Megh Malhar is a Hindustani classical melody created in the 16th century by the legendary musician Tansen. The rousing raga was said to have the power to summon the rains after a dry spell. Whether myth or reality, Megh Malhar is sung even today to celebrate the first rains after summer.
According to legend, when Tansen’s melodies resounded through Akbar’s court, he caught the eye of many jealous contenders. On one occasion, they challenged him to perform his famous Deepak Raga, which was said to ignite a fire. To rescue himself from the trap set by the conspirators, Tansen taught his daughter the Megh Malhar that had the power to summon the dark clouds and bring forth torrential rain. So, while he sang the Deepak Raga, his daughter’s rendition of the Megh Malhar made the heavens open up, dousing the fire.