Aradhana (1969 film)

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Directed byShakti Samanta
Written bySachin Bhowmick
Produced byShakti Samanta
StarringSharmila Tagore
Rajesh Khanna
Sujit Kumar
Farida Jalal
Abhi Bhattacharya
Ashok Kumar
CinematographyAlok Dasgupta
Edited bySahil Budhiraja
Music bySongs & Background Score
S. D. Burman
Recordist & Associate Music Director:
R.D. Burman
Anand Bakshi
Distributed byShakti Films
Release date
7 November 1969 (1969-11-07)
Running time
169 minutes
Box officeest. 17.85 crore (equivalent to 925 crore or US$120 million in 2023)

Aradhana (transl. "Worship") is a 1969 Indian Hindi romantic drama film directed by Shakti Samanta, starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna. It won the Filmfare Award for Best Film at the 17th Filmfare Awards. Tagore won her only Filmfare Best Actress Award.[1] Originally released in Hindi[2] and dubbed in Bengali, Aradhana's huge success led to two remakes: the Tamil film Sivagamiyin Selvan (1974)[3] and the Telugu film Kannavari Kalalu (1974).[4] This film is counted among the 17 consecutive hit films of Rajesh Khanna between 1969 and 1971, by adding the two hero films Marayada and Andaz to the 15 consecutive solo hits he gave from 1969 to 1971.[5] Aradhana was a blockbuster in India and the Soviet Union.[6] The theme of the movie was based on the 1946 film To Each His Own.[7]


Indian Air Force officer Arun Varma sings "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" in an open jeep winding along Darjeeling, West Bengal 's hills with his co-pilot Madan, while Vandana, the daughter of Dr Gopal Tripathi casts skittish glances full of summer romance from a train window. Smitten, they wed in a temple without rituals, with only God as a witness. But the heavens open and they are soaked. Left to take refuge in a shelter with a flickering fire, their passion is subsumed beyond reach. Vandana returns home.

Within days, Arun dies in a plane. Vandana discovers that she is pregnant. Arun's family are unable to accept her as a daughter in law. Her father also dies, leaving her destitute. Vandana's son is born and named Suraj, the sun. She puts him up for adoption hoping to legally adopt him the next day but she is forced to let a childless couple adopt him. Determined to be a part of his life, she accepts the role of being his nanny. One day, her employer's brother-in-law, finding her alone in the house, attacks her but Suraj rescues her by stabbing him to death. When the police arrive, Vandana takes the blame for the murder and is arrested. Suraj runs away.

Years later when Vandana is released from jail, the jailor takes her to his home and introduces her to his daughter Renu. Vandana soon meets Renu's love, Suraj. He is the image of his father and a pilot too. He has the sensation of having seen Vandana before but his memories are fleeting. Anxious that the true story of his parents may cause him pain, Vandana tries to hide away.

Suraj is injured in an air crash like his father Arun but he survives. While he is recuperating in the hospital, Vandana meets Madan, Arun's copilot. He knows the truth of Arun and Vandana's romance and is anxious to tell Suraj all but Vandana fears the consequences. One day idly looking through papers in the room whilst waiting for Vandana, Suraj finds Arun's photo. A sudden realisation that Arun and Vandana are his true parents becomes clear. He recognises his mother's sacrifices and celebrates her strength and courage. The film sparkles with captivating songs and unmatched sunshine.



The film was scripted by Sachin Bhowmick. The theme of the movie was based on the 1946 film To Each His Own.[8] A day prior to the shooting of Aradhana, producer Surinder Kapoor showed Samanta his latest film, Ek Shrimaan Ek Shrimati with Shashi Kapoor as the lead, which was also written by Sachin Bhowmick. Much to his surprise, this film had a similar ending to his own film. The following day, Samanta decided to scrap his film, when writers Gulshan Nanda and Madhusudan Kalelkar visited his office. Upon hearing the issue, it was Gulshan Nanda who suggested to have a double role of father and son in the film. Originally, the first hero was to die by the interval and a new hero was to step in.[9] The same evening, while Aradhana was being cancelled, Nanda recited a story of Kati Patang to Samanta, which he instantly liked, so for the next couple of hours they first rewrote the second half of Aradhana, and subsequently went on to discuss Kati Patang.[10] The "Roop Tera Mastana" song sequence, which lasted more than three minutes and 30 seconds, was filmed in a single take.[11] Sharmila Tagore believes this was done due to time constraints.[12] Shakti Samanta reminisces in an interview that he suggested to Rajesh Khanna that he mimic Dev Anand in his second role as a son. He did and it clicked.[13]


Original LP Cover
Soundtrack album to Aradhana by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelEMI Records

The soundtrack of the film was composed by S. D. Burman, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Sachin Dev Burman had written the music for the songs of Aradhana. Sachin Dev Burman composed each and every song. Rahul Dev Burman was the Assistant Music Director in this film. His main work was on arrangement, background score and improvising some tunes to singer and helping his father in the processings. All the tunes were composed by Sachin Dev Burman. Sachin Dev Burman himself was instrumental in putting up Kishore Kumar for the rising star Rajesh Khanna

