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Rajan & Nagendra
Photo of Nagendra
Born Rajan (born 1933)
Nagendrappa (born 1935)

Shivarampet, Mysore, Karnataka
Occupation Music composers
Years active 1952-1999

Rajan and Nagendra (Kannada: Kannada ರಾಜನ್ – ನಾಗೇಂದ್ರ ) were musicians who were prominent composers of film music in Kannada cinema during the late 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. Rajan, along with his brother Nagendra, created a niche for themselves for nearly four decades. The duo scored music for about 375 films, over 200 of them in Kannada and the remaining in other languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu, Hindi and Sinhala. They composed innumerable hits, hundreds of melodious tunes in their career spanning four decades. They also hold the record for the longest active musical pair in the industry.


Rajan (b. 1933) and Nagendrappa (b. 1935), born in Shivarampet of Mysore in a middle-class musical family. Their father Rajappa was a harmonium and flute player who played background music for silent movies.[1]

Within a short time, each of them attained proficiency in playing a different instrument – Rajan in violin and Nagendra in Jal tarang. Rajan used to listen to musical performances of eminent musicians at Choudayya Ramamandira in Mysore and hence got the opportunity to listen to music performances by Hindusthani, Karnatak, and western music in the Mysore palace. Later on Rajan came to Bangalore for his further educational studies.

Early career[edit]

In Bangalore Rajan studied in S.L.N. School in the K.R. Market area and later in Central High School. Rajan learnt the violin and appeared at the state level violin competition, where he secured the first place.

Both Rajan and Nagendra participated in public performances through Jaya Maruthi Orchestra. Meanwhile, Rajan got an offer to go to Madras. He took his brother along with him and they got an opportunity of learning the music trade under the aegis of H. R. Padmanabha Shastri, who was known for producing talkie movies at that time. This gave them significant exposure to the movie industry.

In 1951, Nagendra returned to Mysore and completed his matriculation. Then he joined P. Kalinga Rao, who was then a famous radio artiste. Within no time, Nagendra got an opportunity of singing for the movie 'Srinivasa Kalyana' along with Hindustani singer Ameer Bai.

Finally, Rajan–Nagendra became independent music directors when they scored music for the film Sowbhagya Lakshmi in 1952. This movie opened the doors of success and they never looked back for more than four decades. After 'Sowbhagya Lakshmi' came Vittalacharya's 'Chanchalakumari', 'Rajalakshmi' and 'Mutthaide Bhagya' in a series to pave the way for these would-be melody kings.


Rajan used to compose the melodies and set the notations for the orchestra. Nagendra used to dictate the lyrics and tune of the song to the singers.

They had a successful stint in Kannada film industry from early 50s till late 90s, but they started shining from 1973 with Gandhada Gudi songs becoming popular throughout Karnataka and dimmed in early 90s, when new generation music took over thus covering a span of two decades of lilting melodies that has been hugely popular till date in Karnataka and other states of South India.

In the 70s came super hits in a row like Nyayave Devaru, Gandhada Gudi, Devara Gudi, Bhagyavantaru, Eradu Kanasu, Naa Ninna Mareyalaare, Naa Ninna Bidalaare, Hombisilu, Bayalu Daari, Paavana Ganga, Giri Kanye and the list goes on.

In the 80s, they made the music for some Telugu films, including Maa Intayana Katha, Puli Bebbuli and Vayyari Bhamalu Vagalamari Bharathulu. They composed the music for about 70 Telugu films.

Further, they kept scoring consistently good music through the 90s and in the course, produced for movies like Mathe Haditu Kogile, Marali Goodige and Suprabhaata. They also composed music for a TV serial 'Abhimaana' on Udaya TV.

Rajan–Nagendra made delightful songs in the Rajkumar-Lakshmi starrer Naa Ninna Mareyalaare and Eradu Kanasu, which starred Rajkumar, Manjula and Kalpana.

Hombisilu, starring Vishnuvardhan, was another big hit.

