Kasturi Nivasa

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Kasturi Nivasa
Kasturi Nivasa.jpg
Directed byDorai-Bhagavan
Produced byK. C. N. Gowda
Written byG. Balasubramanium
Screenplay byDorai-Bhagavan
Music byG. K. Venkatesh
  • B. Dorairaj
  • Chettibabu
  • N. G. Rao
Edited by
  • Venkataram
  • Kalyan
Anupam Movies
Release date
  • 1971 (1971)
Running time
152 minutes
Budget375,000 (equivalent to 13 million or US$190,000 in 2018)

Kasturi Nivasa (lit. House of Fragrance) is a 1971 Indian Kannada-language drama film directed by the duo Dorai-Bhagavan. It stars Rajkumar as Ravi Varma, an extremely generous man, who succumbs to his intention of being generous no matter what happens. It also features Rajashankar, Jayanthi, K. S. Ashwath and Aarathi in supporting roles. The film was later remade in Hindi as Shaandaar (1974) and in Tamil as Avandhan Manidhan (1975).[1]

The film is considered a milestone in Kannada cinema and in the career of Rajkumar.[2] It was successful at the time of its release and completed a 100-week run at 16 theatres across the erstwhile Mysore State (now Karnataka). In 2014, the film completed colourisation and colourised version released on 7 November 2014.[3]


Ravi Varma (Rajkumar), owner of a matchbox factory is a widower and has lost his daughter in an accident. Recognizing that his honest employee Chandru is in a similar position, he decides to help Chandru financially. As Chandru attends training in the U.S., Ravi takes care of Chandru's charming daughter. On return, Chandru suggests changing the company's structure. The traditionalist Ravi, becomes infuriated. Protesting this, Chandru resigns and starts his own matchbox company and becomes the leading matchbox manufacturer.

This begins Ravi's downfall, his charity and donating activities have eaten up profit and ends up putting his house on sale. Chandru calls for the highest bid and wants to give it back to Ravi, but being the man that he is, Ravi would not accept. Chandru has already got Neela (Jayanthi), his ex-secretary on whom Ravi had a crush on, and now Ravi's house.

Film ends on a tragic note when all Ravi has is his Dove, and Neela requests him to give it her, as her daughter is sick and is crying for Ravi uncle's Dove. Ravi has just sold that, so that he could feed Neela. Unable to say no to a request he breathes his last.



When filming of Kasturi Nivasa began in 1971, it was initially to have been shot in colour. On the second day of filming, the film's producer K. C. N. Gowda, asked the team to stop filming on its second day and was adamant about filming it in colour, in spite of having a black-and-white set of 1.25 lakh. He felt the film must be shot in Eastman Colour, and that he was ready to incur an additional expenditure of Rs. 5.5 lakh. But Rajkumar felt it should go on as conceived. Finally, Rajkumar on insisting Gowda that money not be wasted, the filming resumed in black-and-white.[1] The story Kasturi Nivasam written by G. Balasubramanium had been bought by film producer Noor for 25,000 wanting to make a film in Tamil with Sivaji Ganesan However, Ganesan was reluctant after hearing the story, considering that the film had a tragic ending with the protagonist dying. In the early part of 1971, Kannada script writer Chi. Udayashankar and Rajkumar’s younger brother S.P. Varadaraj chanced upon the project. Eventually, they coaxed B. Dorai Raj and S.K. Bhagavan, to listen to the story. Upon hearing the story, Dorai-Bhagavan, were interested in making the film with Rajkumar under their banner Anupam Movies. But they were not sure if Rajkumar would accept the role. [4] Rajkumar was then convinced by his brother Varadappa, following which the rights were brought from Noor by director Dorai Raj and S. K. Bhagavan for 38,000. Filming done in Mysore and Kanteerava Studios in Bangalore, was completed in 19 and a half days, having spent 3.75 lakh.[5] The dove bird used in the film was bought for 500 from outside the erstwhile Mysore State. Rajkumar received a remuneration of 15,000.[3] Learning of film’s success Shivaji Productions purchased the rights of the film for 2 lakh. Shivaji Ganeshan was all praise for Rajkumar’s performance. The Tamil version of Kasturi Nivasa, directed by K. Shankar hit the screen as Avandhan Manithan (1975).[1]


Kasturi Nivasa
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedAugust 1971 (1971-08)
GenreFeature film soundtrack

The music for the film and soundtracks were composed by G. K. Venkatesh. The album consists of six tracks, sung by P. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas, G.K. Venkatesh and L. R. Eswari. The songs "Aadisidaata" and "Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu" were written by Chi. Udaya Shankar, who also wrote the film's screenplay.[6] On the final day of the re-recording, while scoring the background music for the climax, L. Vaidyanathan, assistant to music director G.K. Venkatesh, felt free verse would enhance the mood and add additional depth to the situation. Immediately lyricist Chi. Udayashankar was called and made to listen to the tune on violin, he then wrote the lyrics for song "Aadisidaata".[5] The song Nee Bandu Nintaaga was loosely inspired by the song Yeh Dil Diwana Hai from the 1970 Hindi movie Ishq Par Zor Nahin.[7]

