How To Play The Most Popular Late Afternoon Raga
Bhimpalasi is a popular late afternoon raga from northern India. This webpage was created to help you learn Bhimpalasi. The materials on this page are applicable whether you are a bansuri player or a vocalist, and can be used on any type of instrument that can produce notes of the chromatic scale (i.e. most instruments!). Bhimpalasi is one of my favorite ragas, and I am certain you will enjoy playing it!
If you are brand new to bansuri and Indian classical music, then Bhimpalasi is not the ideal raga for you to start out with. This is due to it having somewhat difficult fingering and an ascending scale that differs from its descending scale. Of course, if you are up for a challenge, go for it!
The lessons on this page constitute only a small fraction of the materials in the full Bhimpalasi course, so if you are truly interested in learning Bhimpalasi, you should definitely take the full course!
The scale of Bhimpalasi is:
SgmPnS (arohi: ascent)
SnDPmgRS (avarohi: descent)
Sa, Komal Ga, Shuddh Ma, Pa, Komal Ni, High Sa
High Sa, Komal Ni, Shuddh Dha, Pa, Shuddh Ma, Komal Ga, Shuddh Re, Sa
The scale is pentatonic (5 notes) in ascent and heptatonic (7 notes) in descent. The Shuddh Ma is of high importance in the raga. Pandit Ravi Shankar described the mood of the raga as being like “the pangs of longing for a distant lover”.
Bhimpalasi is sometimes written as Bhimpalas or Bhimpalasri.
Bhimpalasi Lesson #1: The Scale
In the video below, Bansuri Bliss Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger teaches an introductory lesson in Bhimpalasi, focused on the scale and how to play the notes on bansuri.
The video was recorded on an F flute (+8 cents) in Misiones, Argentina, April 29th, 2016.
“Excellent lesson Dr Kerry, I always admire the way you explain, clear and precise, thanks once again. Could you please post a “bandish” in Bhimpalasi!”
— Prabhakar Tewari
Bhimpalasi Lesson #2: Teental Composition Asthai
In this lesson, Dr. Kriger teaches the Bhimpalasi scale and then a three line asthai (composed of a one line gat and a two line manjha), that forms the first half of the teental composition.
Recorded in Virginia on July 10th, 2017.
Bhimpalasi Lesson #3: Teental Composition Antara
In this video, Bansuri Bliss Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger teaches the antara of a teental composition in raag Bhimpalasi. The antara forms the second half of the composition. The antara shows the high notes (High Sa and up) and ends by connecting us with the gat (the first line of the asthai).
Recorded in Cartagena, Colombia July 4th, 2019 on an F flute (+8 cents). Laya (tempo): 144 bpm
More Bhimpalasi Lessons Available In Bansuri Bliss Academy
Deepen your Bhimpalasi practice by becoming a Bansuri Bliss Member. You will gain access to numerous Bhimpalasi lessons archived in Bansuri Bliss Academy and accessible round the clock from anywhere with an internet connection. Plus you’ll be able to ask questions about Bhimpalasi during our twice-weekly Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons. You can even play during a lesson and get personalized feedback — the single most important thing you are currently lacking if you do not have a bansuri teacher who knows you and your playing.
Dr. Kerry Kriger playing bansuri in Misiones, Argentina on the 8th Annual Save The Frogs Day, April 28th, 2016.
Mellow Bamboo Flute – Bhimpalasi 2016 from Santiago, Chile
I recorded this on a hot afternoon (February 20th, 2016) in Santiago, Chile with tabla player Juan Elgueda. I hope you don’t mind the background noise – that’s how it is sometimes playing in an Indian temple!
Bhimpalasi in the Australian Rainforest
Dr. Kerry Kriger plays Bhimpalasi on bamboo flute in Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia (near Canungra Creek, O’Reilly’s area). Recorded December 2006
Bhimpalasi at Lake Tahoe
Dr. Kerry Kriger plays Bhimpalasi on the bansuri on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Enjoy the raga! Recorded live on June 28th, 2014.