Rajan–Nagendra also did a series of films starring Anant Nag, and Lakshmi, notable among them being Benkiya Bale and Chandanada Gombe etc.

Naa Ninna Mareyalaare, Gandhada Gudi, Eradu Kanasu—these huge musical hits of the Kannada screen featured the music of Rajan–Nagendra. Their team was exceptionally good at composing cheerful love duets, although they did come up with a couple of sombre numbers like Baadi hoda balliyinda(P B Srinivas, Eradu Kanasu)

The lyricists who wrote unforgettable lyrics for them are late Hunasur Krishna Murthy, Uday Shankar, Vijiya Narasimha, Geetha Priya, Dodda Range Gowda, Vyasa Rao and many more. The prominent Telugu lyricists are Narayana Reddy, Dasarathi and late Vetoori Sundarama Murthy and many others. The most prominent Tamil lyricists are late Kanna Dasan and many more.

The main male vocalists who enriched the melody of their songs are late Ghantasala, Kala Govindarajan, P.B.Srinivas, Dr. Rajkumar, late Kishore Kumar, Balasubrahmanyam, Jesudas,B.R.Chaya, Rajesh Krishna and many more. The popular female vocalists are Bala Saraswati, Soolamangalam sisters, P.Leela, S.Janaki, Vaani Jayaram, Rani, L.R.Easwari, P.Susheela, Jikki, Chitra and many more.

Hundreds of Rajan–Nagendra songs were sung by Legendary singers P.B.Sreenivas, S. Janaki, Dr.Rajkumar, SPB. Almost all of them remain etched as the unforgettable melodies of Kannada Cinema. The Love songs of SPB-SJ-Rajan–Nagendra combination is considered to be heavenly. Such an everlasting haunting melodies Rajan–Nagendra pair created. The duo is also reported to have introduced another illustrious playback singer K. S. Chitra to the Kannada cinema back in the early 1980s.

Nagendra sang a couple of songs in his five-decade-long career. The most popular was Yaaru yaaru née yaaru for the comedian Narasimharaju. He also sang Nammoora santheli in the Jai Jagadish-Lakshmi starrer Gaalimaatu. Neeliya baninda tareya oorinda from Tony. Somehow his voice was typecast for comic scenes.

The pair directed music for about 400 films, more than 200 in Kannada alone and rest in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam Tulu and Sinhalese.

Most of the hit songs from Kannada movies were remade in Telugu.


Some unforgettable Rajan–Nagendra numbers:


  • Akashave beelali mele from Nyayave Devaru
  • Aakaasha deepavu neenu from Pavana Ganga
  • Aakaashadinda dharegilida from Chandanada Gombe
  • Aaseya bhaava olavina jeeva from Mangalya Bhagya
  • Aalaya Mrugalaya from Mrugalaya
  • Aralutide moha from Nanobba Kalla
  • Baanallu neene bhuviyallu neene from Bayalu Dari
  • Bandeya baalina belakaagi from Avala Hejje
  • Bisiladarenu Maleyadarenu from Benkiya bale
  • Beladinglondu hennagi bandanthe kande from Premanubandha
  • Beluvalda madilalli bevara hani biddaga from Beluvaladha Madilalli
  • Cheluveya andada mogake from Devara Gudi
  • Dundu mallige mathaadeya from Nanna Devaru
  • Ee bhaavageete ninagaagi haadide from Onde Guri
  • Ellelli Nodali Ninnane Kanuve from Na ninna mareyalare
  • Endendu ninnanu maretu from Eradu Kanasu
  • E Hrudaya Haadige from Suprabhata
  • Gopilola hey gopala from Nari munidare maari
  • Halliyadarenu shiva dilliyadarenu shiva from Mayor Muttanna
  • Hosa balige nee joteyade from Naa ninna bidalare
  • Indu enage govinda from Eradu Kanasu
  • Jeeva veene from Hombisilu
  • Kanasalu neene manasalu neene from Bayalu Dari
  • Kangalu vandane helide from Mugiyada Kathe
  • Kumkumaviruvude hanegaagi from Naaniruvude Ninaagaagi
  • Mamaravello Kogileyello from Devara Gudi
  • Manasu manasu ondadare from Preethi madu Tamasha nodu
  • Maneyanu Belagide Indu from Chandanada Gombe
  • Mathu chenna mauna chenna from Rama Lakshmana
  • Modalane dinave olide from Pavana Ganga
  • Muthina hanigalu' from Bayasade Banda Bhagya
  • Na haadalu neevu aadabeku from Kalla Kulla
  • Naa ninna mareyalaare from Naa ninna mareyalaare
  • Naliva gulabi hoove from Auto Raja
  • Nanna haadu nannadu from Suprabhata
  • Nanu neenu ondada mele from Na ninna bidalare
  • Navaduva Nudiye Kannada Nudi from Gandhadha Gudi
  • Neera bittu nelada mele from Hombisilu
  • Neralanu Kanada lateyante from Avala Hejje
  • Notadage nageya meeti from Parasangada Genda Timma
  • Omme ninnannu kann tumba from Gaali matu
  • Prema preethi nannusiru from Singapoorinalli Raja Kulla
  • Tam nam tam nam nannee manasu midiyutide from Eradu Kanasu
  • Tarikere yeri mele mooru kari kuri mari from Devara Duddu
  • Tera eri ambaradage from Parasangada Genda Timma
  • Thareyu baanige thaavare neerige from Biligiriya Banadali
  • Thai thai thai thai bangari from Giri Kanye
  • Yuga yugagale saagali from Hrudaya Geethe


