Anarkali (1955 film)

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Anarkali (1955 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vedantam Raghavaiah
Produced by P. Adinarayana Rao
Anjali Devi (presents)
Written by Samudrala Sr (dialogues)
Screenplay by Vedantam Raghavaiah
Based on Epic of Anarkali
Starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Anjali Devi
Music by P. Adinarayana Rao
Cinematography Kamal Ghosh
Edited by N. S. Pragasam
Release date
  • 28 April 1955 (1955-04-28)
Running time
153 mins
Country India
Language Telugu

Anarkali (Telugu: అనార్కలి) is a Telugu, Historical film, produced by P. Adinarayana Rao on Anjali Pictures banner and directed by Vedantam Raghavaiah. Starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Anjali Devi in the lead roles and music also composed by P. Adinarayana Rao.[1] The film was dubbed into Tamil with same title.[1]


Nadira (Anjali Devi) and her tribe migrated from Persia to Agra. Bowled over by her mellifluous voice and beauty, Prince Salim (Akkineni Nageswara Rao) introduces himself to her as a soldier and the two fall in love, meeting regularly at the Anar (Pomegranate) garden. While strolling in his garden, Emperor Akbar (S. V. Ranga Rao), impressed by her singing, bestows on her the title, ‘Anarkali.’ When her singing brings back to consciousness his son Salim, who is grievously injured in the war and goes into a coma, Akbar makes her the court dancer. This upsets Gulnar (Surabhi Balasaraswathi), the former court dancer, who has secret ambitions of marrying the Prince. On the day of Prince Salim’s coronation, Gulnar mixes alcohol in Anarkali’s drink who, under its influence, expresses her love for Salim. This angers Akbar, who orders her to be imprisoned. Salim rebels against his father but his mother Jodhabai (Kanamba) stops him at the battlefield. Salim is held captive and the Emperor orders capital punishment for the lovers. Anarkali is taken to a distant place to be buried alive. Salim rushes to save her, but by the time he reaches there she is already buried. He bangs his head on her grave and dies.[2]




Film score by P. Adinarayana Rao
Released 1955
Genre Soundtrack
Length 49:59
Producer P. Adinarayana Rao

Music composed by P. Adinarayana Rao. The song Rajasekhara is an evergreen blockbuster. Lyrics were written by Samudrala Sr. Music released on Audio Company.

S.No Song Title Singers length
1 O Anaarkali Ghantasala 3:10
2 Jeevitame Saphalamu Jikki 6:06
3 Kalise Nelaraaju Ghantasala, Jikki 4:28
4 Nanu Kanugonuma Jikki 4:38
5 Rajasekhara Ghantasala, Jikki 6:24
6 Ninugaana Sambarana Jikki 4:15
7 Prema Janga Jikki 3:31
8 Anda Chandalugani P. Susheela 3:25
9 Anandame Andalu Jikki 4:08
10 Ravoyi Sakha Jikki 3:09
11 Kulasala Sarasala Jikki 3:23
12 O Sipaayi A. M. Rajah,Jikki 3:22

Tamil Songs[edit]

Lyrics were by Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass. All the tunes for all the songs and singers for both languages are the same.

No. Song Singers Length (m:ss)
1 O Anaarkali Anaarkali Anaarkali Ghantasala 03:10
2 Jeevitame Sabalamo Jikki 03:10
3 Jeevitame Sabalamo Jikki 02:56
4 Kanindha Alliyodu Nilavin Oli Nee Ghantasala, Jikki 04:28
5 Naan Kannda Sugamaa Sugamaa Penn Pazhi Jikki 04:38
6 Rajasekhara En Mel Modi Seiyyalaagumaa Ghantasala, Jikki 06:24
7 Unaal Naanee Uyirai Marandhen Jikki 04:15
8 Kaadhalin Jodi Jikki 03:31
9 Andha Naal Thaanidhada P. Suseela 03:25
10 Aanandham…. Naanum Kuditthen Ena Ninaikkudhu Jikki 04:08
11 Sippaayi…. Anbe Nee Vaaraayo Jikki 03:09
12 Paarthanile Mudivu Kannden En Vidhi Jikki 03:28


Anarkali has been the subject of a number of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani books, plays and films. The lines in Persian inscribed on a sarcophagus housed, rather appositely, in the offices of the Records Department of the Government of Punjab in the bustling Mall Road of Lahore hide within their poetic flourish an ancient tale of love and loss. The musty interiors of the office building do not give away the secret that successive centuries have attempted to camouflage that the building was once the mausoleum that housed the tomb of Anarkali. The century-old Bazaar that abuts the Mall Road is called Anarkali Bazaar. Dara Shikoh, in his Sakinat al-Auliya, mentions the tomb.

This love story has always caught the eye of writers, poets, dramatists, and filmmakers, for with its historical backdrop and having a liberal share of the essential elements -palace intrigue, love, loyalty, and loss of a magnificent entertainer, the theme offered infinite exciting possibilities. The stage version by Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj in 1922 which have inspired the subsequent celluloid adaptations. The silent movie Loves of a Mughal Prince in 1928 by The Imperial Film Company had Sulochana as Anarkali, directed by Charu Roy and Prafulla Roy.[3]

The talkie version also by The Imperial Film Company in 1935 also had Sulochana repeating her role directed by R. S. Choudhury. K. Asif, started to make the movie of it as early as in 1944, but the sudden demise of Chandra Mohan who was playing Akbar, the migration to Pakistan of the financier and the riots that the partition brought in its wake all put paid to his plans, which pushes K. Asif to commence afresh in 1951 but only able to complete and released in 1960.

However, in the meantime Director Nandlal Jaswantlal came up with his movie Anarkali in 1953 by Filmistan. The movie had Bina Rai and Pradeep Kumar essaying the roles of Anarkali and Salim. Mubarak, with his ringing voice and regal appearance, was well cast as Akbar. Sulochana played the role of Jodhabai. Ramesh Saigal drafted the screenplay and dialogues. C. Ramchandra’s music was the high point of the movie. .[3]

Tamil audience had their first glimpse of Anarkali when Kannadasan incorporated a stage play Anarkali in the movie Illara Jothi in 1954 by Modern Theatres as it was the norm of Tamil cinema at the time to have stage plays. The drama was also published subsequently as a book by Vanathi Padhippagam.

Inspired by the decisive success of Filmistaan’s Anarkali, P. Adinarayana Rao set about making his movie in Telugu and got it dubbed simultaneously in Tamil as Anarkali in 1955 under Anjali Pictures which was mounted on a magnificent scale. He brought on board some of the best technicians to work on the movie.[3]

In Pakistan, another Anarkali film was released in 1958 with Noor Jehan in the lead role.

The same movie was remade in Hindi as Mughal-e-Azam by K. Asif in the year 1960, music by Naushad. This movie was dubbed in Tamil & released in the name Akbar. Madhubala in the role of Anarkali and Dilip Kumar as Prince Salim.

Iman Ali portrayed Anarkali in Shoaib Mansoor's short music video series on the theme Ishq (love) in 2003.


  1. ^ a b c M. L. Narasimhan (28 August 2014). "Anarkali (1955)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Anarkali (Story)". The Hindu. 
  3. ^ a b c Saravanan. "Song of the Day: Anarkali in Cinema - Part I". Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. 

External links[edit]