Aditya 369

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Aditya 369
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Written bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Dialogue by
Produced byS. Anitha Krishna
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam (presenter)
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]

Aditya 369 is a 1991 Indian Telugu-language science fiction film written and directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. It is considered to be the first time travel film made in Indian cinema.[2][3] The film stars Nandamuri Balakrishna and Mohini while Amrish Puri, Tinnu Anand, and Suthivelu play supporting roles. The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and Jandhyala wrote the dialogues. The film was produced by S. Anitha Krishna on Sridevi Movies banner with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam as the presenter.[4] Upon release, the film received critical acclaim and was a commercial success. It received two Nandi Awards. Aditya 369 is considered a landmark film in the science fiction genre in Indian cinema.[5][6][2][3] The film explored dystopian and post-apocalyptic themes in a satirical manner.[6][2]

Inspired by the H. G. Wells' novel The Time Machine (1895) which he read as a student, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao started working on a script in which the protagonist travels to the past and the future.[5] He opted for Sri Krishnadevaraya's reign for the past period. After researching at the American Library in Madras about the future, he finished the script.[7]

Made on a budget of 1.52 crore, principal photography of the film took about 110 days.[8] Sets related to Krishnadevaraya's era were built at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad. Filming also took place at VGP Golden Beach and Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Madras. Forest scenes were shot at Talakona in Andhra Pradesh.[5][9] Three cinematographers worked for the film and shot different time periods. P. C. 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.[5][8][9] It was dubbed into Hindi as Mission 369 and into Tamil as Apoorva Sakthi 369.[10]


The film begins in 1991, Prof. Ramdas a scientist strives hard with enormous experiments and invents the time machine. Raja Varma, a high-profile thief has a peculiar hobby of stealing antique pieces from world-renowned museums. He desires to possess a 16th-century diamond of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Salar Jung Museum. So, he plots by conniving with the curator when some school children visit for an excursion in which a naughty kid Kishore misplaces and spends the night in the museum. He witnesses the robbery committed by Raja Varma’s henchmen Vasu & Dasu when he is guarded by a gallant Krishna Kumar and admits him to the hospital.

Krishna Kumar loves Hema, the daughter of Prof. Ramadas who considers her father’s experiment futile. Once Krishna Kumar visits their house, Ramadas presents his time machine but it breaks down. Later, Krishna Kumar becomes cordial with Kishore who constantly says about the theft which no one believes. In the interim, Kishore is acquainted with Ramadas via Hema and acquires knowledge of the time machine. One night, he secretly visits Ramadas's residence joins the remaining children in the hospital, and starts the time machine. Being cognizant of it, Krishna Kumar & Hema rescue them but get struck and it takes off. Parallelly, as an anecdote, a police constable hunting a thief is also trapped in the machine.

Now they reach 1526 the reign of the emperor Krishnadevaraya where Krishna Kumar saves a dancer in the royal court Simhanandini from a raid who invites them to the fort. Whereat, they come across various historical characters. Simhanandini introduces them to the emperor who offers them hospitality. After a while, Krishna Kumar catches sight of the stolen diamond in the prayer room of the emperor which belongs to their ancestors and they adore it. Krishnadevaraya proclaims that it has divine power which reflects on eve of Karthika Punnami. Moreover, it prophesied that the diamond would be stolen twice, during Krishnadevaraya's rule and again after 500 years. Fascinated by it, they stay back to witness the event.

Meanwhile, Simhanandini lusts Krishna Kumar but he turns her down. Further, Krishnadevaraya is worried because of the arrival of Narsa Kavi when Krishna Kumar predicts victory is over and supports Tenali Ramakrishna to triumph. The delighted Emperor decides to honor him when begrudged Simhanandini pauses it by accusing Krishna Kumar as the deceiver. After a heated argument, the emperor organizes a dance competition between Hema & Simhanandini in which Hema wins and Simhanandini is dethroned. At that point, Krishnadevaraya grants to bestow anything when they request to view the diamond's effect on Karthika Punnami. Thusly, he gives them the guest of honor, and Krishna Kumar & Hema are enthralled when the diamond radiates seven colors of the rainbow because of the moonlight.

Following, Krishna Kumar gets ready to retrieve when to seek revenge, Simhanandini colludes with Senadhipathi and incriminates Krishna Kumar in the diamond robbery. Hence Krishnadevaraya sentences him to death but feels something fishy so, he guards him while executing. Presently, Krishna Kumar absconds and broads on the time machine set off again. Unfortunately, they land in 2504, a dystopian world destroyed by radiation after the end of the Third World War. Scientists of that era receive them and they view their cities are built in the underground where find several wonders.

However, a risk is lurking for them as they can live only for 8 hours in that climate. Here, they notice Krishnadevaraya's diamond through which power is supplied and also watch the news from the year 1991. It reports that the diamond is retrieved from Raja Varma with the efforts of Krishna Kumar but tragically he died in the process. The malfunctioning time machine is now repaired and when the environment begins to negatively affect them, they leave and back to the present. As per, they got wind Raja Varma abducts Prof.Ramdas and Kishore to get hold of the time machine. Krishna Kumar rescues them and combats Raja Varma who is declared dead in a blast with the time machine. At last, Krishna Kumar backs safely who has escaped before moments of explode and it is revealed that they fail to receive complete information in the future. Finally, the movie ends on a happy note.