  • Emo emo idhi (Aggi pidigu)
  • Ennenno Janmalabandham (Puja)
  • Ningi nela (Puja)
  • Pujaluseya (Puja)
  • Veena venuvaina sarigama (Intinti Ramayanam)
  • Intinti Ramayanam (Intinti Ramayanam)
  • Chinukula raali (Nalugu Sthambhalaata)
  • Manasa veena madhugeetam (Panthulamma)
  • Sirimalleneeva (Panthulamma)
  • Letha chaligalulu (Moodu mullu)
  • Neekosam yavvanamantha (Moodu mullu)
  • Neekallalo Snehamu (Prema Khaidi)
  • Aakaasam Nee Haddu Ra (Sommokadidhi Sokokadidhi)
  • Nagamalli Vo Teega Malli Vo (Nagamalli)
  • Kastandhuko (Rendu Rellu Aaru)
  • Viraha Veena (Rendu Rellu Aaru)
  • Parimalinchu Punnamilo (Puli Bebbuli)

Awards and recognition[edit]

Rajan–Nagendra are in the same class as Hindi cinema's popular composing duo Shankar-Jaikishen, Laxmikanth Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji. They excelled composing technically flawless and violin-rich orchestral interludes, and enjoyed an equally long innings in the industry. It is no exaggeration that these two brothers were called the Kalyanji – Anandji of Kannada film music.[2]

Their first award film in Kannada was

  • Eradu Kanasu in 1973–74 – State Award for Best Music Director
  • Parasangada Gendethimma in 1978–79 – State Award for Best Music Director
  • "Panthulamma" in 1979 – State Award for Best Music Director – Telugu Film, Nandi Best Music Award

They won many more awards from private and public associations such as south Indian film fans association, Chitra Rasikara Sangha, Karnataka films directors association, Kannada chalana chitra pathra karthara sanga, Madras Telugu academy, ugadi puraskara award, Abhinandana film awards Hydrabad kalasagar, Madras etc., Throughout south India. Many of their films have celebrated hundred days and silver jubilees.

Nagendra's death[edit]

Nagendra, the younger one of the two brothers who gave Kannada cinema some of its most memorable hits, died of a stroke in Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospitals, Bangalore, on 4 November 2000. He was being treated for hernia, but later developed complications from high blood pressure and diabetes.[3][4]

Current status[edit]

Mr. Rajan is continuing his work along with his son R Ananth kumar. He has written a book titled "Haado suswara sangeetha" regarding an innovative notation system for music enthusiasts. They are also conducting music classes by name "Sapthaswaranjali" for vocal enthusiasts on Voice culturing & film singing.



