Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Aao ree suhaagan naari mangal gaao ree

Posted on: October 28, 2016

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukhh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Today I had originally lined up another song from the early 50s, to continue with my discussions on the melodies of the decade, which I called ” Melody Yatra of the 50s ” sometime back. However, I changed my mind and considering the oncoming Deepavali, I am discussing a beautiful song ( both to listen and see) from the film ” RAM RAJYA “-43.

Ramrajya 43 was an offering of Prakash pictures of Bhatt brothers. In 1942, they had made film “Bharat Milap” and the pair of Prem Adeeb and Shobhana Samarth had featured in it as Ram and Seeta. The film was a Hit. All the songs became popular. This gave the Bhatt brothers a realisation that Ram katha can be a Gold mine ! It was decided to make a film on the second half of the Ramayana, which dealt with Shri Ram returning to Ayodhya after Lanka-Vijay and getting Seeta back, purified by the Agni pareeksha also, upto the re union of Shri Ram with his sons Lav-Kush and Seeta taken by by Dharati Mata.

This part of the story had a lot of emotions, which were sure to evoke interest among the audience. Once the story was finalised, it was also decided to continue featuring Prem Adeeb as Ram, Shobhana Samarth as Seeta and Umakant Desai as Laxman, to encash their popuarity in those roles. Even The Director-Vijay Bhatt and Composer-Shankar Rao Vyas also continued in this film.

In the Hindi film industry, some singers sang only a few songs but left an indelible mark in the music field and are remembered forever for some songs. Saraswati Rane was one such singer. Her song in Ramrajya-43, ” beena madur madhur kachhu bol ” had become so famous that old timers remember it even today. Two other songs sung by her my personal favourites. one is ‘ Jab dil ko sataye gham, tu chhed sakhi sargam” from film Sargam-50 and the other is ‘ unhu unhu, shikari na bol” from film Shobha-42. The famous Lori ‘ dheere se aaja ri nindiya” from film ‘ Albela’-51 was a true copy of her song, ” anganaat phulalya jai-jui ” from Marathi film ‘ Payachi Daasi ‘-41 ( Charnon ki daasi in Hindi). This was revealed by C.Ramchandra himself to Isak Mujawar,Historian and an author in Marathi.

In those days almost all songs of actress Vanmala were actually sung by Saraswati Rane, but she never got their credit. The records always carried Vanmala’s name as the singer. This was precisely like the case of Sitara Kanpuri singing for Neena and Neena hogging the limelight !

Saraswati Mane was born on October 4, 1913 in the Miraj town of Bombay Presidency. Her father Ustad Abdul Karim Khan named his daughter Sakina. Her father being the founder of the kirana Gharana, music was a part of Sakina’s everyday life. When Sakina was still young, her parents Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Tarabai Mane separated and this was when she got her new name Saraswati Mane.

She and her four siblings lived with their mother, who wished to change all their names after their parents were no longer together. Though Saraswati Rane’s father was a great singer, it was her elder brother Sureshbabu Mane who was her first formal Hindustani classical teacher. Her brother was her chief inspiration to take up music as a profession. Subsequently, Saraswati Rane also started learning from her famous elder sister Hirabai Barodekar from the year 1930. While the Kirana Gharana of Hindustani classical music was present at her home, Saraswati Rane believed in enhancing her musical knowledge by seeking taleem or training from Ustads of different musical gharanas like the Jaipur Gharana and the Gwalior Gharana. Alladiya Khan and Ustad Natthan Khan from Jaipur Gharana and Professor B R Deodhar and Pandit Master Krishnarao from Gwalior Gharana were her principal trainers.

The beginning of Saraswati Rane’s journey in the world of music started from her early childhood years. She ventured into Hindustani classical music from the age of 7. Saraswati Rane soon became a popular face in stage musical dramas such as Sangeet Sanshaykallol, Sangeet Saubhadra and Sangeet Ekach Pyala. In the year 1929, when she was a little girl of 16, Saraswati Abdul Rane was offered some of the best roles in the musical dramas which also featured popular artists like Balgandharva. Saraswati Rane soon started receiving offers to appear in a number of musical shows being performed all over India.

In the year 1933, Saraswati Rane gave her first radio performance on Akashvani. Since then she remained loyal to the government radio station, singing along with other classical vocalists, in almost every Radio Sangeet Sabha organized by Akashvani from Kanyakumari to Peshawar (now in Pakistan). Saraswati Rane was associated with Akashvani till the end of her career in 1990, when the eminent classical singer announced her retirement from the public stage.