Aditya 369 was inspired by the H. G. Wells novel The Time Machine (1895), which Singeetam Srinivasa Rao read as a student.[5][9] 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".[11][12]

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.[9] Several titles including Kaalayantram and Yuga Purushudu were considered, however, Aditya 369 was finalised symbolizing Aditya (the Sun) and the time machine's serial number 369 which was chosen as an increasing series symbolising time travel.[5][8]

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 cinematographers 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.[13] 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.[5] The then child artiste, Tarun played a plot moving role.[7]


Made on a budget of 1.52 crore, principal photography of the film took about 110 days.[8] 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. Forest scenes were shot at Talakona in Andhra Pradesh.[5][9]


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 "Janavule", 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.[4]

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, Sunanda, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao6:07
Total length:25:52


Aditya 369 is considered as the first Indian film based on time travel. It dealt with exploratory dystopian and apocalyptic themes.[6][2]

Release and reception[edit]

The film released on 18 July 1991. It received positive reviews and was a commercial success.[14] It was dubbed and released in Tamil as Aboorva Sakti-369 during August 1992.[9][15]


Aditya 369 is considered a landmark film in the science fiction genre in Telugu cinema and Indian cinema.[5][6][14][2] In September 2020, The News Minute's Balakrishna Ganeshan wrote, "[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."[13] Actor and producer Nandamuri Kalyan Ram cited Aditya 369 as one of his favourite films and an inspiration for producing the film Bimbisara (2022).[16]


In January 2017, Rao announced his intention to work on Aditya 369's sequel.[17] It is reported that the sequel would feature Balakrishna along with his son Mokshagna.[18][19]


Nandi Awards[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "పాతికేళ్ల 'ఆదిత్య 369'". Andhra Jyothi (in Telugu). 18 July 2016. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Goyal, Samarth (30 December 2021). "Best Indian Movies Dealing With Dystopia and Post Apocalypse". Outlook. Retrieved 22 September 2022. The 1991 Telugu-language film is vastly considered the first Indian film ever based on the concept of time travel.
  3. ^ a b Nyayapati, Neeshita. "Balakrishna's famous sci-fi 'Aditya 369' turns 27 today". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 19 March 2023. 'Aditya 369' was considered to be the first time travel film made not just in the Telugu film industry, but also in India.
  4. ^ a b "The story behind the song ' Nerajaanavule' from the movie Aditya 369". The Hindu. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Aditya 369: తెర వెనుక జరిగింది ఇది! - 30 years for classic Aditya 369". Eenadu (in Telugu). Archived from the original on 18 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Ethamukkala, Hemachandra (25 March 2022). "From Nandamuri Balakrishna's 'Aditya 369' To 'Ismart Shankar' – Here's A Look At The Most Popular Science-Fiction South Indian Films!". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 September 2022. It was Singeetham Srinivas Rao's 'Aditya 369' that first tasted a huge success in Tollywood and it remains one of the all-time classics till today!
  7. ^ a b Sridevi Movies. "30 Years of Aditya 369 Movie | Nandamuri Balakrishna | Mohini | Singeetam SrinivasaRao | Ilayaraja". Retrieved 20 July 2021 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ a b c d "పాతికేళ్ల 'ఆదిత్య 369'". Andhra Jyothi. 18 July 2016. Archived from the original on 11 June 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ a b c d e f "25 Years of Aditya 369". 17 July 2016. Archived from the original on 20 July 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Kuldova, Tereza; Varghese, Mathew A. (9 March 2017). Urban Utopias: Excess and Expulsion in Neoliberal South Asia. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-47623-0.
  11. ^ Ganeshan, Balakrishna (19 September 2020). "'Aditya 369': Revisiting the Telugu film which explored time travel in 1991". The News Minute. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Singeetham Srinivasa Rao interview about Welcome Obama". Idlebrain. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  13. ^ a b "'Aditya 369': Revisiting the Telugu film which explored time travel in 1991". The News Minute. 19 September 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Celebrating 30 years of timeless classic 'Aditya 369'". Telangana Today. 17 July 2021. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  15. ^ RSP (7 August 1992). "Time machine". The Indian Express. p. 7.
  16. ^ Nadadhur, Srivathsan (27 July 2022). "Nandamuri Kalyan Ram on Bimbisara: Always had a huge fascination for socio-fantasies and folklore films". OTTPlay. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Aditya 369 sequel is on: Singeetham". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  18. ^ Vyas (16 June 2020). "Sai Madhav Burra works on Aditya 369 sequel!". The Hans India. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  19. ^ Pecheti, Prakash (21 October 2020). "A season of comebacks". Telangana Today. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  20. ^ "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)

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