Kasturi Nivasa

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Kasturi Nivasa
Kasturi Nivasa.jpg
Directed by Dorai-Bhagavan
Produced by K. C. N. Gowda
Written by G. Balasubramanium
Screenplay by Dorai-Bhagavan
Music by G. K. Venkatesh
  • B. Dorairaj
  • Chettibabu
  • N. G. Rao
Edited by
  • Venkataram
  • Kalyan
Anupam Movies
Release date
  • 1971 (1971)
Running time
152 minutes
Country India
Language Kannada
Budget 3.75 lakh

Kasturi Nivasa (Kannada: ಕಸ್ತೂರಿ ನಿವಾಸ, House of Fragrance) is a 1971 Indian Kannada 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 Shandaar (1974) starring Sanjeev Kumar and in Tamil as Avanthan Manithan (1975) starring Sivaji Ganesan.

The film is considered a milestone in Kannada cinema and in the career of Rajkumar.[1] 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.[2]


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. Finally, Rajkumar on insisting Gowda that money not be wasted, the filming resumed in black-and-white.[3] The story written by G. Balasubramanium had been bought by film producer Noor wanting to make a film in Tamil based on the story and wanted Sivaji Ganesan to star in it. However, Ganesan was reluctant, and so was Rajkumar, after hearing the story, considering that the film had a tragic ending with the protagonist dying. However Sivaji later remade the film in Tamil.[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 39,000. 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.[2]


Kasturi Nivasa
Soundtrack album by G. K. Venkatesh
Released August 1971 (1971-08)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Saregama

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]

Track listing
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Nee Bandu Nintaaga" R. N. Jayagopal P. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas 4:17
2. "Aadona Neenu Naanu" Vijaya Narasimha P. B. Sreenivas 3:41
3. "Aadisidaata Besara Moodi" Chi. Udaya Shankar G.K. Venkatesh 3:21
4. "Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu" Chi. Udaya Shankar P. B. Sreenivas 3:19
5. "Elle Iru Hege Iru" Chi. Udaya Shankar P. Susheela 3:26
6. "Oh Geleya" R. N. Jayagopal L. R. Eswari 3:19


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

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).[7] 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.[8]

With the work 70 percent completed, Gowda died in October 2012.[1] Following his death, his son K. C. N. Mohan took over the project.[9] 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$300,000).[2]

Re-release and reception[edit]

The colourised film released on 7 November 2014, in over 100 prints in Karnataka.[7] Upon the theatrical re-release, the film opened to a good response from the audience.[10][11] It opened to packed audiences in the initial weeks of its release, performing well in both single screens and multiplexes.[8] 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.[12] 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."[13] 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.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Kasturi Nivasa back in colour". Bangalore Mirror. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rajkumar-starrer to make a colourful comeback". The Times of India. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sivaji Ganesan passed up on the offer". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  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. ^ a b "Catch the all-new Kasturi Nivas". The Hindu. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "A Restored Rajkumar Classic Sets the Box Office on Fire". The New Indian Express. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Rajkumar's 'Kasturi Nivasa' Now in Colour". The New Indian Express. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Rajkumar returns". Bangalore Mirror. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Dr Rajkumar still holds sway over fans". Deccan Herald. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa has hit the bullseye at the box-office". The Times of India. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Movie review: Kasturi Nivasa". Bangalore Mirror. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa to Release in the US". The New Indian Express. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 

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