This manuscript presents spectroscopic characterization of the interaction of two phenothiazinium dyes, azure A and azure B with double stranded (ds) ribonucleic acids, poly(A).poly(U), poly(C).poly(G) and poly(I).poly(C). Absorbance and fluorescence studies revealed that these dyes bind to the RNAs with binding affinities of the order 10(6)M(-1) to poly(A).poly(U), and 10(5)M(-1) to poly(C).poly(G) and poly(I).poly(C), respectively. Fluorescence quenching and viscosity data gave conclusive evidence for the intercalation of the dyes to these RNA duplexes. Circular dichroism results suggested that the conformation of the RNAs was perturbed on interaction and the dyes acquired strong induced optical activity on binding. Azure B bound to all the three RNAs stronger than azure A and the binding affinity varied as poly(A).poly(U)>poly(C).poly(G)>poly(I).poly(C) for both dyes.