One of my all time favourite ragas. The magic of reethigowlai is such that it keeps the listener asking for more and brings calmness in the listener's mind. My association with reethigowlai started through Ilaiyaraja despite the fact that i learnt carnatic vocal for 6 years.
Listening to "Thalaiyai kuniyum thamaraiye" from the movie "Oru Odai Nadhiyagirathu" was the first time i came across Reethigowlai. Ilaiyaraja would have composed this number without compromising on how the raga should be rendered. Similarly "Chinna kannan Azhaikiran" from "Kavikuyil" and "Raman Kadhai Kelungal" from "Sipikkul Muthu" are other songs composed by Raja in Reethigowlai Raga.
Other famous film songs in Reethigowlai include "Azhagana Ratchasiye" from "Mudhalvan" by Rahman,"Theenda Theenda" from "Thulluvadho Ilamai" by Yuvan Shankar Raja and more recently, "Sudum Nilavu" from "Thambi" by Vidyasagar.
Famous carnatic compositions in this raaga are Janani Ninuvina by Subbaraya Sastry, Cheraravademira by Thiagaraja and Paripaalayamaam by Swathi Thirunal.
Reethigowlai is in no way related to Gowlai, Mayamalavagowlai, Kedaragowlai or Narayanagowlai. It is indeed closely related to Ananda Bhairavi about which we will discuss some other time.