Indian Music Ragas & Time Association


The following excerpt from the book "Ragopedia Volume 1 by Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish and Ashiwn Batish," states that:

One of the unique characteristics of Indian music is the assignment of definite times of the day and night for performing Raga melodies. It is believed that only in this period the Raga appears to be at the height of its melodic beauty and majestic splendor. There are some Ragas which are very attractive in the early hours of the mornings; others which appeal in the evenings, yet others which spread their fragrance only near the midnight hour.

This connection of time of the day or night, with the Raga or Raginis is based on daily cycle of changes that occur in our own body and mind which are constantly undergoing subtle changes in that different moments of the day arouse and stimulate different moods and emotions.
Each Raga or Ragini is associated with a definite mood or sentiment that nature arouses in human beings. The ancient musicologists were particularly interested in the effects of musical notes, how it effected and enhanced human behavior. Music had the power to cure, to make you feel happy, sad, disgusted and so on. Extensive research was carried out to find out these effects. This formed the basis of time theory as we know it today.
It is believed that the human body is dominated by the three Doshas - Kaph , Pitta and Vata . These elements work in a cyclic order of rise and fall during the 24 hour period. Also, the reaction of these three elements differ with the seasons. Hence it is said that performing or listening to a raga at the proper allotted time can affect the health of human beings.

Raga and Day Time

The following schedule will summarize the specific time periods.
The 24 hour period is divided into 8 beats(Prahar) each three hours long, as follows:
  • 4 a.m. - 7 a.m. 4th beat of the night. Early Dawn; Dawn (before sunrise);
  • 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. first beat of the day. Daybreak; Early Morning; Morning;
  • 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 2nd beat of the day. Late Morning; Noon; Early Afternoon;
  • 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 3rd beat of the day. Afternoon; Late Afternoon;
  • 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. 4th beat of the day. Evening Twilight; Dusk (sunset);
  • 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. first beat of the night. Evening; Late Evening;
  • 10 p.m. - 1 a.m. 2nd beat of the night. Night; Midnight;
  • 1 a.m. - 4 a.m. 3rd beat of the night. Late Night
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Similarly Everyday two cycles of change pass through our body, each bringing a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha predominance.
The approximate times of these cycles are as follows:
First cycle:

  • 6 A.M. to 10 A.M. - Kapha
  • 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
  • 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. - Vata
Second cycle:
  • 6 P.M. to 10 P.M. - Kapha
  • 10 P.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
  • 2 A.M to 6 P.M. - Vata

Raga and Ritu(Seasons)

There are Ragas associated with the rainy season,Varsha (Raga Megha and Raga Malhar), the autumn season,Basant (Raga Basant) and the spring season (Raga Bahar). Seasonal Ragas can be sung and played any time of the day and night during the season allotted to them. The obligation of time in case of such melodies is relaxed.
Vasanta Ritu (Spring Season)
In this season, increased kapha is liquified by the heat of sun which causes diminished agni (digestive activity) causing diseases
Grishma Ritu (Summer Season)
In this season, Sunrays become powerful. Kapha decreases vata increases day by day
Sharat Ritu (Autumn Season)
Sudden exposed to sunlight after cold season aggravates pita.

Dosha Accumulation Vitiation Diminution
Kapha Shishir Vasant Grishma
Pitta Grishma Varsha Sharad
Vata Varsha Sharad Hemant

Raga and Ritu(Seasons) Association :-
Raga Ritu
Bhairav Shishir
Hindol Vasant
Deepak Grishma
Megh Varsha
Malkans Sharad
Shree Hemant

Verious Ragas and there Performance Timings:

Raaga Thaat Performance Time
Piloo Kafi Any Time
Kafi Kafi Any Time
Mand Bilawal Any Time
Dhani Kafi Any Time
Bhairavi Bhairavi Any Time
Gaud Malhar Kafi Monsoon
Miyan Malhar Kafi Monsoon
Deshkar Bilawal Morning
Gunkri Bhairav Morning
Ahir Bhairav Bhairav Morning
Asavari Morning
Bhankar Bhairav Morning
Bairagi Bhairav Bhairav Morning
Basant Mukhari Morning
Basant Poorvi Morning
Bhoopali Todi Bhairavi Morning
Bhatiyar Bhairav Morning
Bilawal Bilawal Morning
Bilaskhani Todi Bhairavi Morning
Bhairav Bhairav Morning
Desi Asavari Morning
Sohni Marwa Morning
Gurjari Todi Todi Morning
Nat Bhairav Bhairav Morning
Kalingada Bhairav Morning
Lalit Poorvi Morning
Jogiya Bhairav Morning
Jaunpuri Asavari Morning
Hindol Kalyan Morning
Todi Todi Morning
Vibhas Bhairav Morning
Vrindavani Sarang Kafi Afternoon
Shuddh Sarang Kalyan Afternoon
Poorvi Poorvi Afternoon
Patdeep Afternoon
Madhyamad Sarang Kafi Afternoon
Madhuvanti Todi Afternoon
Bhimpalasi Kafi Afternoon
Gaud Saarang Kalyan Afternoon
Multani Todi Afternoon
Bhoopali Kalyan Evening
Kamod Kalyan Evening
Desh Khamaj Evening
Yaman Kalyan Kalyan Evening
Hansdhwani Bilawal Evening
Khamaj Khamaj Evening
Sham Kalyan Kalyan Evening
Yaman Kalyan Evening
Tilang Khamaj Evening
Shuddh Kalyan Kalyan Evening
Shankara Bilawal Evening
Maru Bihag Kalyan Evening
Puriya Dhanashri Poorvi Evening
Puriya Marwa Evening
Pahadi Bilawal Evening
Jana Sammohini   Evening
Marwa Marwa Evening
Shree Poorvi Evening
Bahar Kafi Night
Tilak Kamod Khamaj Night
Bageshri Kafi Night
Charukeshi   Night
Malhar Kafi Night
Raageshri Khamaj Night
Nand Kalyan Night
Malkauns Pancham Bhairavi Night
Malkauns Bhairavi Night
Bhinna Shadja Khamaj Night
Shivranjani Kafi Night
Malgunji Kafi Night
Jhinjhoti Khamaj Night
Kirwani Night
Chandani Kedar Kalyan Night
Chandrakauns Night
Kedar Kalyan Night
Chhayanat Kalyan Night
Darbari Asavari Night
Kalavati Khamaj Night
Adana Asavari Night
Durga Bilawal Night
Jaijaiwanti Khamaj Night
Gorakh Kalyan Khamaj Night
Hamir Kalyan Night
Bihag Kalyan Night
- More on Raga- Time association

Our special thanks to Pandit Ashwin Kumar Batish for giving us permission to add excerpts from "Ragopedia - Exotic Scales of North India by Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish and Ashwin Batish" into this article.