16 Facts About Mayabazaar, The Greatest Indian Cinema Ever

The Costliest Movie of That Era


Mayabazaar, the greatest film of all time was made with an estimated budget of Rs. 2,00,000 back in 1957 and was made simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil. The Mayabazaar Telugu movie version was released on 27 March 1957, and the Tamil version on 12 April 1957. It was also dubbed into Kannada. It was the Costliest Movie of the Era and the first movie in India Cinema to be made in more than one language.

The 5 Hours of Extravaganza Cut Short

The final film length of this movie was 5 hours. The movie came out as a 5-hour movie and was cut short to 2 hours 45 minutes.

Magical Tunes of Legendary Musician Mr. Ghantasala

Ghantasala composed the film’s music for this film and he was said to be so serious about the soundtrack that he made the lead singer Leela take 28 takes for one of the songs and finalized the fifth take.

Comedian Actor Songs With the Star Actress

The song “Sundari neevanti divya swaroopam” was initially not in the script. It was written after Relangi entered the project keeping the craze of the star comedian in mind.

Mayabazaar, The Name That Stands for Indian Cinema

The film was first proposed to be released by the name of “Veera Ghatotkacha” keeping S.V.Rangarao’s stardom in mind but the legendary actor insisted that the title should focus on the whole story rather than just his character. “Surekhaapaharanam” was the name of this movie at the project stage.

It was finally released as MayaBazaar and created the History of the name.

Pandavas in the Movie.

Though the film is a story of Pandavas and Kauravas with the Yadavas pitching in, Pandavas are never shown but are only heard of in the film.

Ntr as Lord Krishna

This movie marks the first time NTR played the character of lord Krishna. He was first shy and doubtful of playing the character as he had to share the screen with senior actors. He almost rejected the character in favour of playing Karna and was said to be convinced by the director to play Krishna.

The character was a tremendous hit and he played the role of Lord Krishna in 18 more films.

In the Telugu States, the word Lord Krishna gives a glimpse of NTR as Lord Krishna. This was the character which made the Star and he never looked back becoming the Biggest Actor of South India and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Part of the 10th Class Syllabus In Andhra Pradesh 

Andhra Pradesh State Government planned to introduce the film as a part of the tenth standard English syllabus in 2014. The fourth unit of the English textbook was named “Films and Theaters” and there is a special mention of Mayabazaar and its actors along with two images from the film. It is a classic which deserves to be passed on to the next generations.

The Movie Was Filled With Stardom

During the earlier stages of promotion, SV Ranga Rao was marketed as the main lead actor of the film due to his stardom. Even the album has just his image on it. SVR, NTR and ANR, the 3 legendary actors of Telugu Cinema filled Mayabazaar with Stardom.

Savitri Garu, the lead actress gave a parallel performance winning hearts. His acting as Ghatotkacha is a classic example of the Best Action ever by an Actress.

Awards and Appreciations of the Movie

The film received the Filmfare Award for Best Film in Telugu and was also featured at the 1957 International Film Festival of India and Indonesia.

The Movie Was Digitized and Colorized With 7.5 Crores


Mayabazaaris the first Telugu film transformed from black and white to colour version and full scope by Goldstone Technologies. The sound system has been re-mastered from a mono track to a DTS 5.1 channel system. They had to restore the audio, clear the distortion, raise the voices and find instrumental musicians to perform the same background music to record them on seven tracks instead of a single track. The sound effects were also redone.

The project cost 7.5 Crores and the coloured Mayabazaar was released in 2010 in 40 theaters and was a commercial success and celebrated a second 100-day function after half a century years.

Voted as Greatest Indian Film Ever on Cnn-Ibn

A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in May 2013 awarded  Mayabazar  “The film as the greatest Indian film of all time”.  A movie still holding the position after 56 years of its Release is Awesome.!

They Created Visual Effects 4 Decades Before Any Software Came In

They created graphics with Camera effects. Forget about software, this film was made decades before Computers came onto the market. Try creating the above two scenes without software, at least give it a thought, yeah Mayabazar deserves a Salute for that.

The Technical Team Created Moon Light Effect in a Day Shoot Back in the 1950’s

Marcus Bartley an Anglo-Indian who was praised for his technical expertise in the black & white era worked as the cinematographer for this movie. The evergreen song “Lahiri, lahiri lahiri lo” was shot at Ennore Lake near Madras at noon. They created the illusion of moonlight on a sunny day with tricky camera angles.  Mayabazaar stands as a reference movie for Film Technicians around the world.

Miniature Sets and Electrification of Them Back in the 1950s

Bradley is also credited with having created the miniature set of  Dwaraka City, the city of Lord Krishna in about 50 x 60 ft. space and electrified the 300 miniature houses and no two of them looked alike. The bulbs were placed underneath the Miniature set and lightened up to give a consistent and natural lighting effect.

The First Movie to Conceptualize Laptop, Video Calling Decades Before They Came Into Existence

Everybody says that the Startrek series predicted the future showing iPads and video calling 2 decades before they came into existence. But it was Mayabazaar which did it way back in 1957, which is 47 years before Skype came out and 50 years before Apple released the first iPad.

Lord Krishna ( NTR ) shows Abhimanyu on a screen with a live video, a similar prototype of a Laptop with Skype.

This was shot at least 4 Decades before any of those technologies became a Reality. Thanks to the Legendary Director Kadiri Venkata Reddy Garu, The legendary Producers B. Nagi Reddy and Aluri Chakrapani Garu, the Technicians, Actors and the Team who made this Epic Movie which stands as the Greatest Cinema Ever in Indian Cinema History.  Share this with your friends and let them know the Awesomeness of Mayabazaar.