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Aradhana (English: Worship) is a 1969 Indian romantic drama film directed by Shakti Samanta, starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna.The theme of the movie is based on the 1946 movie To Each His Own. It won the Filmfare Award for Best Film at the 17th Filmfare Awards. Sharmila Tagore won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for playing the lead role in this film.[7] Originally released in Hindi-Urdu[8] and dubbed in Bengali, Aradhana's huge success led to two remakes, both starring Vanisri in Tagore's role: the Tamil film Sivagamiyin Selvan (1974)[9] and the Telugu film Kannavari Kalalu (1974).[10] This film is counted among the 17 consecutive hit films of Rajesh Khanna between 1969 and 1971, by adding the two hero films Marayada and Andaz to the 15 consecutive solo hits he gave from 1969 to 1971.[11] Aradhana was a blockbuster in India and the Soviet Union.[12][d]

Aradhana (1969 film).jpg
Directed byShakti Samanta
Produced byShakti Samanta
Written bySachin Bhowmick
Anand Bakshi lyrics
StarringSharmila Tagore
Rajesh Khanna
Sujit Kumar
Farida Jalal
Abhi Bhattacharya
Music byMusic & Background Score
S. D. Burman
Roop Tera Mastana:
Kishore Kumar
Sound Recordist & Assistant Music Director:
R.D. Burman
CinematographyAlok Dasgupta
Edited bySahil Budhiraja
Distributed byShakti Films
Release date
  • 7 November 1969 (1969-11-07)
Running time
169 minutes
Box office17.85 crore[d]


In an idyllic hilly terrain, Indian Air Force officer Arun Varma (Rajesh Khanna) sings "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" atop an open jeep along with his co-pilot Madan (Sujit Kumar), while Vandana (Sharmila Tagore), the daughter of a doctor Gopal Tripathi (Pahari Sanyal) demurely sneaks glances at him from a mini train. After a brief romance, they have a secret wedding.

Soon afterward, Arun dies in an air crash, leaving behind a heartbroken and pregnant Vandana. His family refuses to accept the unwed mother-to-be since her marriage with Arun was never formalised. Meanwhile, her father also dies, leaving her destitute. Vandana's son is finally born, but she is forced to let a childless couple adopt him. Determined to be a part of his life, she accepts the responsibility of becoming his nanny. The boy is named Suraj. Her employer's brother Shyam (Manmohan) arrives and lusts for Vandana. He tries to rape her when no-one is around, but Suraj arrives and stabs him to death to save Vandana. When the police arrive, Vandana takes the blame for the murder and is arrested while Suraj runs away and forgets this mishap as he grows up.

Several years later, when Vandana is released from jail, she is befriended by the jailor (Madan Puri) who takes her home and introduces her to his daughter Renu (Farida Jalal). Vandana comes face to face with Suraj (Rajesh Khanna) when she discovers that Renu is dating him. Suraj, just like how his father wished, is an air-force officer. He slowly starts remembering that he has seen Vandana somewhere, although Vandana wants to hide the truth as she feels Suraj may be embarrassed upon realising his parents' background and history. Vandana makes herself at home at the jailor's house.

Suraj is injured in an air crash like his real father Arun but survives. While he is recuperating in the hospital, Vandana meets Madan, who knows that Suraj is Arun and Vandana's son. He wants to tell Suraj the truth, but Vandana does not want Suraj to know that he is her son, fearing the consequences. Later when Vandana is not around, Suraj sees her diary where Arun's photo is found. Realising that Arun and Vandana are his true parents, he salutes Vandana's self-sacrificing attitude and acknowledges her publicly as his mother.



The film was scripted by Sachin Bhowmick. The theme of the movie was based on the 1946 film To Each His Own.[13] A day prior to the shooting of Aradhana, producer Surinder Kapoor showed Samanta his latest film, Ek Shrimaan Ek Shrimati with Shashi Kapoor as the lead, which was also written by Sachin Bhowmick. Much to his surprise, this film had a similar ending to his own film. The following day, Samanta decided to scrap his film, when writers Gulshan Nanda and Madhusudan Kalelkar visited his office. Upon hearing the issue, it was Gulshan Nanda who suggested to have a double role of father and son in the film. Originally, the first hero was to die by the interval and a new hero was to step in.[14] The same evening, while Aradhana was being cancelled, Nanda recited a story of Kati Patang to Samanta, which he instantly liked, so for the next couple of hours they first rewrote the second half of Aradhana, and subsequently went on to discuss Kati Patang.[15] The "Roop Tera Mastana" song sequence, which lasted more than three minutes and 30 seconds, was filmed in a single take.[16] Sharmila Tagore believes this was done due to time constraints.[17]


