Patala Bhairavi

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Patala Bhairavi
Pathala Bhairavi.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Kadri Venkata Reddy
Produced by B. Nagi Reddy
Aluri Chakrapani
Written by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao (screenplay)
Pingali Nagendra Rao (Dialogue, Lyrics)
Starring S. V. Ranga Rao
N.T. Rama Rao
Music by Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao
Distributed by Vauhini Studios
Release dates 15 March 1951
Running time 195 minutes
Language Telugu

Patala Bhairavi (English: The Goddess of Erebus) was a 1951 Telugu, fantasy film produced by Vijaya Pictures. The ensemble cast film was directed by Kadri Venkata Reddy, with screenplay adaptation by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao. The film is listed among CNN-IBN's list of hundred greatest Indian films of all time.[1]

The film is based on a story from Kasi Majilee Kathalu, written by Madhira Subbanna Deekshitulu. It was also remade in Tamil. It was screened successfully in 28 centers for more than 100 days. The film got critical acclaim at the first India International Film Festival held in Mumbai on 24 January 1952.[2] [3][4]


The son of the gardener, Thota Raamudu (NTR) falls in love with Indumathi, the princess of Ujjain (Malathi). When he faces resistance from the King, he goes off into the world to return as a successful man. He is approached by a Sorcerer (SVR), who actually plans to sacrifice a young, brave lad to the goddess Pataala Bhairavi (Girija) to attain a magic statuette, which grants any wish. Raamudu fits the profile; and unwittingly, agrees to help the Sorcerer so that he can attain the riches etc. the King asked for his daughter's hand in marriage.

However, Raamudu finds about the evil plan with the help of a crocodile which tries to kill him. The crocodile was actually an angel because of a curse. He sacrifices the sorcerer and obtains Pataala Bhairavi. Raamudu wishes to be a King, have a grander palace than the King etc. to be welcomed by the Ujjain royalty. The King lives up to his promise and grants him his daughter in marriage.

Sadajapa, the Sorcerer's apprentice, finds his master at the Pataala Bhairavi site, and brings him back to life using Sanjeevini (Elixir of life). During this time, the King's brother-in-law and the princess' Uncle (Relangi) is upset at upcoming wedding and determines to hang himself instead of witnessing the marriage. The Sorcerer catches him in time and promises him everything Raamudu has (including Indumathi) in exchange for the small statue which Raamudu has hidden in the room. He manages to steal the Pataala Bhairavi and unwittingly changes Raamudu's fate.

The Sorcerer then wishes to kidnap the Princess and takes all of Thota Raamudu's wealth, leaving him in his original state. Pledging to bring back his love, Raamudu and his cousin, Anji, travels to the Sorcerer's lair. The story ends with the marriage of Raamudu and Indumathi with the Uncle's, Queen, King's, and Raamudu's mother's blessing. As it turns out, Anji, marries the Princess's servant and best friend. The Sorcerer is dead, and all is well.


Actor Character
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Thota Ramudu/Bhale Ramudu
S. V. Ranga Rao Nepala Mantrikudu
K. Malathi Indumathi, the princess
Chilakalapudi Seetha Rama Anjaneyulu King of Ujjaini
Girija Paatala Bhairavi, the Goddess
Balakrishna Anji
Surabhi Kamalabai Kanthamma (old female gardener)
Krishna Kumari Mosali
Balijepalli Lakshmikantham
B. Padmanabham Dingiri, the apprentice
Hemalathamma Rao The Queen, mother of princess
Savitri Dancer ("Ranante Rane Ranu" Song)
Relangi Venkata Ramaiah King's brother-in-law
T.G.Kamala Devi Veera Katha performer


The kitschy imagery and studio sets provide an appropriate style for this emphatically Orientalist fairy tale. Ghantasala’s music is a key contribution to the film’s success. The Hindi version, dubbed by Gemini from Telugu, included a specially shot colour sequence with a dance by Lakshmikantam. The Telugu film consolidated a local version of the ‘folklore’ film, a swashbuckling Orientalist fantasy evoking both Alexandre Dumas and Hollywood’s Douglas Fairbanks films. Directors like B.N. Reddi (formerly associated with reform themes) had to acknowledge its commercial infallibility (Raja Makutam, 1959).

The real success of the genre is due to its colourful invention of local pseudo-legends often adapting idioms from the folk theatre, e.g. Burrakatha. Earlier Telugu films in this idiom included Balanagamma (1942), Ratnamala (1947) and Raksharekha (1949). Savitri performed a dance in the film. [5]


Music was composed by Ghantasala

Telugu songs: Lyrics were written by Pingali Nagendra Rao.

  • "Tiyyani Oohalu" by P. Leela.
  • "Itihasam Vinara" by Kamala Chandrababu.
  • "Kalavaramaaye madhilo", by Ghantasala and P. Leela.
  • "Enta ghaatu premayo", by Ghantasala and P. Leela.
  • "Vinave Baala Naa Prema Gola" by Relangi.
  • "Vagaloy Vagalu Taluku Beluku Vagaulu" by Jikki.
  • "Prema Kosamai Valalo Padene Paapam Pasivadu", by V. J. Varma.
  • "Haayigaa Manaminkaa" by Ghantasala and P. Leela.
  • "Taalalene Ne Taalalene" by Relangi
  • "Kanugonagalano Leno" by Ghantasala.
  • "Ranante Rane Ranu" by Pithapuram Nageswara Rao and T. K. Savitri.

Tamil songs: Lyrics were written by Tanjai N. Ramaiah Doss.

  • "Aanandhame tahrum kaanagam" by P. Leela
  • "Kanindha Kaadhalarku.... Kaadhale Dheiveega Kaadhale" by Ghantasala and P. Leela
  • "Ennathaan Un Preamaiyo" by Ghantasala and P. Leela
  • "Prema Paasatthaal" by V. J. Varma
  • "Amaidhiyilladhen Maname En Maname" by Ghantasala and P. Leela


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