Aditya 369

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Aditya 369
Aditya 369 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Written bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Jandhyala (dialogue)
Produced byS. Anitha Krishna
StarringNandamuri Balakrishna
CinematographyV. S. R. Swamy
Kabir Lal
Edited byGautham Raju
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 18 July 1991 (1991-07-18)
Running time
141 minutes
Budget1.52 crore[1]
Box officeest. 9 crore[2]

Aditya 369 is a 1991 Indian Telugu-language science fiction film written and directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, and produced by Sridevi Movies. The film stars Nandamuri Balakrishna and Mohini while Amrish Puri, Tinnu Anand, and Suthivelu play supporting roles with a soundtrack composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Considered as the first Indian film based on time travel, Aditya 369 dealt with exploratory dystopian and apocalyptic themes.[3][4]

The film opened to critical acclaim and was a big commercial success.[4] The film received two Nandi Awards. It was dubbed into Hindi as Mission 369 and into Tamil as Apoorva Sakthi 369.[5]


In 1991, Prof. Ramdas is a scientist who does vigorous experiments to invent the time machine at his home laboratory. Even after tremendous efforts, the machine does not seem to work. Meanwhile, Raja Verma, a high-profile thief has a peculiar hobby of burglary of antique pieces from the world's museums. His henchmen steal a 16th-century diamond, belonging to the period of the Vijayanagara empire from the Salar Jung Museum. The robbery is witnessed by Kishore, a school kid who is trapped in the museum on his school excursion. He manages to escape from the robbers and gets rescued by Krishna Kumar. However, no one believes Kishore, and the diamond is replaced by its duplicate in the museum.

Kishore gets to know that Prof. Ramdas is working on the time machine through his daughter Hema. One night, he along with other kids set it off in an attempt to go the day of the robbery. Hema and her fiancé Krishna Kumar rescue them but get accidentally trapped in the machine. The time machine takes off and visits the past, to the reign of the emperor Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire in the year 1526.

There, Krishna Kumar saves Simhanandini, a dancer in the royal court of Krishnadevaraya from an attempted raid, and she introduces them to the Emperor. Krishna Kumar surprises Krishnadevaraya by reciting the poem of his court's poet Tenali Ramakrishna before it's even written and explains to him that they have come from the future. Though Krishnadevaraya finds it hard to believe, he nevertheless offers them hospitality. A police constable who also happens to be trapped in the machine joins them. Later one night, they catch the sight of the stolen diamond which is then in the possession of Krishnadevaraya. The emperor tells that when moonlight on the night of Karthika Punnami falls on the diamond, it radiates seven colours of the rainbow. Fascinated by it, they stay back to witness the event. It is also prophesied that the diamond would be stolen twice, once in the emperor's reign and again after 500 years.

Later, Simhanandini who lusts on Krishna Kumar accuses him of cheating her. However, Krishna Kumar is deemed innocent after a trial. To seek revenge, Simhanandini conspires with Senadhipathi to frame Krishna Kumar in the diamond's robbery. Upon witnessing the diamond in Krishna Kumar's hand in a tussle with Senadhipathi, Krishnadevaraya sentences him to death. Though on the day of the execution, Krishnadevaraya who believes Krishna Kumar's innocence saves him. This is later confirmed to him by Ramakrishna who witnesses the diamond being robbed by Senadhipathi. Krishna Kumar, Hema, and the constable escape and board the time machine which sets off again.

The machine takes them to the year 2504, a dystopian world destroyed by radiation after the end of the Third World War. Scientists of that era who already know about their arrival, receive them. In this era, the entire city is built in the underground and is powered by Krishnadevaraya's diamond. During their stay, they also watch the news from the year 1991. It reports that the diamond is retrieved from Raja Verma with the efforts of Krishna Kumar but he is killed in the process. The malfunctioning time machine is now repaired and when the environment begins to negatively affect them, they leave. The time machine brings them back to the present.

Raja Verma, who kidnaps Prof. Ramdas and Kishore to get hold of the time machine locates it abandoned on a hilltop. Krishna Kumar rescues them and combats with Raja Verma in the time machine. It is destroyed in the feud and both are reported dead. But Krishna Kumar who jumps off the cliff moments before it explodes is saved and joins his family.




