K. Raghavendra Rao (born Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao, 23 May 1942), popularly known as Darshakendra is an Indian film director, screen writer and choreographer, known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema, few Bollywood and Kannada films. He has garnered seven state Nandi Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, and two CineMAA Awards. Known for his works in devotional, biographical films, Rao has directed blockbuster's across multiple genre's like romantic comedy, fantasy, melodrama, action and romance films.
The 1988 action blockbuster, Aakhari Poratam, was premiered at the 12th International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. In 1992, He directed the melodrama, Gharana Mogudu, premiered at the 1993 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section, which became the first Telugu film to gross over 100 million at the box office. Next he directed the instant hit Allari Priyudu, which was also premiered at the 1994 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section.
In 1997, he scripted and directed the historical biographical film, Annamayya which won two National Film Awards, was also premiered at the 1998 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. Subsequently he directed, critically acclaimed devotional films like Sri Manjunatha (2001), Sri Ramadasu (2006), Pandurangadu (2008), and Shirdi Sai (2013), which received several state Nandi Awards.
Raghavendra Rao was born to veteran Telugu film director Kovelamudi Surya Prakash Rao. He graduated with Bachelor of Arts from Andhra University, after a brief stint as assistant director to his father, he ventured into film direction. He is the father of actor turned film maker Prakash Kovelamudi.
- Nandi Awards
- Filmfare Awards South
- CineMAA Awards