Chakra

**13. Gayakapriya**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**14. Vakulabharanam**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**15. Mayamalavagowla**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**16. Chakravakam**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**17. Sooryakantam**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**18. Hatakambari**

1, b2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Veda Chakra

**19. Jhankaradhwani**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**20. Natabhairavi**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**21. Keeravani**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**22. Kharaharapriya**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**23. Gourimanohari (Melodic Minor)**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**24. Varunapriya**

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Bana Chakra

**25. Mararanjani**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**26. Charukeshi ("Hindu scale")**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**27. Sarasangi**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**28. Harikambhoji**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**29. Shankarabharanam/Dheerashankarabharanam (Major/Ionian)**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**30. Naganandini**

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Ritu Chakra

**31. Yagapriya**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, bb7

**32. Ragavardini**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

**33. Gangeyabhooshani**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7

**34. Vagadheeshwari**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

**35. Shoolini**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

**36. Chalanata**

1, #2, 3, 4, 5, #6, 7

## Rishi Chakra

**37. Salagam**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**38. Jalamavam**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**39. Jhalavarali**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**40. Navaneetam**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**41. Pavani**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**42. Raghupriya**

1, b2, bb3, #4, 5, #6, 7

## Vasu Chakra

**43. Gavambhodi**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**44. Bhavapriya**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**45. Shubhapantuvarali**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**46. Shadvidamargini**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**47. Suvamangi**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**48. Divyamani**

1, b2, b3, #4, 5, #6, 7

## Brahma Chakra

**49. Dhavalambari**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**50. Namanarayani**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**51. Kamavardini**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**52. Ramapriya**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**53. Gamanashrama**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**54. Vishwambari**

1, b2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7

## Disi Chakra

**55. Shamalangi**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**56. Shanmukhapriya**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**57. Simhendramadhyamam**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**58. Hemavati**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**59. Dharmavati**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**60. Neetimati**

1, 2, b3, #4, 5, #6, 7

## Rudra Chakra

**61. Kantamani**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**62. Rishabhapriya**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**63. Latangi**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**64. Vachaspati**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**65. Mechakalyani/Kalyani (Lydian)**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**66. Chitrambari**

1, 2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7

## Aditya Chakra

**67. Sucharita**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, bb7

**68. Jyotiswaroopini**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, b7

**69. Dhatuvardani**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, b6, 7

**70. Nasikabhooshani**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7

**71. Kosalam**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7

**72. Rasikapriya**

1, #2, 3, #4, 5, #6, 7

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