Year Film title Language Remarks
1952 Sowbhagya Lakshmi
1953 Chanchala Kumari Debut Film as Music Director[5]
1954 Kanyaa Daana
1954 Rajalakshmi
1956 Muthaide Bhagya
1958 Maangalya Yoaga
1958 Mane Thumbida Hennu
1959 Manege Banda Mahalakshmi
1961 Naagaarjuna
1962 Ratnamanjari
1964 Mangala Muhurta
1964 Annapoorna
1964 Navajeevana
1964 Veera Sankalpa
1965 Paathala Mohini
1966 Eendu Ninnavane
1966 Mantralaya Mahatme
1966 Sri Kannika Parameshwari Katha
1967 Sathi Sukanya
1967 Anuraadha
1967 Bangaarada Hoovu
1967 Devara Gedda Maanava
1968 Adda Daari
1968 Pravaasi Mandira
1969 Mayor Muthanna
1970 Aaparaajithe
1970 Boregowda Bangalorige Bandha
1970 Kanneeru
1970 Muru Muttugalu
1971 Anugraha
1971 Nyayave Devaru
1971 Onde Kula Onde Daiva
1972 Bhale Huchcha
1972 Kulla Agent 000 Kishore Kumar sang for this movie
1972 Naari Munidare Maari
1972 Vishakanye
1973 Beesida Bale
1973 Cowboy Kulla
1973 Dharmapatni
1973 Gandhada Gudi
1973 Swayamvara
1974 Eradu Kanasu Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director
1974 Mahaa Thyaga
1974 Prema Paasha
1974 Professor Huchuraya
1974 Sri Srinivasa Kalyana
1975 Beluvalada Madilaali
1975 Devara Gudi
1975 Kalla Kulla
1975 Mantra Shakthi
1976 Bayalu Daari
1976 Maangalya Bhagya
1976 Mugiyada Kathe
1976 Naa Ninna Mareyalare
1976 Vijaya Vaani
1977 Bayasade Banda Bhagya
1977 Bhagyavantharu
1977 Devara Duddu
1977 Pavana Ganga
1977 Taayiginta Devarilla
1978 Hombisilu
1978 Kiladi Jodi
1978 Kittu Puttu
1978 Madhura Sangama
1978 Parasangada Gendethimma Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director
1978 Phoenix
1978 Singapuralli Raja Kulla
1979 Chandanada Gombe
1979 Maralu Sarapani
1979 Naa Ninna Bidalaare
1979 Naaniruvude Ninaagaagi
1979 Nanobba Kalla
1979 Preethi Maadu Tamashe Nodu
1979 Putani Agent 123
1980 Auto Raja
1980 Biligiriya Banadalli
1980 Kulla Kulli
1980 Manku Thimma
1980 Point Parimala
1980 Rama Lakshmana
1980 Rama-Parashurama
1981 Avala Hejje
1981 Chadurida Chitragulu
1981 Gaali Maathu
1981 Jeevakke Jeeva
1981 Koodi Baalidare Swarga Sukha
1981 Muniyana Maadari
1981 Prema Pallavi
1981 Premaanubandha
1981 Yava Hoovu Yara Mudigo
1982 Chalisuva Modagalu
1982 Archana
1982 Bettale Seve
1982 Nanna Devaru
1982 Paraajitha
1982 Tony
1983 Benkiya Bale
1983 Gayathri Maduve
1983 Ibbani Karagithu
1983 Jaggu
1983 Onde Guri
1983 Prema Parva
1984 Prema Saakshi
1984 Kalinga Sarpa
1984 Marali Goodige
1984 Maryade Mahalu
1984 Mooru Janma
1984 Olavu Moodidaga
1984 Onde Raktha
1984 Preethi Vatsalya
1984 Premigala Saval
1984 Yarivanu
1985 Bettada Hoovu
1985 Bidugadeya Bedi
1985 Giribaale
1985 Jeevana Chakra
1985 Kaadina Raja
1985 Sedina Hakki
1985 Shabdagalu
1986 Guri
1986 Mattondu Charithre
1986 Mrugaalaya
1986 Prema Gange
1986 Seelu Nakshatra
1986 Usha Kannada
1986 Vishwa Roopa
1987 Aapadbaandava
1987 Inspector Kranti Kumar
1987 Karunamayi
1988 Arjun
1988 Dharmaatma
1988 Jananayaka
1988 Nammoora Raja
1988 Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge
1988 Suprabhatha
1989 Doctor Krishna
1989 Gagana
1989 Hrudaya Geethe
1990 Baare Nanna Muddina Raani
1990 Chapala Chennigaraya
1990 Ganeshana Maduve
1990 Kempu Surya
1990 Mathe Haditu Kogile
1990 Shivashankar
1991 Gandanige Takka Hendathi
1991 Gauri Ganesha
1991 Jagadeka Veera
1991 Mangalya
1991 Modada Mareyali
1991 Nagu Naguta Nali
1992 Aathma Bandhana
1992 Hatamari Hennu Kiladi Gandu
1992 Kaliyuga Seethe
1992 Mysore Jaana
1992 Nanna Shatru
1992 Ondu Cinema Kathe
1992 Prema Sangama
1992 Shivanaga
1993 Bahaddoor Hennu
1993 Huvondu Beku Ballige
1993 Jaga Mechida Huduga
1993 Jeevana Sangharsha
1993 Naanendu Nimmavane
1993 Suryodaya
1993 Urvashi Kalyana
1994 Bhutaayi Makkalu
1994 Gandhada Gudi Part 2
1994 Poorna Satya
1994 Yaarigu Haelbedi
1995 Bangaarada Kalasa
1995 Ganeshana Galate
1995 Giddu Daada
1995 Karulina Kudi
1995 State Rowdy
1995 Yama Kinkara
1996 Bangarada Mane
1996 Baalina Jyothi
1996 Suryaputra
1997 Choo Bhaana
1997 Janani Janmabhoomi
1998 Arjun Abhimanyu
1998 Bayalu Deepa
1998 Hrudayanjali
1998 Jagat Kilaadi
1999 Prema Prema Prema