Aditya 369 was inspired by the H. G. Wells novel The Time Machine, which Singeetam Srinivasa Rao read as a student. Though the film has frequently been compared to Back to the Future (1985), according to Rao the similarities between the two stop "with the trouble that the protagonist faces in a different time zone".[6]

Rao briefly discussed his story about time travel with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam who immediately liked it. Balasubrahmanyam recommended Nandamuri Balakrishna's name as he felt that Balakrishna would apt be for Krishnadevaraya's role. Balasubrahmanyam's relative Sivalenka Krishna Prasad who had bulk dates of Balakrishna agreed to produce the film. Several titles including Kalayantram and Yuga Purushudu were considered, however, Aditya 369 was finalised symbolizing Aditya (the Sun) and the time machine's serial number 369.[7]

Cast and crew[edit]

The makers initially approached Vijayashanti as the lead actress but she could not sign the film due to scheduling conflicts. Later, they cast cinematographer P. C. Sreeram's relative Mohini in her place. Three cinematographer worked for the film who shot different time periods. Sreeram shot the scenes related to present-day but he opted out due to ill-health. V. S. R. Swamy and Kabir Lal performed rest of the cinematography.[8] Jandhyala had written the dialogues for this film. While Amrish Puri played the prime antagonist, Tinnu Anand, Suthivelu, Chandra Mohan, and Silk Smita played important roles.[7] The then child artiste, Tarun Kumar played a plot moving role.[9]


Made on a budget of 1.6 crore, principal photography of the film took about 110 days. Sets related to Krishnadevaraya's era were erected at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad. Filming also took place at VGP Golden Beach and Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Madras. Forests scenes were shot at Talakona in Andhra Pradesh.[7]


Aditya 369
Film score by
LabelLEO Audio
Ilaiyaraaja chronology
Coolie No. 1
Aditya 369

Music composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Music released on LEO Music Company. For the song "Nerajanavule", Rao wanted a tune similar to the old historical films. Jikki was chosen to sing this song, Rao recalled that S. Janaki who was in studio stayed up till the end of song's recording to help Jikki with her lines.[3]

1."Jaanavule"VeturiJikki, S. P. Sailaja, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:00
2."Raasaleela Vela"VennelakantiS. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:07
3."Centurilu Kottey Vayassu"VeturiS. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:53
4."Chilipi Yaatralo"SirivennelaK. S. Chithra, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:45
5."Suramodamu"VeturiS. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Sunanda6:07
Total length:25:52

Release and reception[edit]

The film film received positive reviews and was a commercial success.[10] It was dubbed and released in Tamil as Aboorva Sakti-369 during August 1992.[11]

In September 2020, The News Minute's Balakrishna Ganeshan wrote that, "[The film] is considered to be a masterpiece because it perfectly blended the genre of sci-fi and drama with the mainstream template of songs and fight sequences to make it an entertaining watch. It also unlocked the imagination of scores of people to look beyond our realm by popularising Albert Einstein’s theories of time and relativity."[8] In July 2021, TheTeddyBare wrote, "Aditya 369 is as entertaining as it is enlightening. Stereotypes are used to reduce screen time and the left over screen time is used effectively to give a rather unknown but beautiful experience to the audience. The present is treated in a modernistic manner. That makes the scenes come out as refreshing even today. The past is treated with reverence and is given rightful tribute. The classical and familiar touch gave it a nostalgic feel. The future which is actually bitter is shown in a fun manner reminding that life is a celebration no matter what. That’s the greatness of this film."[12][unreliable source?]


In January 2017, Rao announced his intention to work on Aditya 369's sequel.[13] It is reported that the sequel would feature Balakrishna along with his son Mokshagna.[14][15]


Nandi Awards[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "పాతికేళ్ల 'ఆదిత్య 369'". Andhra Jyothi (in Telugu). 18 July 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Balakrishna's famous sci-fi 'Aditya 369' turns 27 today". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "The story behind the song ' Nerajaanavule' from the movie Aditya 369". The Hindu. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b Ganesan, Balakrishna (19 September 2020). "'Aditya 369': Revisiting the Telugu film which explored time travel in 1991". The News Minute. Retrieved 21 September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Kuldova, Tereza; Varghese, Mathew A. (9 March 2017). Urban Utopias: Excess and Expulsion in Neoliberal South Asia. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-47623-0.
  6. ^ Ganeshan, Balakrishna (19 September 2020). "'Aditya 369': Revisiting the Telugu film which explored time travel in 1991". The News Minute. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Aditya 369: తెర వెనుక జరిగింది ఇది! - 30 years for classic aditya369". Eenadu (in Telugu). Retrieved 19 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ a b "'Aditya 369': Revisiting the Telugu film which explored time travel in 1991". The News Minute. 19 September 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  9. ^ Sridevi Movies. "30 Years of Aditya 369 Movie | Nandamuri Balakrishna | Mohini | Singeetam SrinivasaRao | Ilayaraja". Retrieved 20 July 2021 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Celebrating 30 years of timeless classic 'Aditya 369'". Telangana Today. Retrieved 19 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ RSP (7 August 1992). "Time machine". The Indian Express. p. 7.
  12. ^ "Aditya 369 Review: Know All The Spoilers, Still You'll Be Engrossed By It". TheTeddyBare. 18 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Aditya 369 sequel is on: Singeetham - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  14. ^ Vyas (16 June 2020). "Sai Madhav Burra works on Aditya 369 sequel!". Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  15. ^ Pecheti, Prakash. "A season of comebacks". Telangana Today. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  16. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.(in Telugu)

External links[edit]