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Ayodhyecha Raja, literally "The King of Ayodhya", was the first Marathi talkie, released in 1932,[1] directed by Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre (V. Shantaram).[2] It is based on the mythological story of Raja Harishchandra of Ayodhya and his test by sage Vishwamitra, as recounted in Valmiki's epic, Ramayana.[3]

Ayodhyecha Raja
Ayodhyecha Raja, 1932 Marathi film, India.jpg
अयोध्येचा राजा
Directed byShantaram Rajaram Vankudre (V. Shantaram)
Produced byPrabhat Film Company
Written byN.V. Kulkarni (story and screenplay)
StarringGovindrao Tembe
Durga Khote
Baburao Pendharkar
Master Vinayak
Music byGovindrao Tembe
CinematographyKeshavrao Dhaiber
Edited byRajaram Vankudre Shantaram
Release date
23 January 1932 (1932-01-23)
Running time
146 min

The film was also made as a double-version, Ayodhya Ka Raja (1932) in Hindi, making it the first double version talkie of Indian cinema, wherein Munshi Ismail Farooque wrote the Hindi dialogue, while screenwriter N.V. Kulkarni also did Marathi dialogue.[4] India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913), was also made on the same storyline.



The film was not just Prabhat Film Company's first talkie film,[5] but also for its director, V. Shantaram.[6] In its time, it was a leap not just in sound, song and dialogue quality and became a hit. Eventually, it turned out to be a social leap as well for the film industry, as the entry of Durga Khote, who belonged to an upper class and elite Brahmin family into Marathi cinema, paved way for other women from upper classes to enter cinema.[7] V. Shantaram made another version film, Duniya Na Mane (Kunku in Marathi) in 1937.

After the 2003 fire at the National Archives of India, Pune in which prints of first Indian talkie Alam Ara (1931) were lost, it is also the earliest surviving talkie of Indian cinema.[8]



Ayodhyecha Raja has music by Govindrao Tembe:


  1. ^ Meera Kosambi (5 July 2017). Gender, Culture, and Performance: Marathi Theatre and Cinema before Independence. Taylor & Francis. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-1-351-56589-9.
  2. ^ Gokulsing, K.; Wimal Dissanayake (2004). Indian popular cinema: a narrative of cultural change. Trentham Books. p. 24. ISBN 1-85856-329-1.
  3. ^ "Ayodhyecha Raja (1932)". The New York Times.
  4. ^ The Firsts of Indian Cinema: Milestones from 1896-2000 Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Film and Television Producers Guild of India
  5. ^ "Tribute: Remembering the pioneer". Screen. 8 December 2000. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008.
  6. ^ Lloyd, Ann; David Robinson (1987). The Illustrated history of the cinema. Macmillan. p. 384. ISBN 0-02-919241-2.
  7. ^ a b Ranade, Ashok Da. (2006). Hindi Film Song: Music Beyond Boundaries. Bibliophile South Asia. pp. 110, 229. ISBN 81-85002-64-9.
  8. ^ Looking back, 1896-1960, by Rani Burra. Pub. Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1981. p. 42.

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