Learn Late Evening Raag Khamaj

Raag Khamaj Specs:

Thaat: Khamaj
Aarohi: 'N S G m P D N S'
Amrohi: S' n D P m G m G R S
Vadi: G
Samvadi: N
Pakard: G m P D N S', N S', D S', n D P, D m G; G, m G, R S;
Pakard: G m P, D N S'; S' n, D P, m G R S;
Pakard: G m D N S'; n D, m P D, m G, S;
Time: 6 pm – 9 pm
Zaat: Shadav – Sampuran


Khamaj is probably most known for it’s use in Khyal, Thumri and Ghazal genre. Various spellings exists for it, including: Khammaj, Khamaj, Khammaaj, Khamaaj, and even Khaamj.

As you can see that unlike many Sampuran Raag, Khamaj has a caveat where Arohi is based on Shadav format, meaning 6 Sur in it’s assent. It rules out R in Arohi and also substitutes it’s n instead of N in it’s Amrohi. Not only is there no R in Arohi, but even in Amrohi, the use of R is on very limited basis. I’m sure you will find this in every Khamaj description on the web.

What you will not find is that this little caveat makes a huge difference when trying to recognize Khamaj in a composition. Raag Khamaj is also the flag bearer of it’s Thaat family also known as Thaat Khamaj. There is no particularly recognized Pakad for Khamaj. However, the Pakad you see above established pretty well based on the most notable Khamaj compositions.

Strange thing about Raag Khamaj is that, it can be used to sing about separation or union with the beloved. As far as Time for Khamaj is concerned, it’s mostly said be late evening or early night. Although, I’ve seen some references that state any time is a good time for Khamaj.

Khamaj has been said to initially come from the South Indian realm of music as Ragam Harikambhoji. However, there are minor variances that set them apart. Raag Khamaj however came into front and center of the HCM in times around 1100-1200 AD. The newly migrated Persians adopted many of the Raga of the Carnatic Music.

When they focused on this particular Raag, they substitute n for N into it’s Arohi giving it a strange new feel. They renamed the old Raag to what we now refer to as Raag Khamaj. Which is made up of two separate Farsi words:

  1. Kham: meaning twist.
  2. Aaj: meaning today or at present.

Which was the Persian way of pointing out that this Raag is meant to be sung in a twisty turny way. Probably the reason that Khamaj is used so widely in Thumri Genre.


Allah Hoo Qawwali

Savan Beeto Jai Biharva

Bhala Howa Mori Gagri Phooti

Aaj Rang Hai Ri

Aayo Kahaan Se Ghan Shaam

Jaane Kaise Sapnon Mein

Kaise Din Beete Kaise Beeti Ratiya

Kanha Aan Padi Tere Dwar

Mohabbat Karne Waale Kam Na Honge

Vaishnav Jan To Tene Re Kahiye Je

Kuch Toh Log Kahenge by Bhavya Pandit

Dhal Chuki Shamay Gham

Mere to Giridhar Gopal

Tere Mere Milan Ki Hai Ye Raina

Mitwa Kahen Dhadkane Tujhse Kya

Kahe Karat Mose Jora Jori

Raag Khamaj Thumri

How To Sing “MORA SAIYAAN” by Mayoor Chaudhary

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