No Year Film title Remarks
1 1959 Pelli Meedha Pelli
2 1960 Kanaka Durga Pooja Mahima
3 1960 Anna Chellelu
4 1962 Khaidhi Kannayya
5 1962 Madhana Kaamaraju Katha
6 1964 Aggi Pidugu
7 1964 Navagraha Pooja Mahima
8 1971 Varalakshmi Vratam
9 1975 Pooja (1975 film)
10 1977 Panthulamma
11 1978 Sommokadidi Sokokadidi
12 1979 Intinti Ramayanam
13 1980 Allari Baava
14 1980 Nagamalli
15 1980 Thathayya Premaleelalu
16 1981 Maa Pelli Katha
17 1981 Pranaya Geetham
18 1982 Manchu Pallaki
19 1982 Vayyari Bhaamalu Vagalamaari Bharthalu
20 1982 Naalugu Stambhalata
21 1982 Maa Intaina Katha
22 1983 Kotikkodau
23 1983 Moodu Mullu
24 1983 Puli Bebbuli
25 1983 Lanke Bindelu
26 1984 Raju Raani Jockey
27 1985 Anuraga Bandham
28 1985 Rendu Rella Aaru
29 1986 Aadapaduchu
30 1987 Raaga Leela
31 1988 Choopulu Kalisina Subhavela
32 1987 Raaga Leela
32 1991 Prema Khaidi
33 1991 Appula Appa Rao



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rajan-Nagendra Childhood". tollywoodtimes.com. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  2. ^ http://www.tollywoodsingers.com/rajannagendra.htm
  3. ^ "A composer signs off proudly". themusicmagazine.com. 4 November 2000. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Music director Nagendra dead". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 April 2001. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  5. ^ [url=http://www.themusicmagazine.com/nagendraobit.html]

External links[edit]