Raag Alahiya-Bilawal

Raag Abhogi Specs:

Thaat: Kafi
Aarohi: S GR G P ND N S'
Amrohi: S' ND n D P M G MR S
Vadi: D
Samvadi: G
Pakard: G R G P m G m R G P m G m R S;
Time: 6 am – 9 am
Zaat: Shadav – Sampuran

Raag Alahiya-Bilawal: Unraveling the Mystique


Raag Alahiya-Bilawal, an exquisite and soul-stirring melody from the rich tapestry of Indian classical music, enthralls listeners with its celestial beauty and emotive depth. Rooted in the Hindustani classical tradition, this raag is a harmonious blend of Raag Alahiya and Raag Bilawal. Traditionally performed in the afternoon, it bewitches audiences with its joyful and uplifting character. In this article, we will embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the distinctive features, historical significance, and lesser-known aspects of Raag Alahiya-Bilawal.

1. The Fusion of Alahiya and Bilawal

Raag Alahiya-Bilawal is a beautiful fusion of two distinct ragas – Raag Alahiya and Raag Bilawal. Raag Alahiya, with its roots in the Bilawal thaat, is associated with the rainy season and is known for its romantic and meditative mood. Raag Bilawal, on the other hand, belongs to the Kalyan thaat and is often performed during the early morning hours, evoking feelings of freshness and serenity.

The amalgamation of these two ragas results in Raag Alahiya-Bilawal, which skillfully weaves the passionate and contemplative elements of Alahiya with the optimism and joy of Bilawal. The unique marriage of these two ragas gives birth to a new entity that stands apart with its distinct musical personality.

2. The Structure and Musical Scale

Raag Alahiya-Bilawal follows a precise and captivating melodic structure, showcasing its versatility and range. Its arohana (ascent) and avarohana (descent) consist of the following notes:

Arohana: Sa – Re – Ga – Ma – Pa – Dha – Ni Sa
Avarohana: Sa – Ni – Dha – Pa – Ma – Ga – Re – Sa

The raag prominently uses the Shuddha (natural) form of the notes, with the exception of the Ga (Gandhar) note, which is rendered as Komal (flat). This use of both Shuddha and Komal Ga adds an emotive touch to the raag, elevating its evocative power.

3. The Joyful and Uplifting Mood

One of the most remarkable aspects of Raag Alahiya-Bilawal is its inherent sense of joy and optimism. The raag’s vivacious and lively character lends itself well to expressing feelings of celebration, delight, and enthusiasm. The use of Komal Ga (flat Gandhar) creates a gentle touch of melancholy, adding depth to the overall emotional spectrum of the raag.

As the performance unfolds, listeners are transported to a world of buoyant melodies and exuberant rhythms, leaving them with a sense of joyous fulfillment.

4. The Afternoon Embrace

Raag Alahiya-Bilawal finds its ideal expression during the afternoon hours. The raag is traditionally performed between 3 PM and 6 PM, capturing the essence of the sunlit hours when nature basks in its full glory. The uplifting and vibrant mood of Alahiya-Bilawal aligns with the energy and radiance of the afternoon, making it a perfect choice for performances during this time.

5. The Influence of Nature

Like many other ragas in Indian classical music, Raag Alahiya-Bilawal draws inspiration from nature. Its association with the rainy season through its Alahiya component evokes images of lush green landscapes, the pitter-patter of raindrops, and the yearning of lovers waiting to be united. At the same time, its Bilawal influence paints a picture of a bright morning sun casting its golden glow over the world, evoking a sense of hope and optimism.

6. The Underlying Romantic Essence

While Raag Alahiya-Bilawal is often celebrated for its joyous and celebratory expressions, it also harbors a subtle romantic essence within its melodic tapestry. The amalgamation of Alahiya’s longing and Bilawal’s freshness creates a poetic union that allows musicians to evoke tender emotions of love

and affection. This underlying romantic hue gives artists ample room for creative exploration, leading to mesmerizing renditions that touch the heartstrings of the audience.

7. Alahiya-Bilawal in Contemporary Music

Beyond its traditional roots, Raag Alahiya-Bilawal has found resonance in various contemporary music genres. Talented musicians and composers have skillfully incorporated elements of this raag into their compositions, including film music, fusion, and devotional genres. This integration has expanded the reach of Alahiya-Bilawal, making it accessible to a wider and diverse audience.


In conclusion, Raag Alahiya-Bilawal stands as a fascinating example of the beauty that emerges from the fusion of two distinct ragas. Its joyful and uplifting character, combined with the subtle shades of romance, evokes a range of emotions that resonate deeply with listeners. As the afternoon sun bathes the world in its golden light, let the enchanting strains of Raag Alahiya-Bilawal envelop you in a musical embrace, celebrating the joys of life and the harmony of nature.