Bihag : Introduction

Bihag is a Hindustani classical raga.


Writing about the musical theory of Indian classical music is fraught with complications. First of all, there have been no set, formal methods of written notation. Indian music is an aural tradition, and therefore writing is not an essential part of attaining talim (knowledge).

Organization and relationships

Related ragas: Maru Bihag, Bihagra.

Bihag is usually assigned to the Thaat Bilaval, but if Teevra Madhyam is given more importance, Bihag seems to be more akin to Kalyan Thaat.


Behavior refers to practical aspects of the music. It is complicated to talk about this for Hindustani music since many of the concepts are fluid, changing, or archaic. The following information cannot be accurate, but it can attempt to reflect how the music existed.

Samay (Time)

Bihag is played in the night (second quarter of night). The mood of the raag is celebratory as well as romantic, making it a common raag sung especially on occasions of marriage.


Certain ragas have seasonal associations.

Historical information


The real origin can be traced back to pure classical raagas widely prevalent in the 16th century, and in many folk songs in the Vaishnava period (14th-18thcentury). It is used in many songs of Tagore and in various Bengali and north Indian compositions.

Important recordings

In film

A portion of the alap of raga Bihag may be seen in a scene from Satyajit Ray’s 1958 film Jalsaghar, played by the surbahar player Wahid Khan, from 29:50 to 31:58. Dil cheez kya hai from Umrao Jaan contains elements of Bihag.

The song ‘Hamare Dil Se Na Jana” from the film ‘Udan Khatola’ is based on raga Bihag. Even the song Tere Sur Aur Mere Geet from the movie ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnai’ released in 1959 is also based on Raga Bihag where Shehnai Maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan first lent his immortal shehnai-performance in film music.

Prahar5 (6 pm - 9 pm)
Important AnuvaadiN
Avaroha S’-N-(D)-P-M-P-G-m-G-R-S
Pakad’N-S-G-m-P, P-M-P-G-m-G-(R)S-’N-S
Tanpura TuningP
Other Characteristics Performed towards the later part of the prahar.
Dha is kan-swar in avaroh.
Similar RaagasMaru Bihag
Popular Film Songs1. Tere sur aur mere geet, dono mil kar banegi preet
Film: Goonj Uthi Shehnai
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
Taala: Dadra
Music Director: Vasant Desai
Poet: Bharat Vyas
2. Tujhe jeevan ki dor se baandh liya hai
Film: Asli Naqli
Singers: Mohammad Rafi Lata Mangeshkar
Taala: Dadra
Music Director: S. D. Burman
Poet: Hasrat Jaipuri
3. Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo muqam
Film: Aap Ki Kasam
Singers: Kishore Kumar
Music Director: R. D. Burman
Poet: Anand Bakshi
Non-Film Songs