Track listing
1."Nee Bandu Nintaaga"R. N. JayagopalP. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas4:17
2."Aadona Neenu Naanu"Vijaya NarasimhaP. B. Sreenivas3:41
3."Aadisidaata Besara Moodi"Chi. Udaya ShankarG.K. Venkatesh3:21
4."Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu"Chi. Udaya ShankarP. B. Sreenivas3:19
5."Elle Iru Hege Iru"Chi. Udaya ShankarP. Susheela3:26
6."Oh Geleya"R. N. JayagopalL. R. Eswari3:19


The movie got an average response in its initial run of 9 weeks. However, the movie picked up soon and went on to complete 175 days at several centres across Karnataka with a 100 week run at 16 centres in Mysore. The movie is considered to be a landmark both in the career of Dr Rajkumar and in the Kannada cinema. Today the movie is included in the list of best Kannada movies of all time and in the list of best Rajkumar movies with Bangarada Manushya, Sampathige Saval, Babruvahana and Mayura being the other recurring names. [8][9]


The movie is considered to be a gem in Kannada film industry. The role of Ravi Varma, the protagonist played by Dr Rajkumar is a character who upholds the values of life even it means his destruction;a person who is keen on retaining his character's purity and those morals he has cherished. The character became an inspiration for the protagonist, Siddhartha of the 2017 blockbuster Raajakumara which had Dr Rajkumar's own son Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead.

"Every character played by Dr Rajkumar........ Some roles like that of Rajeeva's character in Bangarada Manushya and the one in Kasturi Nivasa ,have attained greatness due to this. They are considered to be the topmost films in Dr Rajkumar's career. This is also one of the reasons why recently the released-film Raajakumara featuring Puneeth Rajkumar, has great similarities of those selfless acts of Annavru in Kasturi Nivasa and this instantly connected with the audience", says Srinivas, a film historian. [10]


black-and-white film scene above a colourised version of the same scene
A comparison between the original (above) and colourised versions

Kasturi Nivasa was Rajkumar's second film to be colourised and then theatrically released, after Satya Harishchandra (1965), a colourised version of which was released in 2008. The project to colourise Kasturi Nivasa was taken up by its producer K. C. N. Gowda. With parts of the film's negatives damaged, the first step in colourisation involved procuring the archival print from the Karnataka film archives. Bits of the negatives were then procured from other sources and spliced together to restore the original quality of the film (in black-and-white).[11] The colourisation work was carried out by 60 personnel for a period of 20 months, who coloured each of the 215,000 frames of the original film. The music of the film was also recreated. The audio of the film stored digitally was converted to 5.1 surround sound.[12]

With the work 70 percent completed, Gowda died in October 2012.[2] Following his death, his son K. C. N. Mohan took over the project.[13] Speaking of colourising the dresses in film's frames, he said, "We had to take into consideration the costumes of the 1970s. We used a software which gave us the nearest-matching colour." The black-and-white film was first saved in digital format before removing the scratches, dots and rainy lines from it. Based on the grey scales, colours were then added using a digital enhancement technique for the first time for an Indian film. The colourised film has a frame rate of 24 per second. The project was completed at a cost of 2 crore (US$290,000).[3]

The colourised film released on 7 November 2014, in over 100 prints in Karnataka.[11] Upon the theatrical re-release, the film opened to a good response from the audience.[14][15] It opened to packed audiences in the initial weeks of its release, performing well in both single screens and multiplexes.[12] Competing against other films that released during the time of its release, the film performed well and trade analysts speculated a 2 crore revenue in its first week of re-release.[16] Film critic Shyam Prasad S. of Bangalore Mirror remarked that the coloured version "colouring retains the charm of the old world films." He added, "The colouring was not a restoration work. It has made the classic even better."[17] Following a good response at the domestic box-office, reports in late November 2014 the film was screened in six cities in the United States.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Sivaji Ganesan passed up on the offer". The Hindu. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Kasturi Nivasa back in colour". Bangalore Mirror. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Rajkumar-starrer to make a colourful comeback". The Times of India. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa in colour". The Times of India. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Kasturi Nivasa 1971". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa on Saregama". saregama.com.
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap9UZoeUHW8
  8. ^ http://www.sandalwoodking.rocks/threads/100days-movies-of-kannada-stars-in-main-theatre.4867/page-6
  9. ^ https://itsmeadarsh.wordpress.com/tag/kasturi-nivasa/
  10. ^ https://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/sandalwood/190717/legends-of-the-fall.html
  11. ^ a b "Catch the all-new Kasturi Nivas". The Hindu. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  12. ^ a b "A Restored Rajkumar Classic Sets the Box Office on Fire". The New Indian Express. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Rajkumar's 'Kasturi Nivasa' Now in Colour". The New Indian Express. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Rajkumar returns". Bangalore Mirror. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Dr Rajkumar still holds sway over fans". Deccan Herald. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa has hit the bullseye at the box-office". The Times of India. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Movie review: Kasturi Nivasa". Bangalore Mirror. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa to Release in the US". The New Indian Express. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.

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