Saraswati Rane was one of the first ladies from the field of Hindustani classical music who ventured into the commercial world of music, singing for films. Saraswati Rane’s voice soon became a hit with Marathi and Hindi film audiences. Her Marathi film debut as singer was with ‘Payach Dasi’. After the release of her song from her first Hindi feature film ‘Ramrajya’, which earned Saraswati Rane an HMV award for the highest sales of gramophone records, several directors and composers from the Hindi film industry wanted to rope in Saraswati Rane for their films. She, subsequently, had the honor to work with notable filmmakers like Shyam Benegal in his 1977 release ‘Bhumika’ and popular music directors like Shankarrao Vyas, Vasant Desai, Sudhir Phadke, C Ramachandra and K C Day. While she lent her voice to Marathi film songs, Saraswati Rane’s first love always remained Hindustani classical music. She increasingly became interested in light Marathi classical songs popularly referred to as ‘Bhav-geet’. Saraswati Rane’s Bhav-geet records also sold at record numbers from music stores across the country.

Some of the films in which she sang are, Ramrajya, Rambaan,Valmiki, Shobha,Mahasati Tulsi Vrinda, Sargam,Jai Bhim, Dev kanya, Bhoomika etc etc

Saraswati Rane soon became a popular face at the annual Sawai Gandharva Music Festival organized in Pune. She was so popular with the masses and the connoisseurs of music in India that Saraswati Rane was always invited to every esteemed music conference held in important cities like Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and the musically rich cities of Gwalior, Baroda and Bhopal. In the year 1965 Saraswati Rane created history when she and her elder sister Hirabai Barodekar appeared on the stage for a jugalbandi vocal recital. They were the first ladies in the history of Indian classical music to participate in a jugalbandi performance. Their performance was much appreciated and Saraswati Rane and Hirabai Barodekar continued their music performances together till the year 1980.

It is apparent that Saraswati Rane remained busy with her public performances and studio recordings for the maximum part of her time all through the year. But she was also interested in disseminating her knowledge in Hindustani classical music to younger members of her family and the society. Therefore, Saraswati Rane became a teacher of classical music to students who came to her to learn. Saraswati Rane received a number of awards through the span of a successful career in Hindustani classical music:

Saraswati Rane was married to Sunderrao Rane. Saraswati Rane – the last member of the Abdul karim Khan’s family, breathed her last on October 10, 2006 at her residence in Mumbai. She was 93 years old at the time of her death.

Although Manna Dey sang his first song in film ” Tamanna”-42, he became famous only after he sang songs in Ramrajya-43. Particularly his songs ‘ ajab vidhi ka lekh’ and ‘tyagmayee tu gayee ‘ were very popular.

The Music Director of Ramrajya was Shankar Rao Vyas. After the success of films ‘ Narsi Bhagat-40’ and ‘ Bharata Milap-42’, Vyas reached the Pinnacle of his career with the popularity of Ramrajya songs.

Vyas was a very hard working person. Once while recording songs of film ‘ Vikramaditya’-45, he needed Echo effect in the song ‘ Om Jai Jai Shankar’. In those days, the recording studios were not equipped with such facilities. Vyas searched and found out a Temple having a big Dome in the obscure suburb Jogeshwari in Bombay and recorded this song in that Temple at 2 am in the midnight when it was very quiet !

Ramrajya-43 was the most successful musical film of that era. When Prakash Pictures planned to produce Ramrajya again in 1967, the MD was Vasant Desai. Before recording film’s first song Desai garlanded the pohoto of Shankar Rao Vyas and then only started the work, seeking his Blessings. Ramrajya also the distinction of being the only film in the world which Mahatma Gandhi saw in his life. It is said that he was pleased with its songs very much.

Prof. Shankarrao Vyas (1898-1956) was born in Kolhapur on 23-1-1898. His father Ganeshpant was a well known Keertankar and Puranik! So, he was brought up in the religious and musical environment. Unfortunately, Ganeshpant died when Shankar was seven years old. His paternal uncle brought him up for few years. His maternal uncle (Mama) noticed his inclination towards music and enrolled him in the ‘gurukul’ of Maharaj (Pandit) Vishnu Digambar Paluskar.

In those days, students had to sign a bond with the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. Training period would last 8-10 years and the student would become all-rounder in every field related to music. Thus, Shankar Rao spent nine years in this gurukul, earned ‘Sangeet Pravin’ degree and gold medal for overall development. With the suggestion of guruji, he worked in Lahore vidyalaya for few years.

In 1931, he moved to Ahmadabad for establishing branch of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. He was an expert not only in vocal music, but could play and repair many instruments including sitar, jaltarang and mendolin. He would conduct orchestra consisting of Indian and western instruments. He was also a very good composer and wrote several bandishes. He was the key person in planning music section of national (Rashtriya) schools: an idea originated by Gandhiji in Ahmadabad.

In 1935, he left Ahmadabad and settled in Bombay. He founded school for music education at Dadar, just outside the western railway station. ‘Vyas Sangeet Vidyalaya’. It is still functioning at this place. His brother Narayanrao Vyas and brother in law Vasantrao Rajopadhye also joined him in this noble cause. Around 1930/31, HMV Company invited both Vyas brothers for recordings and they cut over 200 songs (100 discs) until about 1938. He also cut few orchestral records under ‘Vyas Brothers’ banner playing pure classical ragas. These records were best sellers and company had printed their photographs on record catalogues.

