Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari

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Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari
Theatrical release poster
Directed byK. Raghavendra Rao
Screenplay byK. Raghavendra Rao
Story byYandamoori Veerendranath
Produced byC. Aswani Dutt
Amrish Puri
CinematographyK. S. Prakash
A. Vincent
Edited byKotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Release date
  • 9 May 1990 (1990-05-09)
Budget₹2 crore
Box officeest. ₹15 crore[1]

Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari (transl. Universal hero and the otherworldly beauty), also known by the initialism JVAS, is a 1990 Indian Telugu-language fantasy film directed by K. Raghavendra Rao who co-wrote the script with Jandhyala and Yandamuri Veerendranath. The film stars Chiranjeevi and Sridevi while Amrish Puri, Kannada Prabhakar, Allu Ramalingaiah and Rami Reddy play supporting roles. The film is produced by C. Aswani Dutt on Vyjayanthi Movies banner. The plot revolves around a man who finds a ring that gives the bearer great power, but the goddess who lost the ring seeks it back to return to her world.

Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari was theatrically released on May 9, 1990. The film upon release was a massive success,[2] grossing ₹15 crore at the box office and becoming the highest grossing Telugu film in history at the time.[1][3] It is regarded as a classic film in fantasy genre in Telugu cinema.[4] The film won five state Nandi Awards.


Raju, a courageous and spirited young man, is a caregiver to four young orphans. He is a tourist guide in a picturesque hill station. One of the children is accidentally injured. An ayurvedic guru suggests the only cure for the child's injury - herbs found only on the banks of Lake Manasarovar. Raju goes to the Himalayas to retrieve these powerful herbs. During the same time, a celestial being, Indraja, the daughter of Lord Indra, happens to visit Manasarovar. She accidentally drops her ring there. This ring is her passport to Heaven. Raju finds the ring and starts wearing it, oblivious to its divine power. Indraja is unable to enter Heaven as she lost her ring. Brihaspathi, the Deva-guru, instructs her to go back to Earth to retrieve it before the next Kartik Poornima.

In search of the ring, Indraja finds her way to Raju's hometown. Due to her strange language and lack of emotional and social awareness, she is initially considered insane. Her umpteen confessions about her divinity are subject to laughter. Raju and the children take pity on her and provide her shelter in their home. She becomes close to the children and often ends up in trouble trying to take the ring from Raju.

In the meanwhile, Raju is caught up in a moral squabble with KP, an arrogant millionaire. KP's goons launch a series of attacks on Raju and Indraja. Raju overcomes them, unaware that the ring is helping him. KP gets suspicious about Raju's supernatural power. KP approaches Mahadrashta, a sorcerer who sacrifices women to attain his powers. Mahadrashta discovers that Indraja is a celestial being and wants to sacrifice her to become immortal.

The kids take Indraja on a car ride one day, and the car loses control. Raju averts a major accident and blames and abandons Indraja. The youngest of the orphans is critically injured when Mahadrashta's men bomb the school. When everyone's asleep, Indraja puts on the divine ring and saves the child. Raju realises Indraja's true self and repents for his folly. The two realize that they have fallen in love.

Raju uses the ring's power to scare K. P. and his goons. During this time, Mahadrashta tries to acquire it from one of the kids by hypnotizing her. A monkey grabs the ring and carries it far away, dropping it in the bowl of Kumkuma at the feet of a statue of Hanuman. Raju and the kids search for the ring in vain.

Mahadrashta and his men plant false evidence in Raju's home to fabricate the lie that Indraja is a sorceress. Raju and Indraja are pelted with stones, and Indraja is carried away by Mahadrashta. The kids discover the ring, and Raju sets out to save Indraja. A hypnotized Indraja does not recognize or respond to their calls. Upon coming in contact with the ring, she comes to her senses and destroys K. P. and his men. Raju kills Mahadrashta, refusing to use the ring, as he believes human power is enough to defeat evil.

The very same evening is Kartik Poornima, the final call for Indraja to return to heaven. Her thoughts are flooded with the loving memories of her time with Raju and the kids. She is caught between her love for Raju and her obligation to return to heaven to remain divine and immortal. Indraja throws away her ring and chooses to go back to Raju to lead a mortal life.




Writer Srinivas Chakravati shared the idea of a story with Raghavendra Rao, where the daughter of Indra who comes to Earth loses her ring without which she cannot return to Indraloka.[3][5] Raghavendra Rao liked the story and following a series of meetings and story discussion sessions with writer Yandamoori Veerendranath, Jandhyala, Satyanand and Crazy Mohan, developed it into a socio-fantasy drama. Chiranjeevi spent almost 25 days with the writing team.[3][5]

Initially, it was decided that the protagonist Raju goes to the Moon in a rocket and meets goddess Indraja there. Since the barren surface of the Moon would not be suitable for song picturization the idea was dropped. Then Chiranjeevi suggested the backdrop of Manasarovar, where Indraja lands and Raju goes to bring the magical herb that would heal the injured leg of the little girl. It was liked by all and was immediately approved.[3][5]

Aswani Dutt recalls being fascinated by the socio-fantasy films made by the Vijaya Studios, especially Jagadeka Veeruni Katha (1961) which was an inspiration for him to produce this film.[5][3]


The film marked the first collaboration between frequent collaborators, Aswani Dutt and Chiranjeevi. A massive set was raised at Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Madras for the film,[6][3] which producer Dutt claimed was "perhaps the biggest set ever for a Telugu film, after Prema Nagar."[5] This is the hundredth time Chiranjeevi and Sridevi paired in onscreen.[7] Three of the child actors in the film, Shalini, Richard Rishi, and Shamili are siblings in real life.[3][5]

