Kasturi Nivasa

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Kasturi Nivasa
Kasturi Nivasa.jpg
Directed byDorai–Bhagavan
Produced byK. C. N. Gowda
Screenplay byDorai–Bhagavan
Story byG. Balasubramanium
Music byG. K. Venkatesh
  • B. Dorairaj
  • Chettibabu
  • N. G. Rao
Edited by
  • Venkataram
  • Kalyan
Anupam Movies
Release date
  • 29 January 1971 (1971-01-29)
Running time
152 minutes

Kasturi Nivasa (transl. 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 Jayanthi, K. S. Ashwath and Aarathi in supporting roles. 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 500-week run at 16 theatres across the erstwhile Mysore State (now Karnataka). In 2014, the film completed colourisation and the colourised version released on 7 November 2014.[2] The film was remade in Hindi as Shaandaar (1974),[3] and in Tamil as Avandhan Manidhan (1975).[4]


Ravi Varma, 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. Ravi has planned to propose to his secretary Neela, but when she seeks his permission to marry Chandru, he blesses her.

Facing financial losses because of excessive charity, Ravi puts up his house for sale. Chandru calls for the highest bid to give it back to Ravi, but Ravi does not accept. Circumstances lead to Ravi's downfall. The film ends on a tragic note. Neela request him to give her the dove for her sick daughter. But Ravi has just sold the dove, to prepare a meal for Neela. Unable to say no to a request he breathes his last.



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 early 1971, Kannada screenwriter Chi. Udayashankar and Rajkumar’s younger brother S. P. Varadaraj chanced upon the project. Eventually, they coaxed Dorai–Bhagavan (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.[6] Rajkumar was then convinced by his brother Varadappa, following which the rights were brought from Noor by Dorai–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.[7] 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] When filming began in 1971, Kasturi Nivasa was initially to have been shot in colour. On the second day of filming, the 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 Eastmancolor, and said he was ready to incur an additional expenditure of 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.[4]


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

The music was composed by G. K. Venkatesh. The album consists of six tracks. The songs "Aadisidaata" and "Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu" were written by Chi. Udayashankar, who also wrote the film's screenplay.[8] On the final day of the re-recording, while scoring the background music for the climax, L. Vaidyanathan, assistant to Venkatesh, felt free verse would enhance the mood and add additional depth to the situation. Immediately, Udayashankar was called and made to listen to the tune on violin, he then wrote the lyrics for song "Aadisidaata" which Venkatesh himself sang.[7] The song "Nee Bandu Nintaaga" was loosely inspired by "Yeh Dil Diwana Hai" from the 1970 Hindi film Ishq Par Zor Nahin.[9]

No. Title Lyrics Singers Picturization Length
01 "Nee Bandu Nintaga" R. N. Jayagopal P. B. Sreenivas

P. Susheela



02 "Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu" Chi. Udayashankar P. B. Sreenivas Rajkumar 3:19
03 "Aadona Neenu Naanu" Vijaya Narasimha P. B. Sreenivas Rajkumar 3:41
04 "Elle Iru Hege Iru" Chi. Udaya Shankar P. Susheela Jayanthi 3:26
05 "Aadisidaata Besara Moodi" Chi. Udaya Shankar G. K. Venkatesh Rajkumar 3:21
06 "Oh Geleya"

(Cabaret song)

R. N. Jayagopal L. R. Eswari Vijayasree 3:19


Kasturi Nivasa was released on 29 January 1971.[10] The film got an average response in its initial run of nine weeks. However, it 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.[7] Learning of the film's success, Sivaji Ganesan purchased the rights of the film for 2 lakh. Ganesan was all praise for Rajkumar's performance. The Tamil version of Kasturi Nivasa, directed by A. C. Tirulokchandar, was Avandhan Manidhan (1975).[4] The film was praised for portraying the nuances of leading righteous yet lonely life.[11] It also received praise for chartering the rise of a new order — the relevance of modern manufacturing techniques and the loss of class divide with an associated loss of morals.[12]


The film is considered to be a milestone in Kannada cinema.[13] The role of Ravi Varma, the protagonist played by 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 starred Rajkumar's son Puneeth. "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", said film historian Srinivas.[14]


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).[15] 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.[16]

With the work 70 per cent completed, Gowda died in October 2012.[1] Following his death, his son K. C. N. Mohan took over the project.[17] 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$280,000).[2]

The colourised film released on 7 November 2014, in over 100 prints in Karnataka.[15] Upon the theatrical re-release, the film opened to a good response from the audience.[18][19] It opened to packed audiences in the initial weeks of its release, performing well in both single screens and multiplexes.[16] 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.[20] Film critic Shyam Prasad S. of Bangalore Mirror remarked that the coloured version "retains the charm of the old world films." He further added that "the colouring was not a restoration work. It has made the classic even better. It highlights minute details like the torn wool and discoloring of the torn part of the tattered suit in the latter half of the movie."[21] 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.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Kasturi Nivasa back in colour". Bangalore Mirror. 3 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Rajkumar-starrer to make a colourful comeback". The Times of India. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  3. ^ "On Sanjeev Kumar's 81st birthday, a look at why he remains unparalleled as an actor on the Indian screen". Hindustan Times. 9 July 2019. Archived from the original on 7 November 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Sivaji Ganesan passed up on the offer". The Hindu. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  5. ^ Wilson, Heather (2 November 2017). "Kasturi Nivasa". Cinema Chaat. Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa in colour". The Times of India. 4 April 2014. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Venkatasubba Rao, K. N. (12 July 2008). "Kasturi Nivasa 1971". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa on Saregama". Saregama. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  9. ^ Deshmukh, Arunkumar (15 June 2013). "Multiple Version Songs (12): Similar songs in Hindi and Kannada". Songs Of Yore. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  10. ^ Manjula (1 February 2021). "What Made Dr Rajkumar's Kasthuri Nivasa An Iconic Movie In Kannada?". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  11. ^ https://www.deccanherald.com/amp/metrolife/metrolife-lifestyle/here-are-some-must-watch-iconic-films-of-dr-rajkumar-829441.html
  12. ^ https://cinemachaat.com/2017/11/02/kasturi-nivasa/
  13. ^ "After Dr Rajkumar, Rachita Ram to live in Kasturi Nivasa". The Times of India. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  14. ^ SM, Shashiprasad (19 July 2017). "Legends of the fall". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Catch the all-new Kasturi Nivas". The Hindu. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  16. ^ a b "A Restored Rajkumar Classic Sets the Box Office on Fire". The New Indian Express. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Rajkumar's 'Kasturi Nivasa' Now in Colour". The New Indian Express. 28 January 2014. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Rajkumar returns". Bangalore Mirror. 7 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Dr Rajkumar still holds sway over fans". Deccan Herald. 7 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa has hit the bullseye at the box-office". The Times of India. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Movie review: Kasturi Nivasa". Bangalore Mirror. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Kasturi Nivasa to Release in the US". The New Indian Express. 20 November 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.

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