In "Roop Tera Mastana", Kersi Lord played the accordion, Homi Mullan played the duggi, Manohari Singh played the saxophone and Buji Lord played the vibraphone.[14][15][16] This track was also reused in Tamil Remix Version as "Jean Pants" sung by K.S. Chithra and Stylebhai.[17]

1."Mere Sapno Ki Rani"Kishore Kumar5:00
2."Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera"Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar5:38
3."Gun Guna Rahe Hai Bhanvare"Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle3:53
4."Roop Tera Mastana"Kishore Kumar3:45
5."Saphal Hogi Teri Aradhana"S. D. Burman5:45
6."Chanda Hai Tu Mera Suraj Hai Tu"Lata Mangeshkar4:02
7."Baghon Mein Bahar Hai"Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi3:52
Total length:31:55
Bengali track list
1."Eto Kache Dujone"Kishore Kumar 
2."Madhobi Futeche Oi"Lata Mangeshkar, Rahul Dev Burman 
3."Chondro Je Tui"Lata Mangeshkar 
4."Mor Shopner Shathi"Kishore Kumar 
5."Gunjone Dole Je Bhromor"Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle 
6."Aj Hridoye Bhalobeshe"Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar 


17th Filmfare Awards:[18]



Box office[edit]

Aradhana estimated worldwide gross: 178.5 million ($23.62 million). Adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to ₹11.37 billion in 2017, or 15.95 billion (US$200 million) in 2023.

  • India: ₹70 million ($9.33 million) in 1969.[19] Adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to ₹5.9 billion in 2017.[n 1]
  • Soviet Union: 11.85 million Rbls[a] ($14.29 million,[b] 108.5 million)[c] in 1972.[21] Adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to $84 million (₹5.47 billion) in 2017.

In terms of estimated box office footfalls, it sold 42 million ticket sales in India[d] and 47.4 million tickets in the Soviet Union,[21] for a combined 89.4 million tickets sold worldwide.


Aradhana had a large impact on Indians in general. It inspired many to take up films as a vocation, one of them being the popular Indian actor Tom Alter, who confessed in an interview that he headed to Film and Television Institute of India after being impressed watching Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana in 1970.[25][26][27]


  1. ^ 47.4 million tickets sold,[21] average ticket price of 25 kopecks[22]
  2. ^ 0.829 Rbl per US dollar in 1972[23]
  3. ^ 7.5945 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1972.[24]
  4. ^ See List of highest-grossing films in India § Highest-grossing films by year
  1. ^ Inflation rate from 1993 to 2017: 21.38 times
    • Aankhen's domestic nett of ₹128.45 million in 1993 is equivalent to ₹2,745,845,840 in 2017.[20]


  1. ^ " Dial D for Darjeeling". Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  2. ^ Aradhana. 1969. Event occurs at 0:19.
  3. ^ "Why not in Tamil?". Sunday Times. 22 February 1998. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Birthday Special: Remembering Rajesh Khanna's top five films". Jagran Post. 29 December 2014. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Eight lesser known facts about Rajesh Khanna on his death anniversary". The Hindustan Times. 18 July 2015. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Remembering master screenwriter Sachin Bhowmick – Death anniversary special". Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Aradhana (1969) & To Each His Own (1946)". Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Aradhana (1969) & To Each His Own (1946)". Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Originally, Aradhana and Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati had the same climax". Rediff Movies. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Two of his finest films were created in one evening". Rediff Movies. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  11. ^ "SRK Kajol to shoot one take song in Dilwale, but it's not Bollywood's first". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  12. ^ "'Your Call' with Sharmila Tagore: full transcript". Archived from the original on 27 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  13. ^ Shakti Samanta speaks about his film 'Amar-Prem' on YouTube
  14. ^ "Interview – HQ Chowdhury, Speaking to Shakti Samanta, Dhaka film festival 2001". Moti Lalwani. Archived from the original on 28 April 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  15. ^ "The Aradhana syndrome and S D Burman". Rediff. 31 October 2000. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  16. ^ "NDTV Movies: Bollywood News – Celebrity News – Celebrity Gossip – Latest Bollywood Stories". Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Roop Tera Mastana (Tamil Version)". JioSaavn. 12 March 1997. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  18. ^ "The Winners -1969". The Times Of India. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Box Office 1969". Box Office India. 14 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Top Adjusted Nett Grossers 1993". Box Office India. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b c Sergey Kudryavtsev (3 August 2008). "Зарубежные популярные фильмы в советском кинопрокате (Индия)". Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  22. ^ Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 48 Archived 10 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Cornell University Press, 2011
  23. ^ "Archive". Central Bank of Russia. 1992. Archived from the original on 17 July 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Pacific Exchange Rate Service" (PDF). UBC Sauder School of Business. University of British Columbia. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  25. ^ Guftagoo with Tom Alter (in Hindi). Rajya Sabha TV. 23 August 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  26. ^ "I still dream of being Rajesh Khanna". The Hindu. 12 July 2009. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Chandigarh Stories". Tribune India. 31 July 2003. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2011.

External links[edit]