Bhargavi Nilayam

Bhargavi Nilayam (transl. The house of Bhargavi) is a 1964 Indian Malayalam-language romantic horror film directed by A. Vincent (in his directorial debut) and written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer based on his own short story Neela Velicham.[1] The film stars Prem Nazir, Madhu and Vijaya Nirmala.[2]

Bhargavi Nilayam
Film poster
Directed byA. Vincent
Produced byT. K. Pareekutty
Written byVaikom Muhammad Basheer
Based onNeela Velicham by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
StarringPrem Nazir
Vijaya Nirmala
Music byM. S. Baburaj
CinematographyP. Bhaskar Rao
Edited byG. Venkitaraman
Chandrathara Productions
Release date
22 November 1964
Running time
162 minutes

The film depicts a compassionate relationship between a talented novelist and the spirit of a beautiful lady who had been murdered. The novelist is writing the story of this lady, into whose house he has moved in as tenant. The film mirrors in a meta-cinematic fashion the close and often symbiotic relationships between Malayalam filmmakers and writers in depicting a writer at work, collaborating with an intangible agency in the form of the eponymous Bhargavi. It was the directorial debut of noted cinematographer A. Vincent.[2] It is especially noted for its camera works by P. Bhaskar Rao and music by M. S. Baburaj.[2] It is generally regarded as the first horror film in Malayalam and was one of the biggest hit films of all time.[2]


An enthusiastic and talented novelist (Madhu) comes to stay in a desolate mansion named Bhargavi Nilayam. The novelist and his servant Cheriya Pareekkanni (Adoor Bhasi) experience the presence of a strange entity here. They come to know from the local people that it is a haunted house. The story is that it is haunted by the ghost of the daughter of the previous owner. The novelist and his servant encounter strange happenings here - the gramophone plays on its own, objects move around. The novelist finds some old letters written to Bhargavi (Vijaya Nirmala) by her lover Sasikumar (Prem Nazir). It is believed that the ghost of Bhargavi now haunts this house.

The letters give some indication about their love affair and their tragic death. The novelist decides to probe the matter. He starts writing the story of Bhargavi. The information gathered from the local people and the hints in the letters help him in his writing. The story develops. Bhargavi falls in love with her neighbour Sasikumar who is a talented poet and singer. Bharagavi's father's nephew, Nanukuttan (P. J. Antony) is also in love with Bhargavi. But Bhargavi hates Nanukuttan who is a wicked wastrel. Nanukuttan tries all nasty tricks to separate the lovers. He kills Sasikumar. Bharagavi becomes furious when she comes to know of her lover's murder. In a scuffle Nanukuttan pushes Bhargavi into a well, killing her. Nanukuttan spreads the news that Bhargavi had committed suicide.

The novelist reads out the story to the ghost who by now has become quite compassionate with him. Nanukuttan overhears the story. He fears that once the story is published the truth behind the death of Bhargavi and Sasikumar will be out. He attacks the novelist and a fight ensues. During the fight both Nanukuttan and the novelist reaches the well in which Bharagavi was drowned. While trying to push the novelist into the well, Nanukuttan loses his balance. He falls into the well and is killed, while the novelist has a narrow escape. The novelist then prays for the peace of Bhargavi's soul and the movie ends with the laugh of Bhargavi.



The screenplay written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer is based on his own short story Neela Velicham. But the movie also contains instances from some of his other short stories which he claims as his own life experiences. The scene were the young writer saw a beautiful woman on a beach is actually adapted from the short story Nilavu Kanumbol were Basheer himself claims that he has seen a naked woman taking bath in a beach and when he tried to speak to her she disappeared. Similarly the scene where the young Bhargavi requests Sasikumar's help for preparing a speech is actually based on the short story Hunthrappy Bussatto, which again we can find in the Novel Anuragathinte Dinangal. The lyrics for the song "Ekanthathayude Apaara Theeram" is taken from the short story Anargha Nimisham.


The film had a successful and acclaimed soundtrack composed by M. S. Baburaj which is regarded as the noted composer's master piece. The lyrics are penned by noted poet P. Bhaskaran. The soundtrack consists of seven songs, mostly based on Hindustani. Baburaj took inspiration from popular Bollywood songs while composing "Thamasamenthe Varuvan" (from "Mere Mehboob Tujhe" and also perhaps from "Humse Aaya Na Gaya") and "Vasantha Panchami" (from "Chaudhwin Ka Chand").

The soundtrack received immense critical praise for the high quality instrumentation and was one of the biggest audio hits of all time.[2] The song "Thamasamenthe Varuvan" was selected by Naushad Ali as one of the few of his favourite songs when he visited Baburaj Music Academy in 1988.[citation needed] "Thamasamenthe Varuvan" is also regarded as one of the most loved songs in Malayalam music history.[3] It was voted the "Best Song in Malayalam" by Malayala Manorama in a special issue published as part of 50th anniversary of formation of Kerala state.[4]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 "Anuraagamadhuchashakam" S. Janaki P. Bhaskaran
2 "Arabikkadaloru" K. J. Yesudas, P. Susheela P. Bhaskaran
3 "Ekaanthathayude" Kamukara P. Bhaskaran
4 "Pottaatha Ponnin" S. Janaki P. Bhaskaran
5 "Pottithakarnna Kinaavu" S. Janaki P. Bhaskaran
6 "Thaamasamenthe Varuvan" K. J. Yesudas P. Bhaskaran
7 "Vaasantha Panchami Naalil" S. Janaki P. Bhaskaran

Box officeEdit

The film was highest grossing Malayalam film at that time and a commercial success.[5][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ഭാര്‍ഗവി നിലയം @ 50". Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e B. Vijayakumar (16 November 2009). "Bhargavi Nilayam 1948". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ Unforgettable Baburaj
  4. ^ Ravi Menon; et al. (1 November 2006). "മലയാളത്തിലെ മികച്ച പത്ത് ഗാനങ്ങൾ". Malayala Manorama.
  5. ^ "Must watch malayalam horror films". The Times of India. 1 November 2016.
  6. ^ "BHARGAVI NILAYAM 1948". The Hindu. 16 November 2009.

External linksEdit