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Ghatashraddha poster.jpg
Directed byGirish Kasaravalli
Written byU. R. Ananthamurthy
Screenplay byGirish Kasaravalli
Based onGhatashraddha
by U. R. Ananthamurthy
Produced bySadananda Suvarna
StarringMeena Kuttappa
Ajith Kumar
Narayana Bhat
CinematographyS. Ramachandra
Edited byUmesh Kulkarni
Music byB. V. Karanth
Distributed bySuvarnagiri Films
Release date
Running time
108 minutes

Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) is a 1977 Indian Kannada language film directed by Girish Kasaravalli starring Meena Kuttappa, Narayana Bhat and Ajith Kumar in lead roles. It is based on a novella by eminent Kannada writer U. R. Ananthamurthy. The film was Girish Kasaravalli's first feature film as a director, and marked not only the arrival of a promising new filmmaker but also that of Kannada cinema in the India's 'New Cinema' horizon.[1]

The film won three awards at the 25th National Film Awards, awarded for films of 1977. It won the award for Best Feature Film, Best Music Direction (B. V. Karanth) and Best Child Artist (Ajith Kumar).

In 2002, Ghatashraddha became the only Indian film to be chosen by the National Archive of Paris among 100 others, during the centenary celebrations of cinema.[2][3] At the 2009 International Film Festival of India, it was announced one of the 20 best films in Indian cinema, having received 1.6 million votes.[4][5]


Udupa (Ramaswamy Iyengar) runs a run down Vedic school, operating from his house in a village. Apart from his uncontrollable and unruly students, he lives with his young daughter, Yamuna (Meena Kuttappa), already a widow. Naani (Ajit Kumar), the innocent boy from a distant village, is a new student. A bond develops between a homesick Naani and Yamuna. Yamuna has a lover, a school teacher, whom she meets clandestinely. She is also pregnant by him. As Udupa goes out of town to raise funds for his crumbling school, things go out of hand at the school. The students go out of control and soon the entire village knows about Yamuna’s pregnancy. The traditional village members excommunicate Yamuna. Her lover gets the baby aborted without anyone’s knowledge. Udupa returns and on finding out what has happened, performs the last rites of his living daughter. Amidst all these, Naani is the only person in the village determined to support her but not for long for his father comes back to take him away. Yamuna is shaved bald and is abandoned under a banyan tree.[6]


  • Meena Kuttappa as Yamuna
  • Narayana Bhat as Shastri
  • Ajith Kumar as Naani
  • Ramakrishna
  • Shantha
  • Ramaswamy Iyengar
  • Jagannath
  • B. Suresha
  • H. S. Parvathi


Girish Kasaravalli approached U. R. Ananthamurthy for the rights of Ghatashraddha through dramatist K. V. Subbanna. Ananthamurthy, who was in the US at the time, gave his go-ahead on hearing the screenplay from Kasaravalli, on his return to India. It was on the former's suggestion that Meena Kuttappa, his former student, was signed to play the female lead in the film.[7]


25th National Film Awards
1977–78 Karnataka State Film Awards


  1. ^ southasiancinema
  2. ^ "Asiatic Film Mediale". Archived from the original on 16 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Girish Kasaravalli to be felicitated". The Hindu. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Ghatashraddha, one of the 20 best movies". The Times of India. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  5. ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (5 December 2019). "A journey in reels". The Hindu.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (24 April 1979). "Ghatashraddha (1977) The Screen: A Vignette From India". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Ghatashraddha was ideal for a movie: Girish Kasaravalli". The Times of India. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.

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