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Lord Ganesha on Silver Screen!

The Indian cinema is so vivid and varied that, it has become a modern and contemporary document of our rich cultural heritage. Nowadays, the Cinema is playing the role on the line of religious scriptures of ancient times like Vedas, Puranas, etc., by immortalising and visualising the puranic tales into full length features films.

The Cinema of India, especially Tollywood, has celebrated the greatness of Lord Ganesha in many forms. They include, the mythological movies, Lord Ganesha as the protagonist, the songs (hailing the valour and power of Lord Ganesha) and in the form of scenes (picturised on the processions held in the times of Vinayaka Chavithi festival)!

Telugu Movies made on Lord Ganesha:
The Indian movies in general and Telugu films in particular have started their journey with mythological story lines only. But it took 26 years to Telugu Film world to make a movie on Lord Ganesha, since the first Telugu movie began in 1931!

In 1957, a movie, titled, Vinayaka Chavithi was released under the direction of Junior Samudrala. The film stars the stalwarts of Telugu Cinema like NTR, Jamuna, Savitri etc. Though the title of the movie is on Lord Ganesha, the story line revolves around Lord Krishna and the Shamantaka Mani episode. It highlights the impact of Lord Ganesha’s curse even on Lord Krishna.

The other movie, Bhookailas (1958), directed by K. Shankar, also gave due importance to Lord Ganesha. The movie’s main protagonist is Ravana, played by NTR. Ravana after great penance, get the atma lingam of Lord Shiva and brings along with him.  Here, Lord Ganesha, in the form of a shepherd-boy diverts the attention of Ravana and liberates Lord Shiva from his captivation. This movie is made on the Sthala Purana of Gokarna Kshetram in Karnataka.

The Pouranika Brahma, Kamalakara Kameshwararao, too made another movie, Sri Vinayaka Vijayam in 1980 with Krishnam Raju- Vanishree as Lord Shiva and Parvathi. The movie is based on Vighneshwara Purana and Shiva Purana and envisaged the origins and “leela” of Lord Ganesha in a detailed manner and became a super hit with the audience.

The Bollywood take on Lord Ganesha:
The Bollywood filmdom too celebrated the highs of Lord Ganesha! But it followed another form of technology. It made full length feature films by using 2-D and 3-D technologies and got applause from the young audience.

Director Rajiv Ruia had thought of making a movie on Lord Ganesha and found Socio-Fantasy flicks in a series, under the name My Friend Ganesha. A series of 3 movies have been released starting from 2007 and followed by 2009 and in 2010. The movies described the state of an 8-year old boy, AshU, and his friendship with Lord Ganesha!

On the other hand, Director Pankaj Sharma, had made a movie, BAL GANESHA, with 3-D technology, in 2007. The animation movie highlighted the mythological interpretations on the origin and adventures of Lord Ganesha as a child!

List of Songs Hailing Lord Ganesh on Telugu/Hindi Films:

  • Jai Jai Ganesha - Jai Chiranjeeva
  • Dandaalayaa Undraalayyaa - Coolie No. 1
  • Vaataapi Ganapatim - Vinayaka Chavithi
  • Tiru Tiru Gana Naatha - 100% Love
  • O Bojja Ganapa - Circus Ramudu
  • Vakra Tunda Vinayaka - Devullu
  • Vinaaayakaa - Yemandoy Sreevaru
  • Shiva Shiva Moortivi Gana Nathaa - Meenaxi
  • Jai Ganesha - Narthanasala
  • Shiva Shiva Shiva Shiva Gana Naayakaa - Pedda Manushulu
  • Jai Ganesha - Seenu Care of Anu
  • Sri Gana Nadham - Shruti Layal
  • Maha Ganapatim - Sindhu Bhairavi (Jesudas)
  • Maha ganapathim - Morning Raaga (Fusion Style)
  • Deva Sri Ganesha – Agneepath
  • Tera Hi Jalwa - Wanted
  • Manrya Re - Don, The Chase Begins Again

The Cinema as the powerful mass medium of art has celebrated and hailed Lord Ganesha in every possible form on the screen as described above. And for that matter, off-the-screen too, Indian cinema starts its every new project by performing pooja to Lord Ganesha, as other auspicious works, as a token of loyalty and obedience to the Lord, to make Sarva Vighnopa Shantayee..!

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi to All!!

by Mamidi Harikrishna (harikrishnam at