Shiva Shiva

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As Sivaratri is being celebrated tonight by millions of people, here are some Carnatic songs that extol the greatness of the Hindu God Shiva. Tyagaraja’s Naada Tanumanisham in raga Chittaranjani, Shambho Mahadeva and Shiva Shiva Yena Radha in raga Pantuvarali, Raga Sudha Rasa in raga Andholika, Ilalo Pranatharthi in raga Atana to Dikshithar’s Akshaya Linga in raga Shankarabharanam, Shri Matrubhootham in raga Kannada and Shri Vishwanatham Bhajesham Chathurdasa Ragamalika are some of the songs heard on the Carnatic platform. There are innumerable compositions on Lord Shiva in Carnatic music by different composers. Some of the popular ones in Tamil are Gopalkrishna Bharathi’s Irakkam Varamal and Idhuthano Thillai Sthalam in raga Behag and Papanasam Sivan’s Kapali in raga Mohanam and Samagana in raga Hindoilam. 

Vachanas are Kannada compositions of Veera Shaivite saints such as Basavanna, Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu. This form of rhythmic compositions or poetry developed in the 12th century and was part of the Lingayat movement. Some of the popular vachanas are Basavanna’s Vachanadalli namamrutha, Ullavaru Shivalaya and Akka Mahadevi’s Prithviya Gelida and Naale Baruvadu Nammagimde Barali.

Here is a rendition of Akka Mahadevi’s vachana by Hindustani great Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur.

Nityashree Mahadevan sings Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho, a composition of Dayananda Saraswathi in raga Revati. 

Chitra Srikrishna
About Chitra Srikrishna 49 Articles
Chitra Srikrishna is a Carnatic vocalist and writer living in Bengaluru. She's the musical half of a multimedia performance duo HumRaag. She also produces RaagTime, a radio show on Indian music. Her latest program BHAKTHI explores the journey of the mystics of India. She blogs at

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