This period was also the beginning of talkie films. Shankar Rao composed music for Hindi (35), Marathi (5), and Gujrathi (3) films from 1937-1955. His first film as a composer was ‘ His Highness’ -37 and the last was ‘ Baal Ramayan’ -released in 56. He also composed background music for fifteen films. Most of his films were based on religious or mythological themes. He also taught music to non-singing actors such as Sardar Akhtar and Shirin Bano. His most famous musical films were – Narsi Bhagat (1940), Bharat Bhet (1941), Ram Rajya (1943, in Hindi and Marathi). Saraswati Rane sung ‘Beena madhur madhur kachu bol’ in raga Bhimpalas in Hindi film ‘Ram Rajya’ and this song became popular throughout India. This was the only film that Gandhji watched in cinema hall and was much impressed with the music. Songs from Marathi version of ‘Ram Rajya’ viz. ‘Sujanho parisa ramkatha’ and ‘Ladkya raanila lagale dohale’ are shown on TV even today.

He was very busy in many fields as a composer, Principal of his music school, author of articles and bandishes, President of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and founder editor of ‘Sangeet Kala Vihar’ magazine (founded in 1947) of Vidyalaya that is published even today. He passed away at Ahmadabad on 17-12- 1956. He has sung couple of abhangs of Saint Tukaram. These are available on HMV records. Record P 13454 published in 1931 has a sweet abhang – ‘Roopi guntale lochan, charani sthiravale mana’.

Film Ramrajya – 43 had 12 songs in it. So far 4 songs from this movie are discussed on this Blog. Today’s song is the 5th song to be posted here. The video shows that Sita Mai’s ” God Bharai’ programme is going on and the ladies are singing this song. The singers are Ameerbai karnataki ( who had also acted in this film and had done the role of the wife of the Dhobi-washerman- who is blamed for unfaithfulness.) and Saraswati Rane, with Chorus. The HFGK mentions these names in the Addenda part. The song is very lovely and I am sure that our readers will love it.

I also take this opportunity to wish our readers a VERY HAPPY DIWALI-2016.

Song-Aao ri suhaagan naari (Ram Rajya)(1943) Singers-Amirbai Karnataki, Saraswati Rane, Lyrics-Ramesh Gupta, MD-Shankar Rao Vyas


aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree

janak dulaari ki god bharaao ree
janak dulaari ki god bharaao ree
janak dulaari ki god bharaao ree
janak dulaari ki god bharaao ree

aaj raam ghar sukh ghadi aayi
aaj raam ghar sukh ghadi aayi
swarn kalash bahu(?)rani se bharaao ree
swarn kalash bahu rani se bharaao re

aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhaagan naari
mangal gaao ree

maang sindoor aur sheesh pe bindiya
maang sindoor aur sheesh pe bindiya
paanch suhagan suhaag chadhhao ree
paanch suhaagan suhaag chadhaao ree
aao ri suhagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhagan naari
mangal gaao ree

naino me lajja mukh garbh kee shaanti
naino me lajja mukh garbh kee shaanti
roop anoop siya raani pe sanwaaro(?) ree
roop anoop siya raani pe sanwaaro(?) ree

aao ri suhagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhagan nari mangal gaao ree

maata koushalia bali bali jaaye
maata koushalia bali bali jaaye
laadli bahu mori haule haule jaao ree
laadli bahu mori haule haule jaao re
aao ri suhagan naari
mangal gaao ree
aao ri suhagan naari
mangal gaao ree

6 Responses to "Aao ree suhaagan naari mangal gaao ree"

Perfection !!
Picturisation, words and tune in superb harmony.
In lyrics, you may like to consider
“aaj Raam ghar shubh ghadi aayee,
swarn kalash Siya rani se bharao ree
swarn kalash Bahu rani se bharao ree”

and “naino mein lajja mukh garbh ki kaanti” (glow).


Thanks, Arunji.
What a lovely song!
First time I am hearing (of) Saraswati Rane.

I like the way you add snippets/anecdotes in your posts. Like here about how Shankar Vyas composed a song at 2 in the night for Vikramaditya – 45. 🙂


Arun Ji,
Your post made an absorbing read.
For a while I was lost between ‘Rane’ & ‘Mane’ 🙂
As Raja Ji said snippets make your write ups very interesting, like the fact that this was the only film Gandhi Ji ever saw !!
Never noted that one of my favorite song “….Ched sakhi Saragam..’ was rendered by Saraswati Rane !!
Song of the post is very pleasing.. Thanks for the post



@ Deshmukh Sir – many thanks for this post. ‘mangal parva par mangal gaan’, I liked this song too and enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for the detailed information about Saraswati Rane, Shankarrao Vyas and this movie ‘Ram Rajya-1943’.


Wonderful post Arunji. Thanks a lot.


Thanks a lot for your appreciation.


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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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