Original LP Cover
Soundtrack album to Aradhana by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelEMI Records

The soundtrack of the film was composed by S. D. Burman, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Sachin Dev Burman had written the music for the songs of Aradhana with his son, Rahul Dev Burman, and completed the recording of the songs in the voices of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar and S.D. Burman himself. In "Roop Tera Mastana", Kersi Lord played the accordion, Homi Mullan played the duggi and Manohari Singh played the saxophone.[18][19][20]

1."Roop Tera Mastana"Kishore Kumar 
2."Baghon Mein Bahar Hai"Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar 
3."Chanda Hai Tu Mera Suraj Hai Tu"Lata Mangeshkar 
4."Mere Sapno Ki Rani"Kishore Kumar 
5."Gun Guna Rahe Hai Bhanvare"Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle 
6."Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera"Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar 
7."Saphal Hogi Teri Aradhana"S. D. Burman 
Bengali track list
1."Eto Kache Dujone"Kishore Kumar 
2."Madhobi Futeche Oi"Rahul Dev Burman, Lata Mangeshkar 
3."Chondro Je Tui"Lata Mangeshkar 
4."Mor Shopner Shathi"Kishore Kumar 
5."Gunjone Dole Je Bhromor"Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar 
6."Aj Hridoye Bhalobeshe"Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar 



Aradhana had a large impact on Indians in general. It inspired many to take up films as a vocation, one of them being the popular Indian actor Tom Alter, who confessed in an interview that he headed to Film and Television Institute of India after being impressed watching Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana in 1970.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ 47.4 million tickets sold,[2] average ticket price of 25 kopecks)[3]
  2. ^ 0.829 Soviet rubles per US dollar in 1972[4]
  3. ^ 7.5945 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1972[5]
  4. ^ a b Aradhana worldwide gross: 17.85 crore (equivalent to 805 crore or US$121 million in 2016)
    • India: 7 crore (equivalent to 271 crore or US$39 million in 2018) in 1969[1]
    • Soviet Union: 11.85 million SUR[a] (US$14.29 million,[b] 10.85 crore)[c] in 1972[2] (equivalent to US$86 million (551 crore)[6] in 2016)


  1. ^ "Box Office 1969". Box Office India. 14 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Sergey Kudryavtsev (3 August 2008). "Зарубежные популярные фильмы в советском кинопрокате (Индия)".
  3. ^ Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 48, Cornell University Press, 2011
  4. ^ "Archive". Central Bank of Russia. 1992.
  5. ^ "Pacific Exchange Rate Service" (PDF). UBC Sauder School of Business. University of British Columbia. p. 3. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Yearly Average Rates (67.175856 INR per USD in 2016)". OFX.
  7. ^ " Dial D for Darjeeling". Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  8. ^ Aradhana. 0:19. 1969.
  9. ^ "Why not in Tamil?". Sunday Times. 22 February 1998. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Birthday Special: Remembering Rajesh Khanna's top five films". Jagran Post. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Eight lesser known facts about Rajesh Khanna on his death anniversary". The Hindustan Times. 18 July 2015.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Aradhana (1969) & To Each His Own (1946)".
  14. ^ "Originally, Aradhana and Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati had the same climax". Rediff Movies. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Two of his finest films were created in one evening". Rediff Movies. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  16. ^ "SRK Kajol to shoot one take song in Dilwale, but it's not Bollywood's first". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  17. ^ "'Your Call' with Sharmila Tagore: full transcript". Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Interview – HQ Chowdhury, Speaking to Shakti Samanta, Dhaka film festival 2001". Moti Lalwani. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  19. ^ "The Aradhana syndrome and S D Burman". Rediff. 31 October 2000. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  20. ^ "NDTV Movies: Bollywood News – Celebrity News – Celebrity Gossip – Latest Bollywood Stories".
  21. ^ "The Winners -1969". The Times Of India. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  22. ^ Guftagoo with Tom Alter (in Hindi). Rajya Sabha TV. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  23. ^ "I still dream of being Rajesh Khanna". The Hindu. 12 July 2009.
  24. ^ "Chandigarh Stories". Tribune India. 31 July 2003. Retrieved 7 August 2011.

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