The song "Abba nee Thiyyani Debba" was choreographed by Sundaram. Cinematographer Ajay Vincent used polythene sheets smeared with vaseline to replicate the snow-filled hills of Manasarovar for the song "Andhaalalo Mahodayam".[5] Chiranjeevi shot the song "Dhinakkuthaa Kasakkuro" despite suffering from fever with a body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. He sponged his body with ice and completed the shoot, allowing Sridevi to fly abroad for another shoot.[5] Amrish Puri dubbed for himself in Telugu for the role of the sorcerer, Mahadrashta.[3]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and all songs are written by Veturi.[8] The song "Yamaho" is based on "Madurai Marikozhundhu" from the Tamil film Enga Ooru Pattukaran (1987).[9] The song "Abbanee Teeyani" went on to be reused in Hindi as "Dhak Dhak Karne Laga" in the film Beta (1992) and the tune of the same song was reused as "Kannathil Kannam Vaika" in the film Watchman Vadivel (1994). The music rights of the film were acquired by Aditya Music. The film's songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja were instant chartbusters.[4]

Telugu (original) tracklist[8]
1."Yamaho Nee"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki4:28
2."Abbanee"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra4:53
3."Priyatama"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki5:58
4."Mana Bharathamlo"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:26
5."Andalalo"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki5:01
6."Dhinakkuta"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra4:58
7."Jai Chiranjeeva"S. P. Sailaja3:01
Total length:32:48
Hindi (dubbed) (Aadmi Aur Apsara) tracklist

All lyrics are written by Indeevar

1."Chamke Tu Chama Chama Chham Chham"Kavita Krishnamurthy, Amit Kumar4:28
2."Tumne Is Tarah Maara Dekh Gaya Mai Zamarla Tumhara"Kavita Krishnamurthy, Amit Kumar4:53
3."Balama Hai Tu Mere Dil Ka Mehma"Kavita Krishnamurthy, Amit Kumar5:58
4."Pehle Bharat Me Korawo Pandawo Ka Raj Tha"Amit Kumar4:26
5."Sundar Dekho Lage Bada Shama"Kavita Krishnamurthy, Amit Kumar5:01
6."Tanak Dhin Ta, Tanak Dhin Ta"Kavita Krishnamurthy, Amit Kumar4:58
Total length:29:47


The film had 100-day runs in a number of theaters and a 200-day run in one centre,[10] it grossed 15 crores at the box office and broke all the records which were set up by past movies and became an all time blockbuster. This film's box office performance was undeterred by the floods raging then united Andhra Pradesh.[5]

The film was subsequently dubbed in Hindi as Aadmi Aur Apsara, in Tamil as Kaadhal Devathai, and in Malayalam as Hai Sundari.[3]


Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari is regarded as a classic film in fantasy genre in Telugu cinema.[4]

Hemanth Kumar CR writing for Vogue India in February 2020 noted, "The dazzling chemistry of the lead actors, along with Ilaiyaraaja’s chart-busting music, and the epic nature of the film propelled it into one of the biggest hits of all time." Further, he listed the film among the seven Telugu films to watch for fans of fantasy genre.[11]

Karthik Keramulu writing for Film Companion in July 2021 noted, "This is a bloody entertaining fantasy drama that has everything in equal measure – over the top action sequences, a sorcerer as the villain, a goddess in the form of Sridevi, a heartthrob with the face of Chiranjeevi, a finger ring that possesses magical powers, and amazing songs by Ilaiyaraaja. This is a lethal combination that today's movies do not have the temerity to fight against."[12]


Filmfare Awards South
Nandi Awards[13]

Potential sequel[edit]

In May 2020, producer Dutt stated that a sequel is already on the cards, which would be about the offspring of Indraja and Raju. Over speculations that Ram Charan and Janhvi Kapoor (son and daughter of Chiranjeevi and Sridevi respectively) are being considered, Dutt responded by saying, "it'll be wonderful if it can happen."[5]


  1. ^ a b "Did you know how much Chiranjeevi and Sridevi were paid for 'Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari'?". The Times of India. 14 May 2020. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  2. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-94318-9. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "30 years of Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari: 20+ lesser known facts about Chiranjeevi and Sridevi's film". Cinema Express. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Chiranjeevi reminisces about a timeless classic". Deccan Chronicle. 10 May 2020. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mary, S. B. Vijaya (7 May 2020). "Celebrating 30 years of the Chiranjeevi-Sridevi Telugu blockbuster 'Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 7 May 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  6. ^ Pecheti, AuthorPrakash. "30 years of 'Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari'". Telangana Today. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Yesterday, today and 'Naalai'". The Hindu. 10 November 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2006 – via www.thehindu.com.
  8. ^ a b "Jagadekaveerudu Athiloka Sundari". Spotify. Archived from the original on 6 September 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  9. ^ "30 years of Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari: 20+ lesser known facts about Chiranjeevi and Sridevi's film". Cinema Express. 9 May 2020. Archived from the original on 9 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  10. ^ "CineGoer.com – Box-Office Records and Collections – Chiranjeevi's 175-Day Centres List". Cinegoer. 14 August 2012. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  11. ^ CR, Hemanth Kumar (5 February 2020). "7 Telugu films you must check out if you love the fantasy genre". Vogue India. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  12. ^ Keramalu, Karthik (5 July 2021). "The Good, The Mediocre, And Oh-My-God-What's-Happening In Telugu Fantasy Movies". Film Companion. Retrieved 25 September 2022 – via Ghost Archive.
  13. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2020.(in Telugu)

External links[edit]