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Yathra (The Journey)
Directed by Balu Mahendra
Produced by Joseph Abraham
Written by John Paul (story)
Balu Mahendra (screenplay)
Starring Mammootty
Adoor Bhasi
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography Balu Mahendra
Edited by D. Vasu
Prakkattu Films
Distributed by Prakkattu Films
Release date
  • 20 September 1985 (1985-09-20)
Country India
Language Malayalam

Yathra (Malayalam: യാത്ര, meaning The Journey) is a 1985 Malayalam film directed by Balu Mahendra, and starring Mammootty and Shobana.[1][2][3] It is a remake of the 1982 Telugu film Nireekshana, directed by Balu Mahendra himself, and starring Bhanu Chander and Archana.

The film tells a fictional story, but built upon the human rights violations by the Police and the prison authorities in India during the nationwide emergency of 1975-1977, when the fundamental rights of the citizens were suspended. The movie is an adaptation of the 1977 Japanese classic "The Yellow Handkerchief". The film was commercial success.[4]


The story unfolds as Unnikrishnan (Mammootty), a convict, now free from the jail tells his tragic love story to his fellow passengers in a school bus. An orphan and a forest officer by profession, he falls in love with a local girl, Thulasi, during his stay at a forest area. They decided to get married and he sets off to inform his marriage to his best friend. On his way back the police arrests him as a suspected criminal, who has some visible similarities of Unnikrishnan. There he accidentally kills a police man and gets life imprisonment. During his early days at jail, he writes a letter to Thulasi asking to forget him. When his prison term was about to complete, he wrote a letter to light a lamp if she still waits for him. After long years of torments in the jail he goes to meet Thulasi, and does she still waits for him? That's the question of his fellow passengers too. She waits for him and they get united.



Mammootty won the Special Jury Award in 1985 Kerala State Film Awards and Mammootty and Shobhana won the Best Actor, Best Actress award at Filmfare Award.


The music was composed by Illayaraja and lyrics was written by P. Bhaskaran and ONV Kurup. The song "Thanannam Thannanam" is inspired from "My Favorite Things" from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Kunnathoru Kaavundu (Resung song from Asuravithu) Cochin Alex P. Bhaskaran
2 Thannannam Thaanannam K. J. Yesudas, Ambili, Chorus, Antony, Anna Sangeetha ONV Kurup
3 Yamune Ninnude S Janaki, Chorus ONV Kurup

Box office[edit]

The film was both critical and commercial success,[5][6][7] and ran over 250 days in theatres.


  1. ^ "Yaathra". www.malayalachalachithram.com. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Yaathra". malayalasangeetham.info. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Yaathra". spicyonion.com. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Malayalam films: New heroes". India Today. 15 January 1986. 
  5. ^ "6 Movies Of John Paul Which Prove That He Is A Master Writer!". Oneindia. 2 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Malayalam films: New heroes". India Today. 15 January 1986. 
  7. ^ "Balu Mahendra: A fascinating journey in filmdom". The Hindu. 15 February 2014. 

External links[edit]